3 December Writing Units to Keep Students Engaged


Phew! The December struggle is REAL! The students are antsy, the teachers are burned out, and even though we just had a few days off for Thanksgiving, we need another break already! So, to tackle this problem, I’ve developed three writing units (two opinion and one creative narrative) to keep students engaged and motivated during this trying time in the school year. All you need to do is: read the descriptions below, choose the resource(s) that fits best with the writing standards you are currently teaching, familiarize yourself with it, and make some copies.

Opinion unit: Should schools assign work on snow days?

During this five day writing unit, students will first decide whether or not they think schools should assign work on snow days. Then, they will use a reference text to brainstorm, plan, write, revise, edit, and publish their essays. Also included are all of the materials you will need to guide your students through writing introduction paragraphs, body paragraphs, and conclusion paragraphs. You will also find student work samples and rubrics to help you with grading.

Opinion Unit: Buy My Gingerbread House!

This is another fun opinion unit to motivate and engage your students this month. Similar to the opinion unit above, it is five days and includes everything you need to breeze through the writing process for an opinion essay. The difference is that during the brainstorming step, students will design a gingerbread house and the goal of their essay is to convince prospective buyers to buy it. Again, valuable materials such as graphic organizers, planning pages, student work samples, rubrics, and more are included.

Creative Narrative Unit: Elf’s First Day

December can be a great opportunity to introduce or re-teach creative narrative writing! During this five day unit, your students will create and develop an Elf main character and write about his or her first day of work in the North Pole. This resource includes materials for teaching setting, story, and character development, as well as conflict and resolution, and all steps of the writing process. Sometimes, students can struggles with coming up with creative ideas on their own, so a one page informational text is included that summarizes different jobs that elves could have.

Your December Writing To Do List:

  • Chose one (or more) of the writing units above. Think about what type of writing you are currently teaching, or what your students need more practice with.
  • Download it.
  • Familiarize yourself with the resource.
  • Make the necessary copies.
  • Enjoy writing with your students until winter break!


April Smith

Curriculum Writer and Online Professional Development Coach. 


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