So, it’s the end of your writing unit, your students have worked their tails off on their work, and you know they need some way to get their writing in front of eyes other than yours. Writers write for a million reasons, but most don’t write just to be graded. Let’s be real, though: coming up with creative ideas for publishing student writing can become exhausting.
Maybe you find yourself resorting to the same poetry cafe or gallery walk every year and are looking to mix it up, or maybe you’re looking for a list to give your students to choose themselves. Whatever the reason you’re looking, this post is here to help.
Here are over 50 ways your students can publish their writing at the end of your Writing Workshop unit.
Publishing Ideas for Any Genre
Here’s a list of ideas you could throw at the end of most units for publishing student writing, regardless of genre.
1. Create a Class newspaper: Have students paste their writing into newspaper templates on Google Docs (group documents work well for this). Here are some newspaper templates you could use. Have students print, staple, and deliver newspapers to teachers that request them.
2. Create “Waiting Room Magazines:” Have students create “magazines” of writing in groups for teachers to have outside their classrooms on Parent/Teacher Conference night (could use the newspaper templates for this). Students select their writing to include, table of contents, and whatever else they’d like to include.
3. Create a BLOG newspaper, send link to reading classes and parents.
4. Have poetry cafe during class where students read writing to each other in small groups
5. Hold an Open-Mic event at school one evening where students read writing. Bonus: turn it into a fundraiser for the school or another organization
6. Partner with a local cafe to hold a student open-mic event
7 – 11. Send anonymous student writing to…
- Another class
- An elementary/middle school school
- Armed forces abroad
- A local elderly people’s home
12. Have students publish writing on a class blog
13. Have students publish writing on social media
14. Arrange to post student writing on a school website
15. Host a Book Tasting, but with student writing!
16. Have students create websites featuring their projects—could be done in groups or individually
17. Have students create E-Books
18. Encourage students to submit to the school literary arts magazine—if there isn’t one…
19. Print your own bound, class literary arts magazine
20 – 24. Encourage students to select and submit to an online or print teen literary arts collection:
- Canvas—ages 13-18
- Cicada—all ages, including adults
- Launch Pad Mag—ages 6-14
- New Moon Girls—girls only!
- For more ideas, see the Cult of Pedagogy’s post here!
25 – 28. Encourage students to select and submit to a writing contest:
- Scholastic Writing Contest
- NCTE Student Writing Awards
- Skipping Stones Youth Honor Awards
- This list of writing contests for cash prizes
Project Ideas for Authentic Publication
Here’s some writing project ideas with authentic publishing methods set up from the beginning:
29. Partner with a local food store or restaurant and have students taste and write descriptions of products. Ask the store to choose the best descriptions to display (I had a teacher friend that did this once and it went amazingly!).
30. Have students write, revise, and post real reviews to Amazon products
31. Write a script for, record, and post Youtube videos—could be for narrative, informational, argumentative or poetry!
32. Write a script for and publish podcasts—create a class channel! Here are some ideas for creating podcasts in the classroom
33. Hold a “Democracy Party”: students address and stuff envelopes sending their argumentative letters to people who can do something about their claims
34. Student-Led Conferences: Have students write an argumentative piece about the progress they have made that semester, using examples from their writing. Include the piece during parent/teacher conferences
35. Scary (or other..) Story Contest: Students read stories they’ve written along a theme during class. Put a fireplace on the projector, turn out the lights, and hand out feedback sheets. Have them sign up for the order so it goes smoothly during class.
36. Walk down Memory Lane: Have students write stories that are tied to memories around the school. Post these stories in those areas during an open house or conferences
37. Hold a mentor shout-out day. Students write about their mentors or role models, and then invite them to class on publishing day to read them out loud.
38. Write and illustrate children’s books for a local daycare or preschool
39. Create a collective School Guide giving tips and information for incoming students to the school. Publish on the school website or give to school to provide copies to students.
40. Family Memoirs: Have students interview and write memoirs based on family member’s or mentor’s story. Invite these family members in for a day to read the stories.
41. Class Project: As a class, brainstorm and vote on a problem students care about, create a multi-faceted project to address the problem (could be a combination of speeches, Youtube videos, letters, websites, etc.)
42 – 45. Have students email or send letters to…
- Government officials
- Celebrities or idols
- Someone important in their lives
Easy, In-Class, Publishing Ideas:
If those ideas seem to be more involved than you’re able to do for this unit, here are a some publishing ideas you could do within a class period to celebrate and circulate your students’ work:
46. Musical Chairs—students leave their writing on their desk, students walk around until music stops, they read and provide feedback.
47. Skill Posters—have students print their favorite paragraph of their writing. Students annotate the skills they demonstrated in the paragraph, and then glue it onto an anchor chart that highlights the skill they did the best (for example: “Attention grabbing sentence”)
48. Most Highlighted Sentence—Have students read each others’ writing, highlighting their favorite sentences. The last student to read a students’ writing copies the best sentence and writes it on a piece of paper, then tapes it around the room or in the hall.
49. Gallery walk—students share, speed-dating style. Half the class stays in one place, the other half rotates. Give students pre-set minutes to take turns sharing their writing. This is a great way to get 100% engagement for the class period
50 – 53. Google Slide Excerpt—Students paste their favorite piece of writing on a class Google Powerpoint (you may want to chop it up into groups, or just have them do it individually…), with their name or no name. Have students add pictures, decorations, etc.
- Share powerpoint in groups, partners, or as a whole class.
- Print them and post them around the room
- Have the slides cycling on a projector during downtime in class or during an Open House
- *Non-tech version: Have students write their favorite sentence from their writing on a colored piece of paper and allow them to decorate it and post around the room.
Finally, here are some ways you can set up opportunities for students to publish their writing on their own to be read at any point in the year.
54. Have sheet protectors up on a wall of your classroom, one for every student. Allow students to add and swap out their writing (or perhaps writing from a favorite author!) throughout the year
55. Ask school administrators for permission to read 1-3 sentences of powerful student writing every day during announcements. Students could have the option of submitting their own or being nominated by classmates.
56. Have each student maintain an individual website with their writing throughout the year, acting as a portfolio.
If you try one of these out, let me know in the comments below! And if you have other ideas, I know we’d all love to hear them.
You may also be interested in:
My Slam Poetry Mini-Unit takes students through brainstorming, drafting, planning, and performing a meaningful slam poem, all in a week. It’s the perfect chunk of lessons to add slam poetry into a poetry unit, or to fill a week with engaging, meaningful content for students.
Want even MORE slam poetry lessons? This Slam Poetry Unit Plan includes a full 3 weeks of lessons similar to this one, taking students through drafting and revising multiple poems with a student-planned performance at the end. It uses a variation of this lesson plan to help students prepare for their performance at the end.
You’d probably also like this Peer Conference/Feedback lesson plan. It’s good to use for ANY type of writing and designed to lift both student’s academic conversations and writing. Swoon.
20 Ways to Help Reluctant Writers in your Classroom–a list of ways you can make your classroom more friendly to students reluctant to write, as well as trouble-shooting ideas for students who refuse to write.
Teaching Writing Pinterest Board–My spot to collect all the most useful resources I can find for teaching writing–if you like this post, you’re sure to like this collection.
ELA Resources Pinterest Board–A collation of engaging, best practice resources for ELA teachers.
My Teachers Pay Teachers Store–I’ve taught writing to grades 6-8, 10, and 12, so that’s my store’s specialty!
Finally, want some ideas for getting students sharing EVERY day? Check out my 30 ideas for share-time for Writing Workshop. It’s free! You can download below:
Looking for some daily ideas?
FREE: 30 quick ideas for share-time, ready to go in a power point. Each slide will get students to reflect on their writing, show off their skills, shout out their partners, and create goals for their writing habits. Did I mention it's free?