Freewriting is the practice of writing down
whatever comes into your mind for a predetermined amount of time without
stopping to think.
The key to this
activity is to keep writing, even when you feel stuck or at a loss for
Focused Freewriting simply
means freewriting with a specific topic or question in mind.
For example, you might ask students to
freewrite for 5 or 10 minutes at the beginning of class about a problem or
question raised by the author of the assigned reading.
Both of these activities can be useful tools
to generate ideas and discover opinions or attitudes on a subject, and can be
used at any point during a class session to help students focus on the topic at
hand and identify talking points for class discussion. Asking every student to write before a
discussion has the added benefit of increasing the number of students who have
thoughts to contribute.