Some activities that foster real written communication.

Photo of a written letter or of a graffiti wall.

Source: ViewApart, Getty Images/iStockphoto

Writing in English can often seem the most unnatural thing for teenage students to do. Here are some real classroom writing activities:

  • Graffiti Wall – designate one wall, display area for English Graffiti. Encourage students to write up any thoughts, funny sayings, gossip – make writing English fun!
  • Letters to teacher – ask students to buy a separate exercise book to write letters to you. In class or for homework, ask students to write you a letter. They can tell you anything or ask questions. Respond to each individually and encourage them to continue this form of communication any time and only if they want to. This could also be done on e-mail. This may seem like a lot of work, but response can be amazing and helps build a relationship of trust between teacher and teen students.
  • Letters to penpals – organise for students to write to penfriends around the world.
  • Letters to fan clubs – if students have a favourite international pop, movie or sports star, get them to write a letter to them or their fan club.
  • If your students feel strongly about world issues, like the deforestation of the Amazon, get them to write letters to world leaders or key organisations expressing their feeling – send them. Usually offices will respond and this will motivate students.
  • Have quiet times in class, when the only communication, for students and teacher alike, can be written, either on the board or on scraps of paper – a nice activity to quieten down classes!