What’s Writing Fluency?
Fluency is an essential component in writing ability and development. Writing Fluency refers to a student’s ability to write with a natural flow and rhythm. Fluent writers use grade-appropriate word patterns, vocabulary and content.
7 Activities to Promote Writing Fluency
1) Free Writing: Students see a picture and in three minutes write as many words, phrases or sentences as they can to describe the picture. Repeated once every two weeks, students can see an improvement over time.
2) Daily Question: The teacher prepares a bag with questions written on slips of paper. Every day a student selects one question, reads it out loud and students in pairs think individually about it for 30 seconds, share their ideas orally and finally write an answer. (This interaction pattern is called ‘Think, Pair, Share’.)
3) Musical Descriptions: The teacher plays a piece of music and asks students to write a description of what the music depicts. For example, play the music from Space Odyssey and tell students they are astronauts. They should write about what they see and what they are doing.
4) Diary Writing: The teacher gives each student five pieces of paper stapled together as a diary. Each student creates an attractive front cover and writes an introductory text; e.g. a CV or a letter to a pen friend. The teacher keeps these diaries and brings them to class every day. Students spend 10 minutes to add a new entry on a choice of topics given.
5) Poems: Give students a pattern for writing a simple poem, such as an alphabet poem. Students see a word written vertically; e.g. ‘mother and write one line for each letter of the word, starting with that letter.
6) Chat: The teacher asks students to exchange opinions in writing about the topic they are reading about or listening to. This can be done on small slips of paper which are passed to the partner or through an e-mail chain.
7) Making Connections – the teacher creates a collage on the board of pictures, words and phrases related to a topic. Students write sentences using the language on the board and any ideas they get from the visuals.
How to Assess Writing Fluency
How to use a 3-minute writing CBA to assess student writing fluency and complexity through readability analysis of vocabulary and sentence complexity
If you want to learn more about teaching writing consider visiting the How To Teach Writing Section and if you have other type of activities to build writing fluency, leave me a comment.