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Write the Room: How to Engage Students in Reading and Writing

Holidays at school can be a mixed bag – students can be hyped and ready to leave for the day, and behavior is all over the place.

Finding students to engage in reading and writing activities can be a struggle. Especially if they have to stay still in one spot. Or, if they repeat the same activity or workbook day after day.

My solution? Creating Write the Room activities!

Write the Room activities are task cards that have different facts and information about a specific holiday, or spelling words that relate to the holiday. 

You can look at my other Write the Room blog post here, where I talk more about what other topics I use them for.  

I have made them for many different federal holidays and other recognized holidays. Using them in my own classroom, my students learn more about why those certain holidays are celebrated and learn cool facts along the way. In addition, they get to move around the room and do something different!

Keep reading to get more details about Write the Room!

Format and Examples

I like to keep the format simple and offer a few different options.

Option one is to focus on vocab words, commonly associated words, or “buzzwords” that relate to the topic. I make small task cards for each word and number them (I do 16 words). Simply cut them out and place them around the room. 

Example of “buzzwords” activity

Then, students get an answer sheet that is numbered #1-16. Their job is to go around the room with their answer sheet and record the word that is listed with the specific number on their answer sheet. Easy as that! You can extend this in so many different ways! Have students discuss the words they found, create posters, or make a class anchor chart with the words.

The next option has three variations that progressively become more complex. There are ten task cards with different information about the holiday – traditions, symbols, the history of it, etc. The three variations have more or less wording on them, depending on the level that you would like to use for your students.

With each of these variations, print the task cards and put them around the room for students to find. Or, put all the cards as a center activity! Either way, you have an engaging writing activity!

Variation #1 – Copy and Paste

The sentences are simple and in most cases, each task card only has one sentence. Students’ answer sheets have lines to copy the sentences on their own paper. Then, you compare their writing to the answer key. This allows students to practice handwriting and is less comprehension focused. 

Example of “Copy and Paste”

Variation #2 – Fill in the Blank

This variation has slightly more complex sentences on each task card. Students will need to read the task card and compare it to their answer sheet, then use the task card to fill in the blanks on their answer key. This requires understanding of print and some level of reading comprehension. 

Example of “Fill in the Blank”

Variation #3 – Comprehension

This variation requires the most comprehension skills of the three. The answer sheets have questions numbered #1-10, and students need to find the matching task card to answer the question. Some questions are more complex, and the task cards are wordier and require more comprehension skills than the other two variations. 

Example of “Comprehension”

Why Do It?

Write the Room is a unique reading and handwriting activity for students to engage in. It allows movement in the classroom (if that’s how you choose to use it!) or a different option to use as a centers activity. Therefore, you can increase engagement in the activity!

These activities also give a great introduction or overview on different holidays. It can lead to whole class discussions, tie into other festive activities, or be a quick sub activity! 

Whether you want a different type of reading activity or change it up for your students, Write the Room is a great option to do something different!

You can make these yourself in a PowerPoint or Google Slides program. Or, check out the links below for Write the Room activities already made and ready to go!

Click here to check out my Write the Room Holiday activities!

Click here for all my Write the Room activities!

Thanks for reading, and happy teaching!

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