Writing Lessons

LEVEL: Elementary/Intermediate

OBJECTIVES: The students should be able to:

1. describe an object orally and in written form
2. guess the riddle of their classmates

MATERIALS: oslo paper, bond paper, pens, pencils, crayon, stapler, picture cards, riddle books (simple to more complex ones), picture dictionaries, picture books

TIME FRAME: one hour or more


1.) Play a game with the students. Use five picture cards that you will describe and let the students guess each picture before showing it to them. Make the description simple for elementary students and make it more complex for intermediate students.

e.g. I come in different colors-red, pink, yellow. I live in the garden and the fields. Butterflies love me. What am I? (Flower) This is the simple one.
I can be square, oval, round, and rectangular. I come in different colors. I am soft and am usually seen on beds. I lie under your head. What am I? (pillow) This is the complex one.

2.) Read a riddle book that suits the level of your students. Let them guess what is being described.

3.) Give guidelines on how to make riddles. They should give the color, size, shape, quality or other specific features. Intermediate students should give more clues and specific features.

e.g. I am pink. I am fat. I am somewhat round. I go oink oink. What am I? (elementary)

4.) Distribute picture cards to pairs (for elementary students). Give them time to think of their description. Then call pairs to tell their riddles. The class will guess each riddle. For intermediate students, it is better if they can do the activity individually to challenge them.

5.) Use the same five pictures (procedure 1) to model how to write a riddle. Use the board for the model. Then, ask volunteers to write on the board the riddle description of the picture cards given to them in procedure 4.

6.) Pair off elementary students and let each pair think of five objects to make riddles of. The objects used during the game should not be used again. Intermediate students can do this activity individually. A picture dictionary can help the students. Picture books can be used as well. They will make a riddle book patterned after the riddle book you used in class. It is better if they write the riddle on the front page and draw and color the object at the back of that page to hide the object that needs to be guessed. Staple the pieces of paper to make a riddle book.

7.) Ask the pairs or individuals to exchange riddle books so that they can read and see their peers’ work.


LEVEL: Intermediate

OBJECTIVES: The students should be able to:

1. write an 8-paragraph narrative
2. illustrate each paragraph inside a story wheel

MATERIALS: Big pieces of construction paper or any board paper the size of a tabloid newspaper, brass fasteners, rulers, pencils, pens, crayons, cut-out circles the size of a CD, chart paper with a big circle drawn on it for presentation purposes, chalk/whiteboard marker, board, easel, marking pens

TIME FRAME: 90 minutes (can be broken down into two sessions of 45 minutes each)


1.) Brainstorm a story with the class so you can model how to write a narrative. Tell them that they should help write the storyline using 8 paragraphs (doesn’t have to be too long). The story can be a fantasy, a fable, an action story, a sci-fi story, a love story,

2.) Write their answers on the board and prompt them to add details by asking questions about how the plot should unfold, how the characters look like, how the characters behave, etc..

3.) Let the class copy the story from the board before they read the finished story aloud.

4.) Put the chart paper with the big circle on the board or an easel. Show how to divide the big circle into eight equal parts. Tell them that they need to illustrate each paragraph inside the wheel. Symbolism can be used. Illustrations should be simple and should not take too long to make. Call volunteers to complete the illustrations. Let them be guided by the paragraphs.

5.) Explain how they will make a story wheel by showing the materials needed and by demonstrating how to do it. Use the brass fastener to place the story wheel on the top portion of the big construction paper. See the picture above.

Note: This can be the end of the first session. As their homework, they should think of a story they would like to narrate and illustrate.

6.) Pair off the students. Each pair will write and illustrate their story. Let the pairs brainstorm what story they prefer to write about. Ask them to make a rough draft first before transferring the final product to the big construction paper. If a student wants to work independently, give him or her that freedom. Move around to help each pair or individual.

7.) Form a big circle and let each pair read the work of another pair by passing the finished project counter-clockwise.

LEVEL: Intermediate

OBJECTIVES: The students should be able to:

1. identify opposite ideas
2. give examples of antonyms, adjectives, and -ing verbs (participle)
2. write nouns, adjectives and verbs to complete a diamond poem
3. illustrate their diamond poem

MATERIALS: board, chalk or whiteboard marker, bond paper, pencils, strips of paper for the language games, crayons or colored pencils, ruler

TIME FRAME: 90 minutes (can be broken down into two sessions of 45 minutes each)


1.) Play language games in preparation for the diamond poem.

1.1 Noun Game (opposites)—Have two teams if the class size is small and more than two teams if the class size is bigger. All members will take turns giving the answers by writing the answers on the board within 3 seconds. Show prepared nouns one at a time. The students will give the opposite of or in contrast to the noun being flashed. Model how to do it first. For ex., the opposite of boy is girl.

Suggested nouns: parents (children), teacher (student), king (queen), water (fire or sand or land), sun (moon or rain or wind), land (sea or sky), summer (winter),
man (woman), pants (skirt), hands (feet), food (drink), father (mother)

1.2 Adjective Game — Retain the same teams or reshuffle the class. The same rules apply. Flash the same set of nouns but this time, the students will give an adjective appropriate to this noun. For ex., an adjective for boy is handsome.

1.3 Verb Game (-ing)—The students will try to give verbs ending in –ing to describe the nouns being flashed. For ex., an –ing verb to describe boy is growing. The same rules apply.

2.) Tell the class they will help you make a diamond poem based on the words they have given you during the language games. Ask a student to pick a noun and prompt them so they can give you the answers to complete a diamond poem. Ask the class after the composition of the diamond poem why it is called a diamond poem (because of the shape).

Line 1—A noun (the subject)
Line 2—Two adjectives describing the subject
Line 3—Three verbs ending in –ing that describe the subject (participle)
Line 4—Two words related to the subject and two words related to the opposite
subject (line 7)
Line 5—Three verbs ending in –ing that describe the opposite subject (line 7)
Line 6—Two adjectives describing the opposite subject
Line 7—Opposite subject (a noun)

(Note: This can be the end of the first session.)

3.) Pair off the students. Each pair will write and illustrate their diamond poem. They can choose from the set of nouns used during the game or they can make their own. Ask them to make a rough draft first before transferring the final product to a piece of bond paper. If a student wants to work independently, give him or her that freedom. Move around to help each pair or individual.

4.) Before the reading of the diamond poems, tell the class that they will vote for the most interesting diamond poem by using a ballot. Ask the pairs and individuals to read their respective diamond poems.

5.) Let the students cast their votes anonymously and tally the results. It is up to you to decide on the form of reward you would like to give the winning pair or individual (e.g. candies, bonus points, token prizes, teacher-made certificates to show to their parents, etc.). In case of a tie, reward all winners.

LEVELS: Elementary/Intermediate

OBJECTIVES: The students should be able to:

1. write a sequence of events
2. illustrate their stories

MATERIALS: Any story that has an easy to follow sequence of events (should be short enough for storytelling), bond paper, ruler, pencils, stapler, crayons or colored markers, board, markers or chalk, prepared step book, blank step books for each pair of students

TIME FRAME: Around one hour


1.) Find a good motivation related to the story that will spark the students’ interest. It can be a question, a picture, a game, or an activity that will prepare the students for the story. For example, for the story “The Little Mermaid,” ask the students (intermediate level) to choose which part of the body they can do without and which part of the body they can’t do without. Let them explain their answers. Ask them to guess which body part the main character in the story will give up. For elementary-level students, show a picture of a mermaid and ask them to describe what they see. Ask them if they would like to be mermaids or mermen. Let them explain their answers.

2.) Read the story aloud with expression.

3.) Discuss the story with the class. Focus on the sequence of events and let the class give the sequence of events in their own words. Write their answers on the board.

4.) Show a prepared step book (even if there are no illustrations yet, just the written words)

5.) Tell the class that they will make their own step book by using the story as a model. They will use another character. For example, the original “The Little Mermaid” can become “The Little Ant.” They can follow the same storyline of the original story with some minor changes or create their own sequence of events (for intermediate level). They will do this activity with a partner. Help them brainstorm ideas for their stories.

6.) After pairing the students off, distribute the blank step books among them. Tell them to write the title of their story on the first step. The sequence of events should be written on the succeeding steps. They should illustrate the events on each step by putting the drawings under each flap. They need to lift a flap for the drawings.

7.) Partners should help each other write and illustrate their stories. Move around to help each pair by giving them ideas on what to write about.

8.) Require elementary-level students to write a complete sentence on each step. However, require intermediate-level students to write two to three sentences on each step like the one in the picture.

9.) Give them a time limit and then ask pairs to exchange step books.

LEVEL: Elementary

OBJECTIVES: The students should be able to:

1.) Make their own toilet paper tube puppets

2.) Write personal information about their puppets using phrases/sentences

MATERIALS: Toilet paper tubes, art paper, scissors, glue, tech pens, ruler, construction paper, pencil, lined paper

TIME FRAME: Around 45 minutes


1.) Show a toilet paper tube. Ask them to identify it. Tell the class that usually this tube is thrown away, but it can be used for other things. Ask the class to think of how to use it again in different ways.

2.) Show how to make a puppet by using art paper. Tell the students that they can have their own style in making their puppets.

3.) Give the students toilet paper tubes and art paper. Give them enough time to make their puppets, but make sure there is a time limit.

4.) Tell the class to think of some personal information about their puppets. They can invent any information based on the given guide. The students should write more information as the grade-level goes up. This will be all up to you, the teacher. Sentences are required, as much as possible, if they are able to write sentences already. Here’s a sample personal information:

Name: Dexter Hogan
Age: He is ___years old.
Address: He lives in _________________.
Country: He is from_______________.
Likes: He likes ______________________________
Dislikes: He doesn’t like ______________________

5.) Tell the students to paste their puppets on the left side of the construction paper (landscape format). Cut and paste/glue the written personal information

6.) Ask the class to form groups of three (or depending on the number specified by you, the teacher). Members of each group will read their written work. Move from group to group to listen and to help out each reciting member.