Oh my!! I have just stumbled upon the most wonderful way to get your students writing without having to produce any output at all! They can write with INPUT! Crazy, right?
How to do it? BLACKOUT POEMS! They are great! Simply take a text in the target language (a newspaper article, a story…anything) and hand it to students along with a thick, black marker. They ‘black out’ as much of the text as they want, leaving behind isolated letters, words, and phrases that, when read in order, create a poem. It of course leaves much room for grammatical inaccuracy, especially as students piece together their poem at the letter and word level. That being said, I think that beginning with correct language is more likely to lead to [more] correct output. We’ll see! I’ve not tried it out yet.
To give your students some direction, assign a topic: create a poem that talks about how a character feels or identifies his or her struggle, creates a metaphor for the events, solves or summarizes the problem involved, tells a joke, expresses the student’s reaction to the piece, communicates a life lesson, gives advice to a character or friend, etc. Students will get in TONS of repetitions of the structures as they critically read and re-read the text, trying to develop a poem and deciding what should stay and what should go! I love this!
For some really cool examples, just do a google image search for “blackout poems”. You will see that many of them also have an artistic aspect to them–some kind of a shape or form created by the blacked-out text.
Manifesto – A Blackout Poem by Kevin Harrell (http://www.blackoutpoetry.net/post/26837413246/kevinharrell-manifesto-a-blackout-poem-by)