Summer 2021 is upon us and every literacy advocate and organization has released their official summer reading lists. While everyone is excited to begin the beloved annual summer activity, the question begs to be asked, what about writing?
Writing is an incredibly important tool we humans have to help us think, learn and communicate. An article from Psychology Today, “How Writing Makes You Happier, Smarter, and More Persuasive” discusses various studies that prove or imply that writing helps people to unwind, communicate better and retain thinking skills. With so many benefits, why aren’t Summer Writing Lists assigned?!
Not only is it beneficial, but writing is necessary in our modern world. The skill is needed to pass elementary and secondary education levels as well college. Developed writing skills are necessary for full engagement in the workplace. We even use the written word in our personal lives– Facebook rant anyone? Don’t those come off much more relatable and understandable when they are well written? It is in everyone’s best interest to develop writing skills Facebook ranters – and their audience alike.
The best part about this journey is writing doesn’t have to be boring even though it can feel that way when the activity is mandated. This is why summer is a great time to explore writing projects that speak to one’s own soul. Be sure to mix it up, however. Satisfy your inner curiosity with an easy writing assignment, but remember, it is also important to be challenged by choosing writing projects that work on building different skills and may be out of your comfort zone. Diversify your writing journey by choosing projects with an analytical, comparative, descriptive or persuasive angle.
If you are not sure where to start with choosing your writing project, below you will find lists of summer writing project ideas and strategies. Try to complete one of the suggested tasks or let the ideas be a spring board for creating your own writing tasks.
Summer Reading Support:
- Find a question guide to your selected summer reading book and answer the questions on a blog or in a note book.
- Write a character analysis. This requires writing while reading and then writing after thinking. The finished product could be a presented as a blog post, letter to a friend, letter to the character, etc.
- Setting analysis.
- Prepare an interview for one of the main characters in the story and answer the questions in the way you think the character would answer.
- Write a journal entry from the point of view of the main character. Try to talk through the thoughts of the individual during a tough time in the story.
- Take Notes while reading – focus notes on your chosen analysis topic.
Explore Personal Interest Topic:
- Journal on Topic of Choice- Follow any updates on a particular topic all summer long. Record your thoughts in your journal on each article read. Aim for 10 articles through out the summer. Conclude the journal with a final entry that reveals your conclusion from your summer study. *Bonus points if you interview people or find additional information and include a written response to each piece of information in your journal.* Some Areas of Study could include:
- National Politics
- State Politics
- Local Politics
- Current Leaders in various industries
- Health topics:
- Specific Diseases
- Body Building
- Any other country
- of movements
- leaders of movements
- of states
- of cultures and people
- biographies of famous people and leaders or local heros
- of national holidays
- Current reading lists
- Classic literature
- Genre Based
- Geography Based
- Write a news article or a series of news articles about any topic of interest. (see list above.)
- Identify a specific company, event, industry, advancement to study. Identify all the top players and write short biographies on each and what their respective contribution to the industry.
- Find the slant – For a chosen, topic search out articles for it based on given philosophies and in an essay compare and contrast each article, pointing out the common facts used in each article and what isn’t common.
- Journal about a learning experience. Choose a fun, but educational place to go and make a date to visit. Prior to going decide what you want to learn about and pull online sources the destination offers about your given topic. By writing a pre-event, during event notes and post event reaction a learner will use writing to form a well rounded opinion and assessment of their learning experience.
- Assemble a YouTube Playlist of videos discussing your chosen topic. Produce a written response that includes a reflection on the theme your video collection, another writing that describes and defends each video selection on the playlist and another writing that provides a response to each video.
Writing for Change:
- Is there something happening in your neighborhood that has you concerned or upset? Or conversely, are you excited about a change or upcoming event? Take the time to write to your local government to let them know! You can write directly to the mayor of your town, or perhaps to a councilperson. Be sure to be respectful and present your thoughts in a concise and professional manner, even if you are upset.
- Is there something happening in your state that you want to express your opinion about? Write to your governor or your local senator. You can find out who your representatives are by going to Ballotpedia. Type in your address and find out who represents you and write to them this summer!
- What social issue leaves you shaken to the core? Learn about it and write about it! Either create an ebook or blog that focuses on bringing awareness to the worthy cause. Update the blog with posts relay interviews with the main actors of the movement as well as new people you were able to recruit for the cause.
- Volunteer to be a Soldier’s Angel. This service is a group of people that work to ensure that military members are engaging in communication with citizens back home. This service is a 3 month commitment, in which you are required to write one letter a month. Besides the time commitment, it appears to be a free service.
- Everyone has heard of pen-pals but have you heard of having a penpal in…prison? Its a real service. Writeaprisoner.com is a platform where people can find a prisoner with whom they can exchange correspondence. You can search prisoners to choose from based on their goals and interests as well as review the crime they are convicted of before committing to a pen-pal.
- Develop the entirety of your project into a blog, website or e-book.
- Develop a portfolio -digital or hard copy.
- Submit final written thoughts/article to local publications in an attempt to get published.
- Develop a slide show and post on a blog or website.
- Use a blogging app to create a digital magazine showcasing everything you read and learned over the summer.
Comment below – are you excited and motivated to produce a piece of writing this summer? What project will you choose? Do you have an idea that isn’t listed here?