Here are some writing ideas by Lisa Davison, Chicago Tribune and distributed by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Benton County Daily Record, & Northwest Arkansas Times.
Adaptable Writing Activities for Many Ages
These activity ideas are good for individual assignments or writing with a buddy.
1. Write a feature story about a person. (It could be about your parent, brother/sister, writing buddy, etc.) Be sure to include basic facts about the life of the person, as well as interesting information about the person. Look at features in today’s newspaper for ideas about what to include.
2. Write a review of a television show, movie or story. A review should include the strengths and weaknesses as well as what you liked/disliked and why. Be descriptive and use examples. Use the reviews in today’s newspaper as models for your writing.
3. Write two classified advertisements selling two different items. You might want to sell a car, a baseball glove, a bike, etc. What will the reader want to see in order to buy your item? Keep in mind that these ads are short; every word counts! (Don’t forget to look at the classifieds in today’s newspaper!)
4. Write a classified advertisement for a job you want to fill. You must first think of a position (like teacher, lawyer, secretary, waiter, etc.) and what kinds of characteristics would make someone good at the job. Keep in mind that these ads are short; every word counts!
5. Write an editorial supporting your favorite sports team or athlete. What makes this person or team worth supporting? What do you think is important in a sports team or athlete? Look at both the sports section and the editorial/ opinions page for ideas.
6. Write an editorial about something at school that you strongly like or dislike. Be sure to explain what the issue or policy is for those who don’t attend your school and follow with your reasons for liking or disliking the current school policy. Look at the editorial/ opinions page, and copy the writing style there.
7. Write a news story on some event happening at your school or in your community. Remember a news story should always address Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. You should attempt to give both sides of the story. Do not include your own opinion. Use a front page news story as a guide.
8. Create an advertisement that invites people to visit an area attraction. How would you use photographs or drawings in your ad? How would you arrange the words and what would you say to get people to come? Use descriptive words! Look through today’s ads for ideas.
9. Create an advertisement encouraging people to watch a specific event on television (i.e. a sporting event, an awards show, etc.). How would you arrange photographs or drawings in your ad? Why would people watch the event? Use descriptive words! You’ll need today’s TV listings to do this assignment.
10. Write a news story that tells what is happening in a foreign country. Choose a country in today’s paper and, after reading the articles, write an article that describes the main current event in that foreign country. You might also include why Americans are interested in this story. Always address Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How.
11. Write a weather report using information in today’s newspaper. Include predictions for temperature, rain, snow, etc.
12. Write a letter to the editor on an issue in the editorial section of today’s paper. Be sure to agree or disagree with the person writing the editorial, and include a full explanation for your opinion.
13. Write a feature story about your favorite subject in school. Use descriptive words, and give examples of what you like/dislike. Use a feature from today’s paper as a prompt.