10-Minute Write

One of my favourite writing activities to do with students is a 10-minute write. It’s simple enough and it gets students writing. All each student needs is a piece of paper and a pen. Once they have that, you set a clock for ten minutes, say, “Go”, and the students write until the clock stops.

The first few goes, I’ve found, involve a bit of motivation. For many students, stream of consciousness writing is new. The idea of writing freely, without reservation, is somewhat daunting. The most common remark I receive is, “I don’t know what to write about.” My reply is always the same: “Write that down!”

When students get stuck, I ask them to write, “I don’t know what to write,” repeatedly, until a new idea catches wind. It usually doesn’t take very long.

Sometimes, I like to shake things up by turning on some music while the students write. I’ve had this go both ways for me. When the songs are either too good or too bad, they can become a distraction.

I should also mention that it may be necessary to set some parameters with your group. Some things should not be writen about at school.

Eventually, I like grabbing a pen and paper myself and writing along with the students.

Give it a go and let me know how it goes. Happy writing!

10-Minute Write
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