With the NAPLAN test coming up, how do we prepare students for test conditions?

The pressure of planning, writing and editing a whole text within 40 minutes is hard and students only get 5 minutes of this time to plan! Therefore, it’s important to practise writing using time restraints so they can feel more confident at test time.

On test day, students are given a writing prompt and asked to write a response for either narrative or persuasive writing. With 5 minutes of planning time, they need to think of ideas quickly! 

Action Activity – Fast Ideas!

Try this NAPLAN planning activity to challenge students to generate as many ideas as they can within a short time frame. The more they practice, the easier it gets and the more creative their ideas will be!

Download and print these free one-word writing prompts.

In the classroom

  1. Divide students into small groups and give each group a writing prompt.
    Turned over so they can’t see the word.
  2. Set a timer for 5 minutes
    You can reduce this down to 1–2 minutes for an extra challenge.
  3. Ask students to brainstorm and write down as many ideas as possible in the time frame provided. Make sure they don’t turn over the writing prompt yet until you’ve started the timer and said ‘go!’.
  4. When the timer stops, ask students to pick their top three ideas and share as a class.
  5. As a class vote for the top idea from each group.
  6. Have students individually write a Sizzling Start in 5 minutes, using the chosen idea.
    Not sure what a Sizzling Start is? Learn Step 2: Sizzling Starts
  7. Students can then share their Sizzling Starts within their groups for their peers to give feedback.

For a persuasive writing brainstorm activity, teach students to brainstorm arguments for both sides, but only in a mad minute! Then, they can select the side they’d like to write about. Get them used to doing this in a short amount of time, to fit the NAPLAN 5-minute planning time.

Uncover insights and learn what to focus on in the lead-up to NAPLAN

Simple guide to NAPLAN writing

Prepare your students for the NAPLAN writing task by nurturing great writers!

NAPLAN writing samples

Narrative and persuasive writing exemplars to help you deconstruct great writing in your classroom.

Teacher Hub resources:

Want more writing prompts?

We have lots more here:
Narrative photo writing prompts
Persuasive photo writing prompts

We have even more on Teacher Hub, including thinking questions and activities to use in the classroom. Head to the Resource Library and select ‘Writing Prompts’ under the ‘Resource Type’ heading.