Between reading Shakespeare plays they may not understand and writing lengthy research papers, high school students may find English class boring. Lots of lessons are centered around certain district or state learning standards. This may lead teachers to set aside their own creative ideas in favor of assessing what students have memorized. Get inspiration for the in-between days with these creative and fun high school English writing activities.
Break up the class into small groups and give each group an article from a recent edition of the local newspaper. After reading the article, have students discuss questions or opinions they have on the article. Each student will then write a letter to the editor in which they address some of the things brainstormed in the group. Allow the group to choose the best letter and send it off.
Me in 20 Years
Have your students write a letter to themselves in the future. Besides allowing students to reflect on their future plans and goals, it also allows them to take a look at where they will be. Instruct students to include advice, as well as memories that they want to look back on, when they discuss the future "me" in this letter. Teachers can even keep these letters and present them to their graduates in a few years when they leave high school.
Incorporate lessons from your students' other classes by having them take on the role of reporter for a day. Write a few other classes your students are taking on the board, then have them pick one and think of things recently discussed in that class. For instance, students enrolled in world history may want to write an article on the week's topic, or another favorite lesson. Invite students to the front of the class to share their stories to work on public speaking.
SAT Prep Activities
If your students still have to take the SAT, have a day or week dedicated to test prep. Pass out lists of words commonly found on the SAT, then break the class into groups and provide each with a dictionary. Instruct them to write sentences or a paragraph with the words included. Make it into a "Jeopardy" type game by drawing a scoreboard on the chalkboard and calling out definitions, then award the points to students who supply the corresponding word.
Joetta Charnell became a freelance writer in 2009. Now contributing to various websites, her previous work garnered several awards in writing competitions. Charnell earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in African-American studies and biology, both from the University of Virginia.