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Embedded Free Writes

November 18, 2011

This activity makes for a great component in a sub plan, but you can use it whenever you want to spend some focused time reviewing past target structures. This is a different strategy for expanding a writing piece.

  1. Begin by giving students three structures that you would like to review. They should be structures that require some creativity to work together into a story, but not too difficult!
  2. Solicit a mini 'focused' free write from your students. I let them write for about five minutes, but I monitor their work and let them keep going until most students have produced something that includes the structures. I find that my students need a little more think time on this before they actually put pencil to paper than they do when it is a full-on free write.
  3. Collect the free writes and take them home. Your homework is to choose three or four of them and type them up. I edited out the errors when I did this activity, but you could leave the errors in and make editing a part of the process for the students. (I would do this if I were in class, but for sub plans I left it out.) Print out the three-four free writes on one sheet of paper for the students.
  4. Give the students the worksheets and ask them to either translate or illustrate (with a mini-mural) each of the stories.
  5. Give students three additional review target structures.
  6. Ask students to choose one of the free writes and expand it by working in the three new target structures.
  7. Collect the free writes, and keep repeating the process. As the pieces get longer, you will probably want to give the students just one or two selections instead of three or four. You will eventually end up with a student-generated writing piece that includes all of the structures that you worked on this year!


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