Writing is usually thought of as a solo activity, but with a little creativity, there are plenty of ways for your students to collaborate on writing projects! Here are some of our favorite collaborative writing activities for elementary students.
3 Collaborative Writing Projects for Elementary Students
These collaborative writing projects can be adapted for all grade levels, and will help your students practice descriptive, narrative, persuasive or expository writing skills. We’ve provided ideas that you can easily incorporate into your existing lesson plans in other subjects.
In addition to practicing writing, collaborative projects like these present the perfect opportunity to create a memorable classbook.
Writing Activity #1: Have students interview a partner and ask them questions about their favorite things.
You can use this activity at any point in the school year to “mix things up” and encourage students to get to know others outside of their usual group. Students may even develop new friendships while they build their writing skills!
Provide students a list of interview questions to get them started or have them write their own. Students can ask their partner about their favorite:
- Movie, character and/or actor
- TV show
- Family activity
- Place to visit
- Song and/or musician
Have your students use a mind map to organize the information with their partner’s name in the middle and their favorite things in the bubbles around the name. This will help them remember what their partner’s answers were so they can begin writing about their favorite things.
Writing Activity #2: Have students create their own superhero world together and describe what their heroes do.
Here’s a way to tap into kids’ love of superheroes to generate real excitement for a writing project. Divide students into pairs and have each pair decide if their story portrays them as superhero partners, a hero and sidekick, or maybe even a superhero and supervillain.
Students at all grade levels will enjoy using their descriptive writing skills to tell you all about their hero’s powers and costume. There’s also the fun of coming up with a creative name for their hero!
Students in lower grade levels can describe what their heroes’ powers are and what they look like. Older students can use their narrative writing skills to develop a backstory for their hero (how did he or she get their powers?) as well as a backstory for the pair of heroes. How did they meet? How did they start working together? Do they know each other’s real identity?
Older students with a broader worldview can work together to describe the city or world their superheroes inhabit. Is it a fantasy world? A city like Superman’s Metropolis? A gloomy setting like Batman’s Gotham? A real-life city like New York City? To spark ideas, show age-appropriate video clips from superhero movies and have students jot down words or phrases to describe the settings.
Writing Activity #3: Have a pair of students research two animals that work together to survive and present their research to the class
This collaborative writing project ties in perfectly with a science and nature unit on animals. There are many examples of unlikely symbiotic relationships in nature you can assign to student pairs. Here are a few to get you started:
- Crocodiles and Egyptian plovers
- Wolves and hyenas
- Crabs and poisonous sea urchins
- Remoras (sucker fish) and sharks
Have one student write about one half of the pair and their partner write about the other half - if you feel that this may cause some conflict, go ahead and assign each partner their specific animal. They can do their research together and then split off to write about their half of the animal pair.