Remember that time you wrote a fun and creative essay in math class? No? Yeah, me neither. But why shouldn’t we include engaging creative writing in math? There are so many benefits to encouraging kids to write in math class. So allowing them to be creative while using math vocabulary and thinking openly about the subject seems like a no brainer to me. So when I read about this idea as an example of writing in math class in Linda Dacey’s book, I knew I had to create my own version for you to use! Learn more about this fun math writing prompt below.
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“The Day the Crayons Quit” Math Writing Prompt:
I’m sure you are familiar with the highly popular book, The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt. In this book, the crayons, tired of their typical uses (or neglect), write letters to announce that they have quit the job.
No more being used for mere outlines, cries the black crayon!
Use me for something other than water, cries the blue crayon!
And on and on it goes.
Your kids probably adore this engaging tale, so why not use that as a hook to get them thinking and writing about math.
With the math version, kids replace crayons with their choice of math object or tool.
For example, they might write a letter from the ruler, or the number line. Or maybe the clock or hundreds chart. Or a shape, like a circle or octagon.
As kids brainstorm and write their own letter from the math object that quit, they will have to think about how the object is used and why it might be disgruntled.
They will have to use appropriate math vocabulary.
And then they practice letter writing and can even draw a picture to go along with their letter if they want.
What a great combination of math thinking, letter writing and creativity!
This download is included in my online course, Thinking Deeply: How to Incorporate Meaningful Writing into Math Class. You can learn more about the complete course here.
Included in This Download:
As I mentioned, I saw the idea for this writing activity in Linda Dacey’s book, Why Write in Math Class?
But I thought it would be helpful for you to have some brainstorming pages and ready to use writing pages to help you complete this with your students!
This download includes 2 pages for brainstorming. The first gives kids space to write out all the different math tools they can think of. You may want to complete this as a class so they have a nice long list of ideas to choose from.
Once they have chosen their math object or tool, they have a page to plan why it might be quitting and things to remember about letter writing.
Once they’ve got a plan in place, they can write their letter!
There are 3 different letter writing pages you can print for students, depending on their age. A primary version, for example, includes primary writing lines and space for a picture.
But there are 2 other options for older kids who do not need the primary writing lines.
Or of course, you could use your own writing paper or journal to write the final draft if that is preferred.
I hope your kids have fun thinking about the importance of math in the real world, and the math tools we use everyday!
And most of all, I hope they have fun thinking outside the box!
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