Closure Activities from Edutopia

Here are some creative ideas for wrapping up a lesson.




I need to reread the report and think about the recommendations some more, but I can definitely see my practice changing to include more implicit instruction in some of these areas.

From the Report:

The Recommendations

Eleven Elements of Effective Adolescent Writing Instruction
This report identifies 11 elements of current writing instruction found to be effective for helping
adolescent students learn to write well and to use writing as a tool for learning. It is important to note
that all of the elements are supported by rigorous research, but that even when used together, they do
not constitute a full writing curriculum.

1. Writing Strategies, which involves teaching students strategies for planning, revising, and
editing their compositions
2. Summarization, which involves explicitly and systematically teaching students how to
summarize texts
3. Collaborative Writing, which uses instructional arrangements in which adolescents work
together to plan, draft, revise, and edit their compositions
4. Specific Product Goals, which assigns students specific, reachable goals for the writing they
are to complete
5. Word Processing, which uses computers and word processors as instructional supports for
writing assignments
6. Sentence Combining, which involves teaching students to construct more complex,
sophisticated sentences
7. Prewriting, which engages students in activities designed to help them generate or organize
ideas for their composition
8. Inquiry Activities, which engages students in analyzing immediate, concrete data to help
them develop ideas and content for a particular writing task
9. Process Writing Approach, which interweaves a number of writing instructional activities in
a workshop environment that stresses extended writing opportunities, writing for authentic
audiences, personalized instruction, and cycles of writingWriting Next: Effective strategies to improve writing of adolescents in middle and high schools
10. Study of Models, which provides students with opportunities to read, analyze, and emulate
models of good writing
11. Writing for Content Learning, which uses writing as a tool for learning content material

Strategy #2–Your 3 Words

Your 3 Words


I remember seeing a great segment on Good Morning America, Your Three Words. They had viewers send in a summary of their lives using only 3 words. I loved the idea so I found clips on ABC’s web site.


Ways to Use in the Classroom:


1. Start of the Year:  Students write a 3-word summary about themselves.  Then, trace their hands, write their summary on the hand, and post hands on the bulletin board.  Below are pictures of some done my 8th graders a few years ago.



1 Untitled


2. Response to Literature:  Students write 3-word summaries of a story, novel, or poem.


3. Response to Literature:  Students write 3-word summaries from the perspective of characters in a story.


4.  Ticket out the Door:  Students write a 3-word summary for an important lesson–can be used for any subject.


Can you think of other uses in the classroom?

Strategy #1-Six Word Memoirs or Stories or Summaries

Six Word Memoirs or Stories or Summaries

6 word memoirs, stories, summaries

I think I am going to use this strategy as part of my back to school activities.  I can also use it throughout the year as a summary strategy.

How might you use this with your students?