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“One” way to get them writing

October 30, 2010

I don’t know why but I just love One Word. I have been on the site every day this week. One Word flashes a single word on the screen and users have sixty seconds to write anything that comes to mind. The writer can then post  his or her response for others to read.

Having those other responses posted is a real benefit for students who need help with brainstorming and the visual timer makes the exercise fun (gives it that game-show quality of beat the clock).

I know so many students who struggle to put something on the page. They “can’t think of anything to write” or simply have difficulty getting started on any task. One Word could be used as a warm-up for these students. The teacher might even challenge students to increase the number of words they write daily. Or ask every student to use the word in a different way (have some create puns & some create poems). Or use it to teach figurative language. Go to the site and have the class use that word in a metaphor, for example. Or have each student write a few sentences about the word and then find a partner and combine their writings to make one story/poem/essay.

Finally, this site can be used to support students with more significant disabilities. Have the student work on typing a single idea related to the word. Or have him or her work with a partner; the student with a disability types or chooses words in reaction to One Word and the peer makes contributions as well. Together, the pair creates one sentence or paragraph.

If you find it is easier to play One Word off-line (with the teacher using a timer and providing a word), you could also have individual students suggest the words. Or have a child who uses augmentative and alternative communication point to an icon/picture on their communication system.

Other ideas?

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