top of page

Treasure Chests: A Gathering Place for Writing

The beginning of the year is crazy busy for teachers everywhere so I’m here to remind you that now is a good time to set up a system for saving your students’ writing throughout the year.

In my classroom, we used Treasure Chests: a manilla folder that was stored in a plastic milk crate in the writing center.

Each student had their own folder which they decorated with drawings of things that were important to them or however they wanted. (Of course, what this looks like will vary at different grade levels.)

I think it’s important to let students decorate their Treasure Chest. After all, this folder will hold all of their writing treasures throughout the year so we want it to be a special place and personalized.

When the decorating is done, simply gather the folders and place them into a plastic milk crate and place them in your classroom writing center or somewhere in the room where students can access them easily. (I found it easier to place each Treasure Chest inside a hanging folder first.)

What kind of writing goes into the Treasure Chests?

Any and all kinds of writing should be placed in a Treasure Chest:

  • Writing that represents thinking

  • Students' favorite finished pieces

  • Samples from genre units

  • Notebook entries

  • Evidence of growth

  • Drafts that could be finished later

  • Required writing samples or benchmark writing

  • Any writing students are proud of and want to save