There are lots of different resources you can use for a writing activity in an online session. When you have chosen the writing skill your learner needs to work on (see our blog post about taking on the writing challenge for more information on the skills your learner needs and the writing process), you should select an activity that matches. Here are some options:
Online fill-in resources and activities are websites or documents where you can type into the spaces provided. Click on the PDF below for a great example of a fill-in activity from the writing resource, make beliefs comix that we showcase in the online writing resources section of the resource hub:
Fill-in Comic book PDF
You can Screen Share these kinds of resource with a learner in a remote video-conferencing session (e.g., Zoom).
With Screen share on, you can ask your ‘learner’ to suggest what should go in the empty spaces. You can type in their responses for them.
Alternatively, you can ask a learner to open the document on their device to complete. They can screen share and you can watch and correct as they go.
Drag and drop resources
Drag and drop activities are also available online. In these activities, it is possible to use the mouse to drag and drop letters, words, pictures or texts into spaces on the screen. A great example of this is the Learnhip sentence scramble web-page link, below:
Learnhip Sentence Scramble
For a simple way to use this resource in a session, share your screen with your ‘learner’ through a videoconferencing App, like Zoom. Ask your ‘learner’ to unscramble the sentences orally. If the ‘learner’ is comfortable, you can also ask them to use the annotate tool in an application like Zoom to show you which words should move – and where (go to our blog post for more information on using the whiteboard in Zoom).
If you feel like being more ambitious and you are using Zoom, you can give the learner ‘remote control’ of your mouse. In your main Zoom toolbar, look for ‘remote control’. Click on this to reveal the drop-down menu. Allow your learner to have control of your mouse and keyboard. They can now drag and drop items on your your shared screen. The ‘tutor’ can stop control at any time by moving the cursor to the ‘remote control’ green mouse at the top of the page and clicking ‘stop control’.
Applications like Zoom, What’s App, Facetime, Messenger, Skype all have a ‘chat’ feature. This is an excellent tool for doing some online free writing with a learner. ‘Tutor’ and ‘learner’ should open the chat dialogue boxes by clicking on ‘chat’ in the main Zoom menu. You can do lots of different writing activities in the Chat, for example:
- Start a written conversation. A written conversation is when you write a question to your learner and they write an answer back. When you see your learners response, you write a response and ask another question. You can use your response to help your learner with vocabulary, or correct a mistake they made.
- Do a vocabulary scavenger hunt
- Create collaborative text – finish each others sentences or take turns to write a story
- Do spelling challenges or copy each others words
For more fun writing activities that you can do online explore the online writing resources section of the resource hub.