Ideas to Get Your Students Writing During Mandatory Closings

I’m not sure when it happened, but a few days ago we all woke up to a world that mirrored the dystopian novels I, personally, have always loved to teach. Yet, the stark comparison between reality and those fiction-favorites of mine has everyone on edge.

At this time, most school districts have been closed due to the recommendations of their state leadership. Many districts are working tirelessly to try to continue giving students educational opportunities, even in locations where internet access is limited. Educators are taking an understanding approach to the disrupt that this has caused in their students’ lives – yet they also don’t want their students to lose any of the ground they have worked so hard to cover this past year.

If you have students who are able to access Google Classroom or their email, and you want to keep them writing during this hiatus from school, try sending out one of the following writing ideas for your class.

Ideas to Get Students Writing During Mandated Closings

Idea #1: Daily Journal of Coronavirus Experience

This is an unprecedented time in history – never before have we seen the entire nation shut down schools in such unison to prevent the outbreak of disease. Have your students monitor the news daily, and journal about their experience during the mandated shutdown. Encourage them to write about their thoughts, the feelings they’re experiencing, and their opinions on the entire matter.

Idea #2: Coronavirus Narrative

Dystopian novels have exploded in popularity over the last decade or so. Give creative students a chance to blow off steam by asking them to write their own short story based around the Coronavirus event. Allow them to create their own characters, and give them complete creative license to blaze a trail with their stories.

Idea #3: Dystopian Film Comparison

Many students have access to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and YouTube during the shut down. Ask them to pick a dystopian film of their choice, and write a few paragraphs that compare the fictional world to our current one.


  • The Hunger Games
  • Divergent
  • Maze Runner
  • The Giver
  • 1984
  • Matrix

Idea #4: Survival Guide

Ask students to objectively write about their observations of how people handled the Coronavirus closings. Then, ask them to compile a detailed survival guide that, if they went back in time 6 months, would have been extremely useful in preparing for this time.

Idea #5: Coronavirus Perspective Story

Have your students do some preliminary research on the symptoms of the virus. Then, ask them to step into the shoes of a person who is experiencing the Coronavirus. Have them create a short story about how their character reacts to their time with the illness, and how they view the way others treat them.

Idea #6: Student President Press Release

Encouraging students to envision themselves as our nation’s future leaders is a wonderful way to get them writing on this topic. Ask students to envision themselves as the President of the United States. If they had to deal with this epidemic, what exact measures would they take in order to best protect the American people?

Do you have writing ideas surrounding the Coronovirus that you’d like to share? Comment your ideas, and I may add them to a later post!

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