Students will practice using their writers' notebooks everyday in a silent sustained writing session that begins each day. They will quick write to a prompt that is provided to them by the teacher each day as they enter the room. These prompts as based on a variety of resources. (poems, memory prompts, story starters, short story excerpts, pictures, even cartoons)

Quick writing is a strategy to collect thoughts and ideas in the writer's notebook in the collection stage of the writing process. These pieces of writing will be used later in the writing process to draft and revise the story.

The quick write strategy is explained here


Group Size: Any

Learning Objectives:

Students learn to use their writers' notebook in an every day matter. Silent sustained writing is practiced. Students will generate a variety of ideas based on a variety of prompts.

Guiding Question:

How do writer's use their writer's notebook?

How does a writer collect ideas and perfect sentences for their published work?

Can we silent sustained write for 3-5 minutes?


Various prompts, poems, quotes, cartoons, pictures that students will respond to in writing. The teacher should look for prompts that generate a personal narrative.

Students will need their journals and a pencil.

There are a variety of Quickwrite resources.

100 Quickwrites, Linda Rief

A list of Quickwrite prompts are available at

The Teacher's Corner has a variety of prompts for each month.

The Writing Fix has a number of prompts to choose from

My Quickwrites for Inside Writing, Donald H Graves and Penny Kittle


Students enter the room. FInd their journal. (either they have it with them as a class requirement or they are kept in a bin in the classroom)

Students read the prompt of the day (or teacher reads it aloud to them). When possible try to offer a variety of prompts the students can choose from. The Writing FIx explains this here

Students write silently for 3-5 minutes. Teacher can work time upwards as they chose. Most kids beg for more time as the unit goes on. Teacher is working towards silent sustained writing time and can gauge how that can fit into their daily routine.


Evaluate students' ability to write, revise, edit a personal narrative employing the characteristics of the genre.

Work students up to the ability of filling a page. Silent sustained writing must be practiced to be achieved. Teacher may guide students with the prompts of "fill a page and work on." "Get to the bottom of what you are trying to say."

Students can track progress daily with a tracking sheet of how many minutes they were able to write silently. They can graph their progress in silent sustained writing in a data notebook or portfolio as an option.

Benchmark or Standards:

Apply a variety of of pre-writing strategies in order to generate, sequence, and structure a personal narrative.

Recognize and analyze the various roles of the communication process (example, to persuade, critically analyze, flatter, explain, dare) in focusing attention of events and in shaping opinions.

Write a cohesive personal narrative creating relationships among characters, setting, theme, and plot.

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