Group Writing Activities

Instructor: David Wood

David has taught Honors Physics, AP Physics, IB Physics and general science courses. He has a Masters in Education, and a Bachelors in Physics.

Writing in groups can be rewarding, fun, and useful. Take a look at a few of these ideas for group writing activities which can help your students grow in their abilities.

Group Writing Activities

Group writing activities can be a great way of learning from others, supporting each other's growth as writers, and having a lot of fun at the same time. Writing can be quite a solitary activity much of the time, but it doesn't always have to be so. You just need a few ideas for group-appropriate writing activities. Here are a few you can try.

Crazy Brainstorming

One of the best ways to work in a group on writing is a process of brainstorming ideas. Have students call out random locations, scenarios, situations, conflicts, settings, or events, and write them, spread apart, on a whiteboard. These ideas can be as crazy or random as students wish. They can come from students minds, or come from random newspaper articles. The weirder the better.

Next, have students branch out from some of those initial ideas by asking questions. What caused the conflict? What is present in the setting? What led to the event? What if this happened? What happened next? Was everyone happy about that? Who else was involved? You can use this technique to build outwards and come up with a series of related story elements. Have students use the story elements to write a short story that includes as many of them as possible, finding a way to wind all the ideas together into a coherent narrative. This activity can be done in individual groups, or as a whole class.

Round Robin Storytelling

For this activity, come up with a series of writing prompts. Write them on slips of paper, fold the slips up, and place them in a bag. Then have every student pick a prompt out of the bag. Put students into small groups, and have each student start writing a story based on their prompt. After a particular amount of time has passed (perhaps two minutes), students must immediately stop writing. Have students pass their stories around the group counterclockwise. Every student should read the story they've received, and then write for another two minutes to continue that story.

This continues throughout the time available, with the stories rotating around the group one after another, each person continuing a story written by multiple other members of the group. When the time is running out, students are given a further two minutes to wrap up each story. The groups can then share their favorite story written by the group with the rest of the class.

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