5×5 Timed Writing

Since I teach Honors Composition and Research, which is a prerequisite for AP Language and AP Literature, I try not to do many forty minute timed writings. One because finding prompts other teachers do not use is difficult, and two, not all of my students will continue into the AP track. However, timed writing is still an important skill, and by condensing my timed writings into two five minute sections, I can teach the skill but not take up a lot of class time. Students are given a minute to look over the prompt (I usually read it with them and explain as I read). Then, students have five minutes to read and annotate the prompt and five minutes to answer the prompt. Having short timed writing assignments ensures that I will not have a lot of reading to grade, and I can return the assignment promptly with feedback. My students have noted that they find the 5×5 stressful, but my hope is forty minutes in AP will not feel as short for those who take those courses.

Here are a few that I gave last school year. The Immigration 5×5 is free; the others are available on Teachers Pay Teachers.

(11 minutes) Immigration

(11 minutes) Rhetoric in Music

(11 minutes) Photography

(11 minutes) Syntax in Obama Speech

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