Public Relations Today
Jayne Miller By Jayne Miller • September 28, 2015

Pumpkin-Spiced Everything: Student Writing Assignments Full of Fall Flavor


Semi-controversial statement coming: fall is the best season. (Halloween, sweater weather, pumpkinny things. I could keep going.)

If you’re working on student writing this semester, you might be into these writing projects that can easily be organized via your LMS. They’re quick to set up, easily converted into group/collaborative projects, and embrace all things autumn. 

Job Application: Cider Czar  

Your students are applying for a job. To get it, they must produce an awesome cover letter. The position? Something fantastically fall - cider czar, hay bale manager, scarecrow wrangler, Halloween specialist. You can have fun here.

The fake position(s) should include job responsibilities and qualifications. From there, students can get creative in describing what makes them an ideal candidate. It’s a great intersection of creative writing with a real-world product students will encounter as they begin to apply for jobs of their own.

Create a Pumpkin Product

It’s possible that we’ve hit some sort of threshold on new pumpkin products unveiled each fall. (Beverages. Cookies. Candles. Candies.) But with this creative writing project you can embrace the annual pumpkinfication of supermarkets everywhere. Have your students develop a new pumpkin-spiced item and write a commercial to sell it.

Points for the most creative products, as well as the commercial that best sells an item as being genuinely pumpkinnier than anything else on the aisles this fall.

Caption the Season

For something to keep students writing every day, consider a daily fall photo caption exercise. Post a fall photo on your discussion thread and challenge your class to come up with a poetic/funny/creative caption. They’re limited to two sentences and may drop their caption into the discussion thread.

For any budding photographers, invite students to share their fall photos to be included in the weekly lineup of pictures. Perhaps it will be an action shot from the homecoming game or leaves changing outside of school.

A Letter to My (Spring) Self

A lot can happen in one school year. In the fall, everything is new and full of potential. It’s an ideal time to do a play on the classic “letter to myself” project by having students write letters to themselves that will be opened in the spring. What do you hope for the year ahead? What do you think you will learn this year? How will things change in the next six months?

Fall Media Project

This is a really fun one that will require lots of collaboration and creative thinking. Have your students script/create a custom media project (video/podcast) that must include these five fall things:

A hay bale

The sound/image of someone biting into an apple

At least 10 seconds of a song that has the word “autumn” in it

Mention of pumpkin-spiced anything

Someone in a Halloween costume

You can get creative with your criteria. The goal is to produce a 4-to-5 minute project that artfully incorporates all of the fall elements you’ve outlined. It’s fantastic for groupwork and any course that is studying the basics of media production.

Expand your PLN