Writing Tasks! Are They Time Consuming? (2)

Although writing tasks can be time-consuming when assigned in the classroom, it would be a huge mistake to reduce the frequency of its assignment. On the contrary teachers should try hard to make it  part and parcel of every classroom activity as they offer an opportunity to gain feedback, learn more about our students and lead them to reap the fruit of creativity. In my last post I promised to share some time-saving writing tasks that can be integrated with other language activities. Here the are!




Hear me, what I am talking about here is not a long, intricate  poem. It’s just a 2 – 6 line poem. Best assigned to practice some language points such as:

  • grammatical categories:

Write a poem having this form.

1. Noun
2. adjective + and + adjective

3. verb + adverb
4. Like or as …
5. If only …


phoney and false
lying desperately
like a mocking bird
if only I had the key to the bird cage

(source http://home.online.no/~anlun/gram-po.htm)

Of course you can think of other combinations:)

  • Simile, metaphore

Write a poem having this form.

1. X is like/as Y
2. X is Y


She is like a flower

She’s my angel

Again different other combinations are possible!

Short messages:

Why don’t we take advantage of the growing communication technologies. Instant short messages are growing at very fast rate outside the classroom. It would be a good idea to use them within the classroom.

Students may exchange short messages at the beginning of each English session. The messages may contain just a  greeting  or personal information.


“hi how are u today?”
“Today I was mad at my brother. He spoilt my bike”
“You look terrific in your new dress”


They can be summaries of reading texts, conversations, discussions…

Quick write:

Students write quickly something they can use to contribute to a discussion. This can take the form of a sentence, a phrase, a short paragraph, notes … two requirements are needed though: set a time limit and tell the students not to worry much about mistakes.


Students choose a product and write a short easily remembered phrase, a slogan. The slogan can be fictive or real one. They decide. You accept the choice.


Ask your students to write a short sentence or phrase that expresses a belief or purpose:


“Work hard, play hard”.

In a nutshell, writing teaches creativity, production and organization of ideas. It would be a huge mistake to overshadow its importance and reduce  the frequency of its assignment.

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