Strategy #33

About Quickwrites

Grade levels:

  • 3rd-8th grade
  • English Learners

Instructional Focus

  • Comprehension
  • Writing
  • Content Areas

How To Use Quickwrites

  1. The students should choose a topic. The teacher can assign one if needed.
  2. Students should write their ideas on the topic down, letting all of their thoughts flow out onto the paper. They have 5-10 minutes to do this part. Students should not worry about their grammar or spelling. Their main focus should be finding ideas and making personal connection to the topic.
  3. Once the time is up, students should form small groups to read their quickwrites. After reviewing their own papers, students should pick one group member to share with the class. Students should take this opportunity to complete unfinished thoughts and make sure their ideas are well conveyed.
  4. Chosen students will share their quickwrites with the class.
  5. Write again! Students can expand on their previous ideas now that they have heard the views of their peers. They can also Use ideas heard in discussion to branch out into a more focused area of the topic.

When to Use Quickwrites

Prewriting Strategy- Students can do quick writes at the beginning of the writing process. This is a fun and relaxed way to let students think about what they already know about a topic. They gain ideas and play with vocabulary which they may use later.

During Units- It can be used at the beginning or the end of a unit. In the beginning it can be used as a warm-up to the topic, or to assess prior knowledge. At the end of the lesson, it can be used to promote reflection and can show how much of the content the students retained.

Why I Like It

  • It gives the students freedom to choose in their writing.
  • It allows the teacher to see what students value and really absorb, when used at the end of a unit.
  • It reminds me of impromptu speeches, but less formal with less pressure. So, the fun of writing about stuff you want to, without the pressure of having to share if you don't want to.
  • Can be used as an engaging way to assess both prior knowledge at the beginning, and retention at the end of a lesson.
Quick Writes - A strategy to teach content writing


  • Students integrate information presented in different media and formats to understand a topic.
  • Students summarize relevant information.
  • Students apply grade-appropriate academic vocabulary.