Writing is difficult! And it’s difficult because the canvas is so wide open. So, I love a great writing constraint. It narrows my focus and makes writing fun again.
Here’s the perfect constraint for March 14th: writing with the digits of Pi.
To write in Pi, you pick words whose lengths match the digits of Pi. Since Pi starts with 3.14159265, I’d begin with a three-letter word, then use a one-letter word, a four-letter word, and so on. Here’s a short example:
Now, I took a jazzy crocodile to Sweden.
If I wanted to keep going, I’d pick a five-letter word.
The key, as always, is to scaffold. Lower the floor! Don’t throw students into the deep end. In my video version of this, I write the first few words, and then let students finish my sentence. In fact, I’d go a step further, and ask them to just brainstorm a bunch of words of various lengths. Get a big word bank going that students can draw from as they write.
Students who are capable are free to move beyond the scaffolds, but by building out some simple steps, you’ll get way more students successfully writing using the digits of Pi!