Writer's NB: My Favorite Things About Summer

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!


  • sunshine and blue skies
  • wearing tank tops and sundresses
  • watermelon, iced-coffee, ice cream cones, strawberries
  • playing softball in the backyard
  • trips to the lake with friends
  • bonfires, stargazing, and catching fireflies
  • water balloon fights and cannonballs into the pool
  • late night movies and popcorn
  • walks on the bike path with my parents
  • drive in movies