Literacy, Writing

Writing in the fast lane. 

 Yamina Bibi- Lead Practitioner 

Follow her on Twitter:@msybibi

 Re-inventing writing across the curriculum. 

Writing is art.
It enables us to process, explore and express our thoughts by putting pen to paper. With a strengthened focus in the new GCSE curriculum on students’ literacy and written work,  it could be said that consistency and  collaboration between departments is key to supporting our students to develop and flourish.

Therefore, we have a challenge for you. 

 A 200 word challenge to be exact.

It will take 25 minutes and we promise that it is creative, innovative and will excite even the most reluctant of writers.

Only 200 words?

The task was introduced, created and developed by @Xris32 in his blog with the aim of encouraging students to write independently and creatively while reducing workload. A different challenge task is set every Friday across KS3 English lessons with differing success criteria and key words.

How does it work?

Creative control lies with the teacher.

Before the lesson:

  • You select a topic that your students can engage with and invest in.
  • You create a success criteria that stretches and challenges your learners. The criteria can be based on key subject terminology, challenging vocabulary, historical issues or any key other area identified by you and your learners.

During the lesson:

  • Students write for 25 minutes responding to the task, while you circulate, read and give them feedback in the lesson.
  • Students share their responses and discuss their literary choices, and literacy.

Still need persuading?

Read what Melanie Corbin in 9H has to say about the 200 word challenge:

The 200 word challenge is an opportunity for self-expression through a limited number of words. We are pushed to give 100% in everything we do through our writing. This task literally forces us to double this by giving us multiple briefs and techniques that we must include. Although we are only allowed to write 200 words, it does not restrict us. Instead, it allows our mind to carve, develop and flourish around a given boundary. It would be great to implement this in practical subjects too to evoke the creative juices because the 200 word challenge is just that: challenging. 

You can also have a look at some examples of challenge tasks and student responses. 


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Examples of the challenges you could adopt or adapt from the wonderful @heymrshallahan.



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Challenge accepted?

So, why not create, adopt or adapt your own 200 word challenge? If you do, we would love to hear from you. Please share your ideas using the ‘comment’ function below.

Thank you.

2 thoughts on “Writing in the fast lane. ”

  1. Challenge very much accepted! Such a great idea and one I shall be definitely embedding in the KS3 units for the next academic year at Cumberland. Thank you for sharing the resources.

    Liked by 1 person

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