3 Ways to Use NoRedInk to Create Interactive, Engaging Writing Activities

Students collaborating on interactive online writing activities.

NoRedInk gives ELA teachers access to a range of writing activities that drive engagement while boosting student writing skills.

Writing is a complex, challenging process. While some students are invigorated by the opportunity to put their thoughts on the page, just as many are so intimidated by writing that they struggle to get through straightforward assignments. Incorporating interactive activities into writing practice is one of the easiest ways for English teachers to support their reluctant writers.

There are a variety of benefits of interactive writing activities for students. Interactive activities drive interest and engagement, ensuring students not only can expand their writing skill-sets, but want to do so. These activities also enable students to approach learning in different ways. When paired with direct instruction, the hands-on learning facilitated by interactive activities helps students fully immerse themselves in every aspect of a writing topic.

NoRedInk’s flexible free online writing activities give teachers the power to create assignments that are as interactive as they are instructive. Here are several creative ways you can use NoRedInk to drive engagement, collaboration, and writing growth in your classroom:

1. Writing concepts scavenger hunt

Even if they don’t clock it consciously, students interact with writing constantly. Bringing this to their attention ties their learning directly to their daily lives. To that end, try sending your students on a scavenger hunt for real-world examples of key writing and grammar concepts.

Once students have completed Practice exercises on a writing rule or skill, have them search for examples of it “in the wild.” For instance, ask students to find at least three examples of a writer using a hook to draw readers in. Encourage students to search online, in whatever paper resources you have in your classroom, or, if you’re assigning this interactive activity as writing homework, in whatever text they encounter outside of school.

Make sure students document their examples by taking a screenshot or picture or writing them down so that they can share and explain their examples in pairs, in small groups, or with the whole class.

2. Creative writing character swap

Organizing a “character swap” is a great way to make NoRedInk writing prompts interactive and spark student creativity. This activity gives students a chance to practice both descriptive and narrative writing. Here’s how to set things up:

  1. Assign this Quick Write prompt to help students invent their own original characters.
  2. Customize this second prompt so that it provides each student with a character description written by one of their classmates (in response to the first prompt). This second prompt asks students to write a scene around their classmate’s character.
  3. Ask students to share their scenes with the classmate who developed the original character.

If your class responds positively to this activity, consider building on it by assigning a Narrative Guided Draft. This will enable students to write a complete story about a character rather than just a short scene.

3. Quick Write prompt contest

Empowering students to take ownership of their own work can drive engagement through the roof. Especially if you use Quick Writes for bell-ringers, exit tickets, or other types of low-stakes writing, experiment with letting students come up with their own prompts from time to time. To do so:

  1. Assign this Quick Write to guide students toward the creation of productive prompts.
  2. Share each student’s submission with the class (anonymizing them tends to be a good call) and have students vote on which one they should respond to.
  3. Create a new Quick Write using the most popular prompt.

Access hundreds of free online writing activities through NoRedInk

The interactive activities outlined above represent just a few of the many ways teachers use NoRedInk to deliver engaging, personalized online writing practice to students. NoRedInk’s comprehensive online writing curriculum provides pre-teaching resources, writing and grammar activities, and progress monitoring tools for every step of the learning process.

Sign up for free today to see the many benefits of interactive writing activities for students in your classroom!

Thomas collaborates with colleagues from across NoRedInk to craft stories that illustrate how NoRedInk ​​builds stronger writers. He holds a BA in Religious Studies from Occidental College.