Writing Lesson W1: Choose a Favorite

Lesson: Choose a Favorite
Time:  Approximately 50 minutes
Objective:  Getting students to think about what makes writing “good.”

Good writing is sometimes described as “writing that someone else wants to read.” In this lesson, students read several writing selections.  Then, they rank  the selections in order from the one they liked the most to the one they liked the least and write about the reasons for their rankings.


1.  Introduce the lesson by having a short class discussion to develop a working definition for good writing.  Keep track of student ideas on chart paper, a whiteboard, or document camera.  If you’d like, lead students to a definition along the lines of “good writing is something that someone else wants to read.” Then, ask students to develop a list of ideas that makes writing something “someone else wants to read.”

2.  Hand out student response sheet (W1) and review the sheet with students.  Let students know that today they’ll be looking at several short writing selections.  Student task is to:

  • Select five favorite selections
  • List the selections, in order, from the one they like best to the one they like least
  • Write about the top two selections and explain why these two are at the top of their list.

3.   Direct students to the Picture Gallery page.  Tell them they’ll have 30 minutes to look at the pictures and complete the response sheet.

4.  At the conclusion of the writing time, have students pair/share with a partner. Then, ask students to share their responses in a full-class discussion.

5.  Take a poll to determine class favorites.  Discuss how the selections at the top of the poll did or did not match the criteria the class established earlier for “good” writing.

Download Student Response Sheet for this Lesson:  Choose a Favorite

Comments about this lesson or ideas for extending it are welcome below.

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