EMWP Presents Literacy Standards for Life: National Day on Writing 10/5/2013

On Saturday, October 5th, we kicked off our Literacy Standards for Life series with a National Day on Writing workshop. Those who attended (lots of teachers *and* pre-service teachers!) were able to participate in several of the activities listed in our initial post, and then we discussed as a group our plans for celebrating the National Day on Writing on Friday, October 18th, or Monday, October 21st.

Here’s a peek at what we did:

Impromptu Writing Boards: We hung up two huge pieces of paper and had large post-it notes sitting out for participants to write about their best or worst writing experiences (click the images for larger versions!). This works great as a school-wide activity.

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Mystery Writing Prompts: We used writing prompts from the amazing Writing Prompts Tumblr site and hung them up around the building for participants to find!

Today’s Meet: Here’s a link to the transcript (Google Doc) from the story we created that began with the line “When she told me she lived in a floating forest, I thought she was crazy.” Each person added a line by logging into Today’s Meet from their own device or from a shared computer.

One of the most popular activities was Writing Corps, modeled after NPR’s Story Corps podcast, in which two participants interview one another about their experiences as writers. Notice that these interviews are short and generally involve a single question or two. Here are the links to the videos on YouTube, shared with permission, of course: Writing Corps 1, Writing Corps 2, Writing Corps 3. Kevin and partner, your video seems to have been swallowed up by Cathy’s computer, I’m so sorry!

How are YOU planning to celebrate? Did you already celebrate? Will you send us some photos? A write-up? We’d love to share it!


We’ve updated our Submission Information page! If you’d like to share with us what you’re doing to celebrate the National Day on Writing, click on this Submission Information link (or find it in the menu bar above) for our contact information and instructions.

We’d also like to invite you to participate in NCTE’s #write2connect Tweetup, to be discussed on 10/10 at 7pm on NWP Radio!

Lastly, PLEASE join us on Saturday, October 5th at Eastern Michigan University to kick off our first session in the 2013-2014 Literacy Standards for Life series with a National Day on Writing workshop! 9:30a-11:30a in 324 Pray Harrold. $5 (or $25 for the year). Contact Bill Tucker at [email protected] for more information.

Join us on October 20th!

Let’s Celebrate

The Fifth Annual National Day on Writing

October 20, 2013

The National Council of Teachers of English has established October 20 as a National Day on Writing, a day designed “to draw attention to the remarkable variety of writing we engage in and help make writers from all walks of life aware of their craft.”  The Eastern Michigan Writing Project invites you to join us in celebrating that day—encouraging and honoring all the many forms of writing that you, your students, and your community practice. Let’s make southeastern Michigan a hub of writing activity by taking note of what, how, and why we write!

Because October 20 is a Saturday this year, we encourage you to celebrate either over the weekend or on the following Monday (October 22).  Following are some activities that may stimulate your imagination.  And please share what you’re doing:  either on our local blog (emwpndow.edublogs.org) or through the National Council of Teacher’s of English twitter account @NCTE with the hashtag #write2connect.  (See http://www.ncte.org/dayonwriting for more information.)

In your classroom:

  • Poetry:  Sponsor a classroom poetry reading in which students share poems they’ve composed.  If you want, expand this to a poetry slam in which students perform their poetry.
  • Writing in the community:  Challenge your class to share their writing by posting it throughout the school or the community.  One English teacher we know invited her students to post their writing throughout their small town the evening before, so that community members awoke to student writing plastered on the windows of area businesses, chalk writing on the town’s streets, and banners hanging from trees.  (Hint:  She made sure she had permissions first!)
  • Writing Marathon:  Bring your students to various spots inside and outside your school and ask them to write for 5 minutes at each spot. When you come back together at the end, share what you’ve written and talk about how writing place influenced how and what they wrote.

In your school:

  • Impromptu Writing Board:  Set up a display at your school or campus where students can jot on Post-it Notes their best and worst writing experiences.
  • Mystery Writing Prompts:  Post engaging and fun writing prompts at various high traffic sites around your school or campus.  Ask students to write in response and turn them in at the end of the day.
  • Add-a-line Stories:  Create a Facebook Page, Wiki site, or other site (like TodaysMeet) and start one line of a new story every hour. Encourage students and faculty to add lines to keep the story going.
  • Why I Write:  Invite teachers and faculty to a celebration in which they each share why they write.  Even better, set up a dialogue between students and faculty about everyone’s reasons for writing.

In the Community

  • Tailgate Writing:  Combine your school or university’s love of football with a Tailgate Writing Event, as one university did last year. They featured writing activities for kids and adults and tailgate food!
  • Family Writing Night:  Sponsor an evening event at your school for parents, students and community members to read and share a piece of their writing.  You might create a chart in which adults identify the kinds of writing they do in their work life and home life.
  • Writing Bombs: Have you ever heard of yarn bombing? Take your writing into the community and invite others to participate by leaving writing prompts (handouts on bulletin boards, post-it notes on walls; hint: make sure it’s temporary!), poems, or notebooks that invite readers to participate by adding their own writing to the pages.
  • Open Access (FREE) Resources: Create a publicly accessible website or blog with writing resources, prompts, activities, or pieces of your own/your students’ writing.


To learn more

Join us for the year’s first EMWP Literacy for Life Saturday Session:

Creating a National Day on Writing Celebration

October 5, 2013   9:30 – 11:30 ($5 registration fee)

324 Pray-Harrold, EMU Campus

[email protected]