ESL Writing Activity – Curation

ESL Writing Activity:


ESL Students Curating Content Similar to a Squirrel Collecting

Duration: 10-20 Minutes

Type: Partners or Individuals

What you will need:

  • Paper & Pencils (I suppose you know that ?)
  • Magazines, iPads, Computers, Newspapers
  • Topic, Theme or Category


Students curate articles, images, videos, or any other content along a particular theme or category, organize them and then write about them.

How to Organize:

  1. Pull a theme or category from the vocabulary, speaking, reading or writing sections of a unit. Here are a few examples: 
    1. The most important things to have on a deserted island.
    2. The best song lyrics about how students feel.
    3. Most helpful videos about global warming.
    4. Anything that illustrates the word "sinister" (or any other vocabulary word).
  2. Students curate content either on paper, or on a device. They can curate content on Pinterest, Google Docs, save into a Word file.
  3. Students get together with a partner to share and discuss their decisions.
  4. Students then complete a writing assignment. They can write about why they chose each piece of content or a description of each piece of content. They could also write a persuasive paragraph about why they think one thing is better than another.
  5. If your class time is limited, you can have students curate content at home so that you can focus your time in class on discussion and writing.


  • This activity gets students engaged by letting them make decisions about the content they want to gather. 
  • Students also love debating with other students about rating pieces of content which means they get some great speaking practice, often utilizing higher level vocabulary.
  • The writing is a natural extension from what they have been practicing.

You can read more about this engaging activity from Jennifer Gonzalez on the Cult of Pedagogy website here.

Used this activity before or have a variation? Share about it in the comments below!

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