How to Prepare for the Timed Extemporaneous Writing Competition –March/ April
During this month, practice randomly selecting 4 prompts from the 20 given for the student’s level (Span II, III, or IV) and category (A-D).
Students should practice writing essays WITHOUT their notes, taking special care to focus on the areas of import as noted in the rubrics. Depending on the given timeframe for practice (an hour after school vs. a whole Saturday afternoon, for some examples), it is a good idea to have a student write out an essay for each of the four prompts.
If you have limited time, and especially as this and next month progress, have students move from writing for all four randomly selected prompts to writing for just one. Work with your students to determine which prompts are their strongest prompts to be sure they will feel confident making decisions the day of the competition.
Be sure to work with students to talk about and include the cultural aspects—products, practices, and perspectives—that relate to the prompts, as well!
*You and your students may feel comfortable creating meaty outlines as opposed to writing out complete essays. That is an additional way to practice that allows for sustained practice with less time commitment!
During this time of practice, the student should work with a teacher, tutor, or excellent upper-level student to proofread the essays and make notes for improvements.