Powerful Collaborative Writing



Muhammad (2021) asked her students to write 1-2 sentences that expressed the purpose and power of their pen. She they organized their lines together, without changing their language, creating the piece of writing in the box below.

This would be a great activity for a small group or class and it could cover a range of topics:

  • The power of knowledge
  • The impact of random acts of kindness
  • Books and reading
  • The wonder of travel
  • The benefits of pets

You could also use the strategy as a way of reviewing concepts you have taught:

  • Solids and liquids
  • Lifecycle of a butterfly
  • Water – a scarce resource
  • Healthy eating
  • Peer pressure
  • Bike safety
  • Fractions and decimals

Encourage students to ‘polish’ their writing so it is grammatically correct, descriptive, and on topic. Combine the students’ sentences into a whole and then give each student a copy of the finished product.

We, the Youth Authors, are inspirations of beauty. We use our pens to connect our hearts, share our stories, and bring change in the world. Standing here, we write our hearts out so people can hear the words we might not want to say out loud. Our pens will cross out hate and create spaces for humanity to live in peace—full of intelligence and creativity. We use our pens to help others be understood. Our pens can connect brains—work as lungs without breath. Our pens can speak, without speaking. Our pens can express what’s in our hearts while mending them at the same time. As future leaders, we use our pens to rewrite a world where we can be one with each other, and harmoniously divine. It is our joy that fuels it all. We write to remember ourselves. For we are levitation. We represent the next generation.


Muhammad, G. (2021). A pathway for levitation: The possibilities of culturally and historically responsive writing. Literacy Today. 39 (29), 62-62

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