I have always loved inspiring quotes and am constantly trying to find ways to incorporate them into my classroom. While browsing through Instagram at the beginning of the year, I saw that my friend @themrsodie posted something about her class doing a Quote Quick Write. I was immediately intrigued and contacted her asking for more information. What she shared with me was so inspiring, and something I started implementing with my students right away!
Selecting Quotes for Quote Quick Write
When we first started doing Quote Quick Write (or QQWs as my students now fondly refer to them), I wanted to make sure to model for my student the types of high quality quotes that were ideal. After selecting quotes, I would post them for my students to access. My district uses Edmodo, but you could post the quote on whatever site you use with your class (a blog, Google classroom, etc.). You could even write your quote on a whiteboard, anchor chart, or project it from your computer or iPad!
When my students come into our classroom first thing in the morning, they unpack, sharpen their pencils, and pull up the quote of the day on Edmodo using their iPads. They take out their QQW journal and write down the quote of the day at the top of their paper and then start to formulate their response. When we first started doing these, my students would only write a couple sentences, but now a lot of them are writing a page each morning! I usually give them 15-20 minutes to get unpacked and ready for the day and do their QQW. While they are doing this I am doing attendance and taking care of other morning business.
We usually do a QQW usually 2-4 days a week. After the first week and a half where I was the one selecting quotes, my students started to find quotes on their own that they said would be PERFECT for our QQW and asking if they could post the quote for the next day. That is when we started our QQW student sign-up! I wrote dates on our whiteboard for the next two weeks and students signed up for the day they wanted to post the quote. I have them show me the quote ahead of time and then they usually try to post it the evening before so it’s ready first thing in the morning when students come in! Lately, some students have been so excited about finding multiple great quotes that they post a couple and tell their classmates that they can choose which quote to respond to!
Quote Quick Write Anchor Charts
When we started our QQWs, we talked about what a good response would look like. We created an anchor chart with sentence stems to help students push their thinking. This gave them a foundation for thinking about responding to quotes.
In addition, we reviewed what a quality 5th grade writing response looks like. One of the things Lucy Calkins mentions is giving students opportunities to build their writing fluency and write down their thoughts as they come, instead of just sitting there saying that they don’t know what to write. That is what I wanted to focus on for our QQWs, so we came up with an informal rubric that students could use daily to evaluate their QQW.
It’s amazing now to have students look back through their QQW journal to their responses at the beginning of the year. They love seeing how much their writing has improved!
Sharing Student Responses
Not only are the quotes we write about inspirational, but students’ responses are too! I don’t want their writing to just remain in their writing journal so no one else sees it, so I make sure to provide opportunities for students to share their Quote Quick Write responses with their classmates. One way we do this is after the QQW time period is over for the morning, I ask who would like to share their response. Students can volunteer to share their whole response, or maybe their favorite sentence or paragraph.
Another thing students do is upload their responses to our online learning platform (Edmodo). They just snap a quick picture of their notebook. You could also have students share it on a blog, publish one student’s response a day on Twitter, or pair them up with a writing partner to share their writing.
After months of doing this, students had a journal filled with amazing responses to inspirational quotes and we decided that it was time to publish our favorites! Students flipped through their notebooks and decided on their favorite response. Then they typed it on their iPads and found (or made) a picture of the quote to put at the top of their paper. My students love designing their own backgrounds for quotes… they usually do this either using the app Pixie on their iPads, or with paper and markers/colored pencils!
My students are now experts at finding quotes! Some of them have favorite websites they look at, others just do a search for inspirational quotes and pick their favorites! Here are some sites to get you started:
- Brainy Quote – This site allows you to search by popular topics and authors. Plus they have beautiful picture backgrounds to go with a lot of the quotes!
- Values – Great quotes with beautiful images! You can click on the type of quote (trust, smile, achievement) to see more quotes in that category.
I hope this helps you get started with Quote Quick Writes in your classroom!