This year, in my AP English 3 class, we have a writing activity called zero-drafting. During this activity, we all just basically write nonstop for eight minutes, on pretty much anything we want. A prompt is given, but no one really needs to follow the prompt. No one but us will ever read what we write, and there really is only one rule: keep writing.
Whenever zero-drafting begins, I always imagine my entire class in this mental playground together. It’s like recess, all over again. We’re back in elementary school; we have so much freedom to run and jump and climb and do whatever we want to do. We are relearning to think outside the box, and insert our personality into what we do, skills that some of us may have lost over the years of boring, brain-draining schoolwork. So hey everyone, let’s all write about our favorite sandwiches. Or you know what, I will write about cheese because I feel like it. And you can rant about safety pins; I don’t really care. It just feels so liberating to be able to just write, about anything and everything.
I’ve noticed that my classmates and I get so absorbed into what we are writing, we’re always sad when we hear the timer. I can’t help but notice how similar it is to how we always felt when the recess bell rang and we all had to go back to class. Recess in elementary school was meant for us to take a break and release our pent up energy by going crazy and having fun on the slides, the swings, or whatever we wanted to play with. To me, zero-drafting is the same thing, except maybe with less exercise. It is simply an enjoyable assignment that I believe has the potential to relax, teach, inspire, and enlighten students, all at the same time. I am really looking forward to continuing to explore this wonderful playground of creativity and freedom called zero-drafting as the year progresses. I have high hopes for this English class already, so hopefully it doesn’t disappoint!