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Quill Lessons Getting Started Guide
Quill Lessons Getting Started Guide
Quill Lessons is our teacher-led instructional tool. Find out how to set up, use, and complete your first Quill Lessons activity.
Updated over a week ago

Quill Lessons enables teachers to lead whole-class and small-group writing instruction. Teachers control interactive slides that contain writing prompts, and the entire class responds to each prompt. Each Quill Lessons activity provides a lesson plan, writing prompts, discussion topics, and a follow-up independent practice activity.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Quill Lessons Video

This video provides a brief overview of Quill Lessons, including how to navigate the slides and the various features built into the tool.

Setting Up the Lesson

Assigning the Lesson

To assign a Quill Lesson:

  • Click the “Assign Activities” tab.

  • Click “Explore all activities in our activity library”.

  • In the activity library, use the “Whole Class Instruction” filter to search for Quill Lessons activities.

From there, you can search for the type of lesson you are hoping to assign by typing it into the search bar or using additional filters. Once you find the concept you are looking to teach, you can preview, select, and assign the lesson to your classes.

Reviewing the PDF Lesson Plan

As soon as you assign the lesson, you can review the lesson plan on your teacher dashboard. To access the lesson plan:

  • Click the “Home” tab

  • Scroll to the section titled “Present a live lesson”

  • Click the three dots next to a lesson’s name

  • Click “Download Lesson Plan”

Present a live lesson section of the teacher dashboard

The lesson plan will list each of the prompts and suggested discussion topics. If you would like, you can print out the PDF and annotate the discussion questions to use during the lesson. Here's a sample lesson plan PDF.

Using the Lesson

Launch the Lesson

In order to use a Quill Lesson with your students, you must launch the lesson. To launch a Quill Lesson:

  • Click the “My Activities” tab

  • Click the “Launch Lessons” link underneath the “My Activities” tab

  • Use the dropdown menu to select a class, locate the lesson, and click "Launch lesson" to get started.

Students join the lesson

Once you launch the lesson, students can click the "Join lesson” button that appears. On your view of the Quill Lesson, you will see how many of your students have joined.

Note: If students see a “Needs teacher” message on their dashboards, the lesson has not been launched yet.

Watch Teacher Mode

Throughout the lesson, you can use the “watch teacher” button, which pauses student screens and instructs students to redirect their attention to you. You can turn "Watch teacher" mode on to ensure students cannot see the content of slides and redirect their attention to you. Then, click the icon to turn "Watch teacher" mode off to allow students to view the lesson again.

Watch teacher mode

Completing a Question

When your students come to the first question, they will be prompted to enter an answer. You can then select a few strong answers to project to your students by checking the box under “Select to Display”, then click “Display Selected Answers.”

Select to display, then display selected answers

Retrying Questions to Demonstrate Mastery

For each individual practice slide, you can project strong student answers to help the students discuss and understand the material. After sharing a few strong answers, click the circular arrows button, which allows all students to start over and submit a new response.

Have student retry question

Flagging Students

During the lesson, you may notice that a few students could receive additional support or practice in applying the concepts. Use the flag button to mark these students for follow-up practice. As you progress through the slides, some of your flagged students may demonstrate mastery and others may not.

Flag students throughout the lesson to provide follow-up small group instruction

Completing the Lesson & Follow-Up

Assign Follow-Up Practice

At the end of the lesson, you will have the following options:

  • Pull your flagged students into small groups and send the rest of your students into an independent practice activity

  • All students begin the independent practice activity immediately

  • Assign the independent practice activity for completion at a later date

  • No follow-up practice

Select the option you would like, then click the button at the bottom of the page that appears with your selection.

Select small group instruction and independent practice at the end of the lesson

Small-Group Instruction Ideas

Ask your small group to write down a few of the prompts from your Quill Lessons PDF in their notebooks or on a whiteboard and walk through the process with them once again. Engage each student in a discussion around improving one another's answers. As your small group works, you can provide personalized feedback based on your students' responses. During the small group instruction, the rest of your class can work independently on their follow-up activity.

You can also use gradual release or the “I do/We do/You do” model with your small group. Model how to use the concept, then have students work on the concept together, then have students work on the concept independently before they begin their follow-up practice in Quill.

Mark Lesson as Complete and View Report

Once your students have completed the lesson, you will need to mark the lesson as complete to officially close the lesson. When you assign follow-up practice within the lesson, the lesson will automatically be marked as complete.

Congratulations! You've completed a Quill Lessons activity

Then, you can click the “Exit Lesson | View Report” button to view the Activity Analysis report of the lesson.

Exit lesson, view report button

If you exited the lesson before assigning follow-up practice, though, you can mark the lesson as complete by:

  • Clicking the “My Activities” tab

  • Access the “Launch Lessons” sub-tab

  • Click the “Mark as Complete” link next to a lesson’s title

Mark as complete link next to a lesson's title

Then, you can view the report by clicking the “View Report” button that appears.

View report link appears after marking the lesson as complete

Quill Lessons Checklist

  • Find Quill Lessons Activity using the Activity Library filters

  • Review PDF lesson plan

  • Assign Quill Lesson to classes

  • Customize slides

  • Launch the Quill Lesson from the Teacher Dashboard or My Activities tab

  • Use Teacher Model to demonstrate the concept

  • Share student responses during the lesson

  • Have students retry responses after discussing examples

  • Flag students for small group instruction

  • Assign follow-up independent practice activities

  • Mark lesson as complete

  • View student responses on the Activity Analysis report

Questions to Guide Discussion


  • What is the relationship between the parts of this sentence?

  • What are all the joining words we could use to connect these ideas?

  • How are the sentences you can see different from one another? How are they the same?

For analyzing strong responses:

  • Which of these responses would you use in your writing? Why?

  • What might change your choice?

  • How does the sentence structure change the meaning?

For revising responses:

  • How could I correct this response?

  • How could I improve this response?

  • What rule could we write to prevent this writer from making this error again?

For discussion of style:

  • Which of these responses sounds better when you read it out loud?

  • What vocabulary would you change to make this sentence your own?

  • What is the writer communicating with their word choices?

Have more questions?

Please feel free to send a message to the Quill team using the green message bubble on the bottom right corner of the screen or email us at

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