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Spotlight on Strategies:Quick writes

Watch a video, at the end ask students to record as many facts as possible in 60 seconds. Students then share these in pairs, highlighting similar items listed in both. Conclude by giving another minute for students to write additional facts, they can then use these notes to write a summary paragraph.

Big idea

Often, the sight of a blank white page is daunting to students who are not confident in their writing abilities. Quick writes are a simple literacy strategy used to develop writing fluency, build the habit of reflection into a learning experience, and informally assess student thinking. The purpose of the activity is for students to quickly formulate thoughts, ideas, and/or hypotheses without worrying about the element of structure.

Overview of strategy



video segment, paper, writing utensil, timer

  1. Introduce this strategy to your students by showing them a video about the current unit of study.
  2. When the segment has ended, ask students to recall as many facts as possible in 60 seconds.
  3. After the time has ended, have students turn and talk in pairs about the facts they wrote.
  4. Students should star or circle similar items listed in their quick write.
  5. To conclude, give the students another 60 seconds to record more facts or to provide additional details.
  6. Students can use this information to write a summary paragraph about the topic.
Sum it up

This activity is an effective way to build a foundation for future writing and to have students reflect on important details.

More ideas

Use a web tool like AnswerGarden to allow students to enter quick facts they have learned. AnswerGarden converts student responses into a word cloud.

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