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HomeClassroom ResourcesCalendar Activities

October 20

Celebrate the National Day on Writing!

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Celebrate the National Day on Writing!

Grades K – 12
Calendar Activity Type Literacy-Related Event





To draw attention to the remarkable variety of writing Americans engage in and to help make writers from all walks of life aware of their craft, the National Council of Teachers of English has established October 20 as the National Day on Writing. It's important for everyone to share their knowledge about writing, organize participating groups in our schools and/or communities, and transform the public's understanding of writing and the role it plays in society today.




Encourage your students to uncover all of the different kinds of writing they do on a daily basis by asking them to keep a list of everything they write, from text messages to school assignments, e-mails to diary entries, in a single day.

After students make a list of everything they wrote in a day, help them see the variety in their writing, both individually and as a class. Post colorful chart paper with age-appropriate questions about purpose, audience, genre or type, and technology around the room. Ask students to brainstorm different categories for each poster based on the writing they did. Write these categories on the posters and then have students contribute examples from their personal lists. Facilitate a gallery walk of the posters once students have contributed to all of them.

Encourage students to view and reflect on all kinds of writing - no matter the purpose, audience, type, or technology.




  • The National Day on Writing

    Here you will find information about the National Day on Writing initiative, as well as links to a variety of NCTE writing resources and tips for writing.


  • Tips for Writers

    Keep these tips from NCTE in mind as you think about your writing.


  • NCTE Position Statements on Writing

    This collection of position statements includes the "NCTE Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing" and "Writing Now: A Policy Research Brief."


  • National Writing Project

    This is the online home of the NWP, a professional development network with the mission of improving student achievement by improving the teaching of writing and improving learning in the nation's schools.


  • The New York Times Learning Network

    The Learning Network provides teaching and learning materials and ideas based on New York Times content.


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Grades   K – 2  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Family Message Journals Teach Many Purposes for Writing

This lesson encourages children to explore authentic reasons for writing by writing messages to their family in a family message journal.


Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Recurring Lesson

Write-Talks: Students Discovering Real Writers, Real Audiences, Real Purposes

There's a world of writers out there, and in this lesson students discover them as they listen to presentations from local writers and learn about what, why, and how they write in their day-to-day lives.


Grades   K – 2  |  Lesson Plan  |  Recurring Lesson

Note Writing in the Primary Classroom

This lesson provides a wealth of ideas for using notes in the classroom to promote authentic writing among children.


Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Who's Got Mail? Using Literature to Promote Authentic Letter Writing

Students discuss and chart letter elements and write their own letters to adults at school, reinforcing letter-writing skills beyond the classroom lesson.


Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Minilesson

Audience, Purpose, and Language Use in Electronic Messages

Students explore using electronic messaging and Internet abbreviations for specific purposes and examine the importance of using a more formal style of writing based on their audience.


Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Help Wanted: Writing Professional Resumes

Students will create a beginning resume that represents their current work experience and demonstrates their knowledge of rhetorical situations for professional writing.


Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

How-To Writing: Motivating Students to Write for a Real Purpose

It's not easy surviving fourth grade (or third or fifth)! In this lesson, students brainstorm survival tips for future fourth graders and incorporate those tips into an essay.


Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Cultural Connections and Writing for Change

A little understanding can go a long way. After learning about difficulties that Palestinian youths face, students will write a letter to an official discussing these issues.


Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Get Cooking With Words! Creating a Recipe Using Procedural Writing

Students participate in read-alouds of books that exemplify effective word choice, explore how to choose words to best communicate an idea, and then write explicit instructions for a recipe.