writingElectronic Writing &
Communicating Across the Curriculum

Use the following resources on this page to explore ideas for electronic writing and communicating across the curriculum using your handheld device.

Palm Software for Writing

  • Palm Software
    • What-If Builder. Allows students to create decision trees and choose your own adventure stories. (freeware)

Try It!
Brainstorm ways to use the What-If Builder.

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Writing with the Palm

  • Incorporate 6+1 Trait Writing
    • Ideas - the heart of the message
    • Organization - the structure
    • Voice - the tone and flavor
    • Word Choice - vocabulary
    • Sentence Fluency - rhythm and flow
    • Conventions - mechanics
    • Presentation - appearance on page
    • Website Resources

Try It!
Select one of the 6+1 trait areas. Brainstorm ideas for using Word to Go for specific writing activities.


Writing Ideas

  • Writing Activities for the Palm
    • Advice Column. Beam fictional situation and write advice column such as fashion, friendships, family dilemma, social issues.
    • Chain Writing. One person in the small group starts a question or problem. The Palms are traded and others add or extend the idea.
    • Classified Ads. Beam a description of an object to your partner. They need to write a classified ad that will convince readers to buy the object.
    • Editorial. Working in Pairs, write about 2 sides of an issue. Use the examples from USA for ideas.
    • In-the-Middle. Provide the start and end of a story, article, issue, experiment, and ask students to fill in the steps in the middle.
    • Instructions. Write instructions or directions for using an objects in the school.
    • Put it Together. Each person writes about one aspect of the project, steps in a process, elements of the experiment, characters in the story, piece of the whole, and then all are beamed to one place to put them together.
    • Proofreading. Use Houghton Mifflin Power Proofreading as a tool for proofreading. Then, apply the new skills to a writing assignment on the Palm.
    • Scripts. Write a script for a television pilot featuring content related to science or social studies standards.
    • Evaluating. Use Houghton Mifflin Evaluation Station
      Great tools for self-evaluating different types of writing such as Opinion Essay, Persuasive Essay, Compare-Contrast Essay, Research Report, Personal Narrative, and Story. Good practice using the web for reading and interaction .

Try It!
Explore ReadWriteThink. How could these activities be adapted for the Palm? Brainstorm high-impact, low-time activities.

Types of Writing

Autobiography and Biography


  • Palm Activities
    • Business communications
    • Email
    • Formal and Informal communications
    • Thank You communications



News Writing


  • Select a person, object, or event to observe.
  • Note any changes, catalysts, or key events.
  • Be sure to describe details.
  • Be sure to record specific data needed for analysis.
  • Topics: natural objects, plants, animals, building specs


  • Palm Activity: The Poetry of the Periodic Table
    • Check out the Periodic Table of Poetry.
    • Download the ChemTable 2.23 (best) tool or Element 1.5.4.
    • Use the ChemTable to locate information about three elements you find interesting.
    • Use Inspiration on the Palm to record the following information: atomic mass, boiling point, classification, density, element symbol, melting point.
    • Learn about the uses for your element at Web Elements.
    • What makes your element particularly unique or interesting? Seek out connections. For example is there a relationship between melting point, boiling point, and classification?
    • Compare your elements to your classmates in a small group.
    • Write a poem that includes at least five facts about your element.
    • More ideas:
  • Web Resources

Fiction Writing

Survey and Interview

  • Palm Activity
    • Write interview questions in Word to Go.
    • Record background information about the person and situation.
    • Take notes on answers.
    • Topics: views on issues, memories, favorites
    • Science: What are the chemical hazards in your world?
  • Palm Activity: Apply the ALERT Method from the Montana Heritage Project.
    • Ask. Develop essential questions.
    • Listen. Collect information from various sources in the community.
    • Explore. Follow different paths suggested by information.
    • Reflect. Think about what you've found and build understands.
    • Transform/Tell. Share what you've learned with others.
  • Web Resources

Persuasive Writing

Persuasive Writing Ideas

  • Teamwork.
    1. Create teams to represent particular views.
    2. Write arguments in Word to Go. Beam to team mates. Combine for best list.
    3. Hold class debate.
    4. Explore the Point of View Lesson for ideas on creating arguments
Electronic Debate
  • Use Slides to Go to create an electronic debate.
  • Working in pairs, students come up with at least seven key issues related to their topic.
  • Students each create a slide with their side of each of the key issues.
  • Variations:
    • Use Inspiration to create a concept map showing each side of the issue.
    • Students can each create a characters that represents their perspective, point of view, or character.
    • A third member of the group can create the introductory slide for each issue within the topic.
    • Slides can be combined to create a single slide show for the class.
  • Website Resources:
  • ReadWrite Think: Persuasion Map

Vocabulary Development

  • Palm Activities
    • Idioms. Create simple sketches of idioms on the Palm.
    • Analogies. Create a Palm guide to cool analogies
    • Metaphors. Create simple sketches of metaphors on the Palm.
    • Roots, Prefixes, Suffixes. Create a team Palm database for a subject of their choice.
  • Figurative Language from 42explore

Try It
Using the ideas above, design a writing activity that connects to a science or social studies standard.

Explore 42explore: English and Language Arts.

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Multimedia Creation

Many television and radio program transcripts, video, and audio is available for downloading. You and your students could even create your own scripts and develop Podcasts!


  • Palm Software
    • AnimateIt!

Audio, Podcasting, and Speech

  • Palm Software
  • Palm Activities
    • Write scripts for 1-3 minute audio segments
      • Write interview questions on the Palm.
      • Write show audio skits on the Palm.
      • Conduct fictional interviews with historical figures or book characters.
      • Create your own podcasts and web-based audio magazines.
      • Create a subject area focused series of audio program similar to Earth and Sky radio.
  • Desktop Software
    • Audacity Software - (free, open source software for Mac & Windows) record and edit your own MP3 audio files to share online. Listen using Audioplayer
  • Web Resources


  • Palm Software
  • Palm Activities
    • Phases of mitosis
  • Web Resources

Slide Show

  • Palm Software
    • Slides Show to Go


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Developed by Annette Lamb, 1/06.