Friday, February 8, 2013

Hot Writing

Some where along the way I learned about this great writing activity that really gets your student's brains moving. 

- lined paper or writing notebooks (whichever you use for your class)
- pencils
- imagination

Tell your students that today they are going to be such "hot writers" that their paper may actually catch on fire! (It really grabs their

The basic gist of the activity is that students will write for a length of time and they are not allowed to stop writing at all. If they run out of ideas they just keep re-writing the last word they wrote. The idea is NOT to create a cohesive piece of writing but to see how much writing you can get done in the time limit.

Start with 30 seconds- any longer is too long, even for the older intermediate students until you have done this a number of times. Have the students place their pencil on the page and start the stopwatch. The students will write for 30 seconds until you yell "stop!" They should count up their words, write the total beside their writing and draw a line underneath.

Repeat! You can slowly up the amount of time students are writing by 30 second increments. Every once in awhile you can also have a student share their writing with the class for a fun giggle. "Apple, apple, apple, balloon, monkey jumps, piano, dog, dog, dog, dog..."! The idea is that the students are trying to increase their word count each time. Students will love the challenge of this, just check every so often that they are writing REAL words!

Once your students are pretty comfortable with hot writing start to encourage them to write a mini-story each time you time them, probably once you are up to 1-2 minutes of solid writing. It's interesting to see the types of stories that come out of the hot writing.

Other ideas you can try are to have a writing prompt and everyone writes on the same topic- just wait and see the variety that happens! Also, once students can write for 4-5 minutes you can introduce a new word at every 30 second interval that they must incorporate into their stories!

Mostly, have fun with it! Hot writing is great to break through writer's block, as a quick review of a previous science or social studies lesson, and just for fun.

6 Brilliant Teaching Thoughts:

Inside this Book said...

I have done this for years! Instead of a prompt, I choose one word. The kids love it; they love the freedom to write without worrying about grades, conventions, etc. I call it 5-minute writing, but like you said, I work up to five minutes (or more). I ALWAYS write on the same topic for the same amount of time, and the kids know not to ask me questions or for suggestions. Love it!

Jill said...

I remember doing this when I was in 8th grade! As a former 8th grader, I must say... only do this with middle schoolers if you have their respect! I remember tons of kids writing the same word for 2 minutes just to antagonize our Language Arts teacher.

But for intermediate grades, I think this is great! I always loved doing it.

Magnificent Multiagers!

Beth said...


That's funny! The first time I have ever used this was with my Grade 8's 2 years ago and they loved it...ahhh, teenagers. Never predictable, eh?

Justin N. said...

I just might have to do this with my groups! Thanks for sharing!

Rebecca Rojas said...

Thanks for supporting my giveaway and for the wonderful writing idea! I love this and think it will be a great writing activity for the beginning of the year!

Becca Morris said...

I really like this! Thanks!

Simply 2nd Resources

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