Writer's NB: A Few of My Favorite Things

These are a few of my favorite things:

  • pumpkin spice coffee
  • cinnamon apple herbal tea
  • Foxtrot and Zits comics
  • Cherries and Raspberries
  • Patagonia hoodies
  • Jack Johnson and Colbie Caillat
  • homemade strawberry ice-cream
  • summer thunderstorms
  • breakfast dates with Grandpa
  • diffusing thieves essential oils
  • reading snuggled up next to the fireplace
  • trail runs in the fall
  • spontaneous road trips
  • oldies on Saturday mornings
  • Anne of Green Gables 💛
Starting small, specific lists with your students teaches them to narrow down topics for a variety of different writing assignments.  Anytime I brainstorm a short list with my students, I try to pair it with writing a poem (maybe an ode or free verse) or a short story.  After the students create the list, encourage them to star or circle their top three ideas.  Then, ask them to "dump" their ideas on paper for about five minutes for each topic (direct them to do this one at a time- "Pick one of your top three ideas and spend the next five minutes writing everything that comes to mind about this topic).  Repeat this for all three topics.  After the 15 minutes are up, the students should have a much better idea of which topic would be best for a writing assignment! Teach them a mini-lesson on whatever style of writing you want them to try out that day (model it for them) and then give them time to write!