Five Minute Friday- Teaching Free Writing

Strategy for Teaching Free Writing

Note:  This post was originally posted this morning on  With the transition to the new website, I will be reposting some of the posts here for you, the readers.  Check out and follow the new site for updates on all posts.  There will be new guest contributions coming soon. 

On adaptivelearnin I have featured Five Minute Friday bits as examples to help you (teachers) incorporate free writing practice. Students often struggle with writing anxiety. Five Minute Friday is a way to help students learn how to write freely without stress and restrictions. I’m excited to start this feature again.

Here’s what you need to know to participate in Five Minute Friday. Join in this “writing flash mob” with your students. It’s a simple and quick free writing exercise. Read my post introducing Five Minute Friday for details on how to participate. Also, check out how to incorporate Five Minute Friday with creating interactive posters for the “Writing Process”.

Set aside five minutes of free writing time to join me on writing about “Write”, today’s topic. Remember I’m applying my Five Minute Friday posts toward education and work, but you can write about anything about “Write” that sparks your interest.


I find today’s topic perfect for restarting the Five Minute Friday feature on adaptivelearnin. I’m excited to join with Lisa-Jo Baker in this great free writing flash mob. I believe Five Minute Friday is a great way for teaching free writing to students. As an ESL teacher, I have too often seen students extensively struggle with writing. Regular practice is key for development.

The great thing I love about Five Minute Friday is that it now only all allows students to practice free writing in five minutes, but it also allows people to comment on each other’s posts. Students can comment on each other’s writing assignment which is an excellent teachable moment. Teachers can use the comment stream to teach literary forms, verse, writing execution, expressing creativity and the like.

Writing shouldn’t be an anxious thing. As a student I always loved writing. As a teacher, I love writing. It saddens me when students struggle. I feel it’s our job as teachers to provide them with chances and experiences to help them learn that writing doesn’t have to be stressful. Through Five Minute Friday free writing, students can learn to use their mind’s to expand their creative voice. Best of all, those students who don’t like writing because it makes them so anxious, may even fall in love with writing.


Note: During Five Minute Friday, you are not supposed to stop to make any edits. Free writing without stopping is the purpose. Notice there are errors in my Five Minute Friday writing above. These errors will not be edited because editing them would defeat the purpose of Five Minute Friday. Part of the reason I’m featuring Five Minute Friday on adaptivelearnin is to teach students how to write without anxiety. I want them to see the errors to show them that errors are okay to make during free writing. I want this to be an educational experience for them. Feel free to use this or my other FMF posts as examples in lessons if you wish. You can also follow the Five Minute Friday posts on Twitter with hashtag #FMF. Happy Friday!

Five Minute Friday

Beth Crumpler is an founder of, which both present ideas for using adaptive concepts in learning. She works as a freelance curriculum writer, writing contributor/blogger, e-learning content developer, and instructor. She contributes regularly for TESOL International Association’s English Language Bulletin and for (working from home moms). She has developed and written content for major companies/institutions in the education sector. Beth is a certified teacher of ESL and music. She enjoys studying technology for teaching, crafting with her son, and in her spare time studies Spanish.


About adaptivelearnin

I am an educational professional who is passionate about needs analysis and materials creation to enhance student learning of all ages. I hope the content I share here will be of value to you in some way. Opinions are my own and are not those of my employer. Join me at my session for the 2013 TESOL International Conference, "ESL Instruction: Developing Your Skills to Become a Master Conductor", March 21 10:00 AM in room C144. My presentation focuses on listening, speaking and pronunciation music teaching techniques incorporated with ESL teaching. This is not your typical music/ESL presentation with chants and songs. Be prepared to use your vocal chords, diaphragm, lungs, mouth muscles, and arms like you have never used before in pronunciation, speaking and language instruction. Learn how to use music conducting skills in the language classroom to better facilitate language acquisition. Learn how to use music performance skills (vocal and instrumental) to better facilitate language learning. Be prepared to laugh and have fun. I look forward to meeting you and working with you.


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