Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Writing Marathon Resources Part #2 by Marcie Flinchum Atkins

Creating a marathon can be done with little to no cost at all. Today I will focus on the resources that I used to create a successful writing marathon. If you want to know more about the marathon, read this post.

Goal Setting
I met with the writing marathon students at the end of January. We created goals for the marathon, including daily, weekly, and monthly goals. We created a time and word count goal as well. It sounds complicated, but it wasn't. I created a little sheet where they could record their goals and keep track of what they accomplished each day.

We used Chrome books and students typed their writing into Google Docs. There are multiple reasons for this.
  1.     At the time, students were expected to type their writing for their statewide writing test. They needed experience typing their writing. Thankfully, this coming year, there is not writing test at the elementary level.
  2.     Using Google docs provided an easy way for them to keep track of their word count.
  3.     All of our students have access to Google Docs through our school.

If students didn't have Internet access at home, I gave them paper to keep in their writing marathon folder.

Each student received a folder with their goal sheet, paper, and prompts.

Writing Prompts
I created writing prompts for everyday. Students did NOT have to use them. In fact, many didn't. I only provided them so students would have something to write about, if they got stuck.

If you participate in a running marathon, you get a medal. But you don't just do it for the medal. It's too stinking hard and requires way too much work to just get a medal. Runners run marathons because they have some other intrinsic motivation, but the medal is nice reminder of the accomplishment.

Students who participated all received recognition. They received certificates, journals, and pens. Target and Michael's all had nice journals.

The top finishers in word count and time all received books about writing.

Do you have a great resource or suggestion? Leave it in the comments.

This series was originally posted on Marcie Atkins' website. It is the second in a 3-part series. Come back on Friday for more.


  1. Marcie: Setting goals is so important. Thank you for the reminder to do so. I appreciate the excellent Writing Marathon Resources in today's post. I look forward to reading Part III on Friday. The following link has some ideas for writing prompts. ~Suzy

  2. Luv the prompt about telling the story from pt. of view of a .... SNOWFLAKE!
    Mebe because of this part of the world we here are in .. F L O R I D A.

    Great lessons, great teacher, lucky young writers. We will look for their plays & books & movies some day.

    Appreciations, Marcie.

  3. I love that you did not require the kids to use the writing prompts, but that they were there. It had to have comforted the kids who struggled with getting started. This is a genius idea. I would love to talk with you about how to expand this to a slightly larger audience. I am thinking that it would be fun to try with a whole 'grade' or even my whole school.