This year, I’m going to get my students to write over 20,000 words. And I’m not even counting the essays they are going to type.

At the start of the year, my students will begin building a Writer’s Notebook. This is a place the will house low-stakes, pressure-free writing, lessons on sentence craft, and a place where they will practice thinking through revision.

Here’s the English teacher math that came up with 20,000+ words:

  • 150 words per page
  • 5 pages of writing a week
  • 15 weeks of writing per semester

This will be done alongside the planned curriculum. It will be a daily part of class. It will be a place that will complement the content from the curriculum. And at times it will be its own assignment to keep up the practice of writing. During those points in the year when the students are writing formal essays, it will be a place for students to informally write about the essay writing process: what perplexes them about the academic writing process, how they are putting their research together, what their problem areas are as writers, etc.

I love using the Writer’s Notebook! It has broken down barriers and solved many of the problems I have faced in delivering quality writing instruction to my students. Writing instruction that sticks with them from assignment to assignment.

Here’s a taste of what this could look like:


How do you get students to like writing? What is a struggle you have with writing instruction? Get the conversation started in the comment section below.

2 thoughts on “Get Your Students to Write Over 20,000 Words This Year

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