The idea of this exercise is to get students to quickly write about a topic they choose (or you assign). These short presentations are then used in two manners; to generate spontaneous conversations on a wide range of topics, and to take a look at some common writing problems.
Aim: Working on common writing mistakes - generating conversation
Activity: Short intensive writing exercise followed by discussion
Level: Intermediate to upper-intermediate
Variation 1: Tell students that they will have exactly five minutes (reduce or extend the writing time as you feel is appropriate) to write about a subject on the list that you are going to give them.
Variation 2: Cut the list of topics into strips and hand a different topic to each student. Tell students that they will have exactly five minutes (reduce or extend the writing time as you feel is appropriate) to write about the topic you have given them.
- Explain that students shouldn't worry about their writing style, but, rather, they should focus on quickly writing down their feelings about the topic they have chosen (or you have assigned).
- Have each student read what he or she has written to the class. Ask the other students to write down two questions based on what they hear.
- Have the other students ask questions about what they have heard.
- During the course of this exercise, take notes on common mistakes that occur in student writings.
- At the close of this exercise, discuss the common mistakes you have taken not of with the students. In this manner, no student feels singled out and all students benefit from learning about typical writing mistakes.
The best thing to happen to me today
The worst thing to happen to me today
Something funny that happened to me this week
What I really hate!
What I really like!
My favorite thing
A surprise I had
A memory from childhood
My best friend
What is friendship?
A problem I have
My favorite TV show
My favorite grandparent