My eighth graders keep what I call a Quote Journal.
I set a timer for 10 minutes at the beginning of every class period during which they copy the quote of the day from the board and write a two-paragraph response...
Their first paragraph should tell what they think the quote means. The second paragraph should give an example of how the quote applies to their lives.
When the timer "dings", we discuss the quote as a class during which time they may add to their responses as they see fit in order to get the required 75 words.
Last year I decided to change it up a little by giving them an Unjournaling once or twice a week. The students loved it!
They were having fun AND developing creative writing skills along with increasing their vocabulary.
Includes entries such as ........
Write a story about a girl named Dot,
but you may use NO letters with dots over them...i.e. no Ii's or Jj's.
This is harder than you might think and forced them to think "outside the box" as they tried to think of other words that meant the same but had no I or j in it. For example, the word said. They had to use retorted or yelled, etc, etc.
They were using the thesaurus and the dictionary to find words:)
My students are a pretty competitive bunch, so each one was trying to have the best story with the best words:)
On another day we did this one:
Write a good sentence consisting entirely of three-syllable words.
(You may use the articles a, an, the.)
and this one:
Write a paragraph that twenty words with double vowels.
Examples: poodle, peep, needle
and this one:
Write a good sentence in which every word begins with a letter from the word "sentence" in the same order as the letters in "sentence"....
Example: the first word in your sentence would begin with "s", the second word would begin with "e", the third with "n", etc.
Isn't this fun?!
And then sometimes on Mondays, we just have plain old "FREE WRITING":)
Write freely now to your heart's desire
the number of words that I require:)
Have a Lovely Day!