Writing is one of the most cognitively complex tasks that we can ask our students to perform. It can and should be done in every subject area. Writing boosts critical thinking and requires the mental organization of new learning. In turn, it increases retention while deepening the understanding of that new learning. Writing can also be leveraged to have students dive deeper into the metacognitive aspect of the learning process. This type of writing can help students better understand their thought processes while identifying how they learn best.
No matter the context or subject area, writing can help develop critical communication skills, and when shared with authentic audiences beyond the teacher, it can increase motivation and relevance for the student. In many ways, writing across the curriculum is a win–win dynamic. Students gain a deeper understanding of their content and learning process while they simultaneously develop the writing skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.
Tools and Formats
Consider the options from the list below to help provide students with creative writing opportunities in your classroom:
- News Articles:
- Online Discussions:
The formats listed above already imply the types of final products that students can create in your classroom. However, within the scope of those formats, students can express themselves in many ways and for a variety of purposes. Here are some creative ways that students might approach a writing assignment:
- Write a letter to a character or historical figure.
- Reflect on their own learning.
- Write up a lab report.
- Write a story.
- Support a position on a debatable topic.
- Share class news.
- Review a book.
- Be a historian.
- Write from the perspective of a character.
- Become a news reporter.
- Write a how-to guide.
- Document learning.
- Write an editorial.
How can I learn more?
For more information about using writing to enhance creativity, explore the AVID Open Access article, Think It, Write It: Creative Writing Across the Curriculum.