Authentic Writing Takes a Tasty Turn


Class of students holding up restaurant reviews.

Grade five students have a new taste for the art of writing restaurant critiques, and their new skills earned them each a slice of pizza.

As an exercise in authentic writing, teacher Kristy Riccio had her students write reviews of their favorite local restaurants. The opinion/argumentative writing unit also required students to mail their reviews to the businesses. Students really connect to this type of learning, according to Riccio.

“I have found that students are motivated and more likely to write quality content when they have an authentic audience,” Riccio said. “Details, word choice, and voice become more meaningful.”

Student stands with man.Students now see their work reflected in the community. “All month long my students have been thrilled to find their reviews hanging up in Cullen’s Cafe, Northern Barrel, and the Western Diner,” said Riccio.

The lesson took a tasty turn. In response to one review, the entire class was treated to lunch from Pizza by Dominick. Riccio appreciates the gesture. “A big thank you to Pizza by Dominick for being such a wonderful part of this community.”

The pizza party gave rise to another authentic writing experience. Students also composed thank you letters to express their appreciation.

Last year, a student’s review of Bellini’s had a similar outcome. The class was treated to cannolis. 


Students at table with pizza. Students at table with pizza.





Students at table with pizza. Students at table with pizza.