High School Resource
In this activity, prepare a simple handout that lists a variety of different written forms (journal writing, informal letter, formal letter, letter to the editor, advertisement, petition, poem, short story, book review, book report, research paper, newspaper article, formal presentation, summary, letter of complaint, essay contest entry, and so forth).
For each form, include a simple topic, be sure to include enough details to make the writing situation clear. Then discuss the particular purposes of each writing situation and any secondary purposes that might be involved. Consider what writing decisions are made during this process. If time permits, ask each student to select one of the writing situations and write a one-page response. Collect these and read selected ones aloud. Discuss the way the writer achieved (or didn’t achieve) the planned purpose of the piece.
- Some Ideas for Writing Forms and Topics:
- Personal Letter (thank you for the birthday gift)
- Letter to the Editor (the proposed 10 pm curfew for people under 18 years old should not be considered)
- Book Report (Lord of the Flies or other book with which students are familiar)
- Letter to Friend (the appearance of a boy or girlfriend)
- Diary Entry (what happened on the recent class trip); Essay Contest Entry (“How I Would Improve the World”)
- Personal Writing (thoughts on the loss of a friend);
- Newspaper Article (Quiz Club Wins Regional Tournament)
- Letter to Neighbor (how you and your friend accidentally broke her window)
- Note to a Friend (how to use the camera you are lending her for her vacation)
- County Music Lyrics (my sweetheart left me and took my pick-up truck)
- Short Story (the misadventures of a teenaged super-hero)
- Essay (“My Ideal House”)
Related NY State Academic Standards: ELA1.C.SW2C!
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