Here's how it goes. First, divide your class into small groups of 4-6 and give each student a sheet of writing paper - in my small ESL classes, the entire class is a small group of 4-6. Next, give the class a writing prompt, topic or term and ask each student to write a topic sentence only. The students pass their papers to the right. Students read the sentence that is there on the sheet and add just one sentence. They again, pass their papers to the right and repeat the process until each student has had the opportunity to write at least one sentence. Ideally, the original writer - the student who wrote the topic sentence - also writes the conclusion. Once the piece is completed, each group member reads their story aloud and writing pieces are collaboratively edited and revised, which can be done one of two ways. I prefer to subdivide the groups into pairs and they will choose one of their papers to edit and revise. However, when I first learned of the strategy I was instructed to have the entire group work together on editing and revising. I find the former to be more effective because with a larger group one or two dominant members will take over the task while the others sit back and passively observe.
Random Name Picker" from classtools.net. I spin the wheel as we pass papers to the right and the selected term must be used in the sentence. Because I teach English in context, the words are related to a story or unit of study and therefore, the prompts and vocabulary are connected to what was covered in class. As I call out the words, we also review parts of speech and I check for understanding. This is not a quiz, so if a student is unsure of the definition or context, they can certainly ask a peer or their teacher. And because my classes are small, I join in the fun and participate in the writing activity, giving me the opportunity to model.
Exc-ELL Training with Dr. Margarita Calderon a few years ago. While this activity works very well with English learners, it is by no means an ESL strategy and can be adapted to any student population and used in any content area.
If you decide to implement "Write Around" strategy in any form or have used it in the past, I would love to hear from you. It can certainly be a stretch for students but in today's digital, social-media-driven world, creative writing is an essential skill they must develop.
I look forward to hearing from you!