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  • Writer's pictureThe Teacher Tool Belt

5 Engaging Ways to Use Writing Across the Curriculum in Any Classroom

Writing Across the Curriculum? Sure, you’re a science teacher or maybe a math teacher and you dread the thought of grading writing papers. Of course you’ve got plenty of curriculum standards you have to cover in your own content area as well. But maybe writing about it can be fun and help you cover the Writing Across the Curriculum goals your school has for you, too.

And don’t worry, you don’t have to be a writing wizard to accomplish this either. Check out these fun ideas to help make writing in your content area easier, while still engaging your students at the same time.

1. Journal It: Let students freewrite in their journals, either as their warmups or during another portion of class. Pose questions related to your content area or just let them create. If you’re a math teacher, how fun would it be to read a story a student made up about a math world similar to Flatland by Edwin Abbott? Let students write freely and share with the class if you prefer.

2. Make a Class Newspaper: Let students create a newspaper for your next unit. Each student or group can be responsible a story covering a different aspect of the unit. Pose questions to them, give them prompts, or let them come up with their own related topic. You’ll be amazed at the student creativity. Let them put the paper together, then present it to the class. Each group can share their story.

3. Share Time: After you’ve presented a new topic, let students write down what they’ve learned or what questions they still have. You can even let them pair up and share their thoughts with their partner. Then have a class discussion. This is a fun and easy way to give students a voice in the conversation.

4. Quote It: Give students a quote that is important to the content you are working on in class this day. Let them freely write about what they think it means and how they can learn from it. Of course, open it up for sharing and discussion afterward.

5. Social Media Book: Have students create a notebook that is themed like a social media page. It could be a Twitter-style or Facebook-style notebook—whatever you choose. You can create your own template that looks like a social media page or have students draw one. During lessons, you get to start a conversation. “Post” something on the board. These “posts” could be questions, quotes, phrases, pictures, cartoons, charts, etc. related to your topic. Let students “comment” their responses by writing in their notebooks the rest of the conversation. Set a timer, say a few minutes, and see what they come up with. Let them share their responses afterward.

Writing Across the Curriculum doesn’t have to be a pain. There are so many fun ways to engage students in writing regardless of the class they are in. Hopefully some of these ideas will inspire you for your next classroom activity.


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