Improve students' writing for Halloween and they'll beg to keep going! | Mentoring in the Middle

Improve students' writing for Halloween and they'll beg to keep going!

"Are we writing today?"  
"No, not today.  It's not Friday.
{Insert sad face}

How many times do your students ask to write?
Halloween pumpkins and a writing activity

A writing assignment that kids beg to work on?  Yes, please.  
 I've got one for you that is so much fun to do!  When I was in the classroom, we would focus on "Friday Writing Days."  We started with mentor sentences and paragraph writing, and then we moved into this Halloween narrative in early October.

I was THRILLED with the results of this and I think you will be too!

Get started: 
        “Close your eyes.  Imagine that you are walking home from a friend’s house.  You live about a ten-minute walk away.  It’s dark now and you’re heading home.  Can you picture it?  Visualize what this looks like in your head.  As you are picturing this, start to jot down responses to these questions."
Halloween writing activity

Keep going:  Each step of the way, you lead them through visualization, and then another next set of questions.

I wrote along with them and shared what I'd written, after the first set of questions.  That really helped students who weren't quite sure how to get started.  We kept the questions up for a while so that students could add or tweak what they'd already written.

There's something about the scaffolding questions that gives kids so much confidence!  Their writing is more descriptive and they don't tend to get as stuck.  And your reluctant writers?  Oh, my word!  Pages and pages.  (Which makes it so much easier to edit and tighten.)
Set the mood:
Play spooky music to get them in the mood.  Students begged to turn off the lights and pull down the blinds.  I was surprised they could work that way, but they loved it! 

Student sample of Halloween writing activity

Want to give it a try?  Click here to take a closer look! 

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