There’s nothing quite as refreshing as the New Year. Both teachers and students return to the classroom feeling rejuvenated after a break for the holidays, and it’s a wonderful time for teachers to establish new priorities with their students. Writing should always be a high-priority skill, and these New Year’s activities will help students improve their writing while also focusing on a positive start to the new year.
Six New Year’s Activities for Writing
1) Write a Story About an Old Habit You Wish to Break
This is the best time of the year to consider breaking an old habit and adopting a new, more productive lifestyle. Explain to your students the detriment that bad habits can have on their personal lives as well as their educational development. For example, waiting until the last minute to do their homework can cause them stress and often leads to shoddy work. Ask your students to write about a bad habit they wish to break, the effect it has on their life, and what they wish to do differently in the new year.
2) Set Your Own New Year’s Resolutions
Spend some time in the classroom discussing New Year’s Resolutions and the tradition of making them prior to New Year’s Eve. Ask your students to write about three resolutions that they wish to make for the new year. In addition, they should outline a plan of action that will allow them to keep their resolutions not only in January but also throughout the months ahead.
3) Write a Fictional Story About a Character with a Goal for the New Year
Your students may need to spend some time developing their creative writing skills in the new year, which is why a fictional writing activity is important to incorporate into the curriculum. Ask your students to create a character and allow them to set a goal for their character to accomplish. This gives them a chance to learn about developing a personality through writing while also introducing them to the elements of a story, including establishing a conflict for the story as well as a solution.
4) Establish New Rules for the New Year
By January, your students know what to expect when they come into your classroom. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they like all of the rules. Allow them to have some fun after returning from break, and ask your students to write a new set of rules for the classroom. Tell your students that they need to remember that rules are designed to keep the classroom in order, and ask them to identify the ways that their rules will enhance the classroom experience.
5) Write About 3 People You Wish to Connect with in the New Year
In addition to setting personal and educational goals, you should ask your students to consider the people that they want to create relationships with in the coming months. Perhaps there is a new student in class that they could reach out to, or maybe they could work on forming a better relationship with an elderly family member. Their writing assignment should require them to identify the individuals as well as discuss what they will do to connect with those people.
6) Create a Journal Entry About Last Year’s Resolutions
While many writing prompts in January will focus on the year ahead, you could also request that your students evaluate and analyze the year that has gone by. Ask them to identify the resolutions they made the previous year, and identify if they were able to stick to their goals. This can help them come up with ideas for realistic and valuable resolutions to make in the coming year.
January often marks the beginning of the second half of the school year, and it’s certainly a time to start looking ahead at your goals for the new year. Work with your students to keep them writing and progressing throughout their grade level, and allow them to learn to enjoy the creative writing process. It may be a time to ditch your old ways and create new habits, but you’ll never want your students to stop writing!