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Writing at the End of the Year
Judi Fenton

The end of the year can be so busy that it is difficult to prioritize. Sometimes it is hard to capture the right balance between productive work and end of the year fun. We need to evaluate student learning while still keeping students and ourselves motivated and interested in what we are teaching. Here are a few ideas for end of the year writing projects that promote student and teacher reflection on the year’s learning, and are also productive ways to engage students in writing.

Write a letter to the students who will be in this class next year:
I have found this project to be very useful in consolidating student learning while also having the students do a fun project.  They love warning next year’s students about what they can expect in your class, about what makes you happy or angry, and about how much work they will have to do.  Your ulterior motive is to get them to think about what they studied all year and what they learned.  Make that a requirement in their letter to next year’s students: they must incorporate something about what the new students will learn and how it will help them.

Write a piece in any genre about our class:
Ask students to show what they learned in writing by choosing any genre and writing a piece with our class at the center. They can write fiction, memoir, non-fiction, a poem, fantasy, fairy-tale, etc. As long as the piece centers around their class and they write in a genre using all they’ve learned about that genre this year. Let them go wild! This project gives a great deal of choice, which is a good way to keep students engaged, a necessity at the end of the year.

Review all your writing throughout the year.  Choose one piece and revise it incorporating all you know about writing now:
When I reread my articles from this site, I often wish I could revise them with what I know now.  I suppose every writer feels this way to a certain extent.  Many writers I know hesitate to reread what they’ve published because they know they won’t have the opportunity to revise. Well, here’s your students’ big chance to go back and revise, fix, or just change anything they’d like to in a past piece.  It is a particularly good way for you to assess what they have learned and an excellent strategy to have them reflect on their learning.

I hope you find these ideas useful and enjoy the end of the school year!

Do you have a comment about this article? E-mail me!


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