Rapid fire writing

Rapid-fire writing is a structured and fast-paced independent writing activity. It uses timed phases of writing and self-reflection to scaffold learners’ understanding of the main ideas in a topic.

In a rapid-fire writing task, learners are given a short period of time to reflect on stimulus material, then they write about the topic without stopping for three minutes. Learners are encouraged to write anything they think or feel in response to the stimulus material, with a focus on writing continuously.

Following this, learners are guided through a process of reflecting on their writing, followed by further writing and self-reflection until they are able to identify the main idea in their own writing. In the final phase, they share this main idea with their teacher and peers.

As an independent task, rapid-fire writing can be easily adapted to learning from home. Low-tech modifications using timers embedded into online slideshows enable learners to self-monitor their writing pace as they progress through the stages of the activity.

A no-tech alternative might involve teachers delivering instructions for the activity to learners who time themselves and drive their own progress through the stages of writing and reflection.

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