I focus several of my activities on what to do in any classroom. When I specify topics more clearly, I often focus on how to get students moving why they are reading a text or discussing a text. It is equally important to get students up and moving why they are writing. There are several reasons for this. One reason is that movement helps students get through writer’s block. There have been multiple times when students have been unable to brainstorm topics, start an essay, or finish a piece of writing because they have entered the doom and gloom of writer’s block. Movement isn’t the end all of writer’s block, but it can help many students get over the hump and continue through the writing process.
One of the activities that I like to do is similar to the vocabulary tableau I mentioned in an earlier post. I have students image the flow of their essays. I have them consider the important points they might want to make in the introduction paragraph, each body paragraph, and the concluding paragraph. This can occur at any time during the writing process. For students who don’t exactly know how they will organize their ideas, I just have them focus on the topic. I then have them stand at their desks. I tell them to think about their introduction paragraph. I then give them think time, also know as visualization time. I count down from 5 and tell them to freeze into a picture that represents their introduction paragraph. I may have a couple of student explain their poses, or I may go directly into having them freeze for their first body paragraph. This continues until I have covered each paragraph in the essay. For those who don’t know the flow of their essay exactly. I have them choose different poses for their specific topics.
This activity can also break up the monotony of a long period of seated writing. For students who do not experience writer’s block, this activity can stimulate their creative outlets allowing them to write with better flow, diction, and analysis.