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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 enable teachers to lead whole-class and small-group writing instruction. Teachers control interactive slides that contain writing prompts, and each student in a class responds to each prompt. Each Quill Lessons activity includes a Quill 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 a Quill Lesson

To assign a Quill Lesson...

  • Click the Assign Activities tab and click the Explore all activities in our activity library card.

  • In Quill's activity library, check the Whole Class Instruction filter to only see Quill Lessons activities.

From there, you can search for keywords in the Search for concepts, activities, and more field or check additional filters to find the Quill Lesson that you would like to assign. Once you find a Quill Lesson you would like to assign, you can preview and assign the Quill Lesson to your classes.

Review the Quill Lesson Plan

Every Quill Lesson contains an associated plan in PDF format. As soon as you assign a Quill Lesson, you can review the plan. The plan will list each prompt and suggested discussion topics within the Quill Lesson. If you would like, you can print out the plan and annotate the discussion topoics to use during the Quill Lesson. Here's a sample Quill Lesson plan.

There are two ways to access a Quill Lesson plan.

1. On the Overview page in the Home tab...

a. Scroll to the section titled, Present a live lesson and click the three dots next to the Quill Lesson's name.

Present a live lesson section of the teacher dashboard

b. Click Download lesson plan.

​2. On the Launch Lessons page in the My Activities tab...

a. Hover over and click the Download Lesson Plan icon to the far right of the Quill Lesson's name.

Using a Quill Lesson

Launch the Lesson

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

  • Navigate to the My Activities tab and click the Launch Lessons sub-tab.

  • Use the dropdown menu in the upper left of the page to select the class to which the Quill Lesson is assigned, find the Quill Lesson, and click the Launch Lesson button to the far right of the Quill Lesson's name to get started.

Students join the lesson

Once you launch the Quill Lesson, students will be able to click the Join the lesson button that appears in their Quill accounts. In the teacher view of the Quill Lesson, you will see how many of your students have joined the Quill Lesson

Tip πŸ’‘
If students see a Needs teacher message on their dashboards, the Quill Lesson has not been launched yet.

Watch Teacher Mode

Throughout the Quill Lesson, you can use the Watch Teacher button in the upper right corner of the page, which pauses the student view of the Quill Lesson and instructs students to redirect their attention to you. You can click the Watch Teacher icon to turn the Watch Teacher mode on to ensure that students cannot see the Quill Lesson slides and redirect their attention to you. Then, when you want students to view the Quill Lesson slides again, you can click the Watch Teacher icon again to turn the Watch Teacher mode off.

Completing a Question

On student practice slides, students will be prompted to enter a response. When students submit responses, you can select a few responses to display to your students by checking the corresponding boxes within the Select to Display column and clicking the Display Selected Answers button.

Select to display, then display selected answers

Retrying Questions to Demonstrate Mastery

As mentioned, for each student practice slide, you can display selected student answers to encourage your students to discuss and better understand the material. After displaying and discussing some answers, if there are some students who did not correctly use the relevant writing skill, click the circular arrows icon in the Have Student Retry column to the far right of these students' names to prompt these students to submit a new response.

Have student retry question

Flagging Students

During a Quill Lesson, you may notice that a few students may benefit from receiving additional support or practice in applying the relevant writing skills. Use the flag icon in the Flag column to so that you may easily identify these students. Please note that students will not be notified if you flag them.

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

Completing a Quill Lesson

Assign Follow-Up Practice

At the end of a Quill Lesson, you will have the following options:

  • Pull your flagged students into a small group for discussion and direct the rest of your students to complete a follow-up independent-practice activity

  • Direct all students to immediately begin the follow-up independent-practice activity

  • Assign the follow-up independent practice activity so that students may complete it at a later date

  • Do not assign the follow-up independent-practice activity

Select the option that you would like to use and click the button that corresponds with your selection at the bottom of the page.

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 Lesson plan in their notebooks or on a whiteboard and walk through the process of writing responses to these prompts with them. Engage each student in a discussion about improving their responses. As your small group works, you can provide personalized feedback based on your students' responses. While you are working with your small group, the rest of your class can work on the follow-up independent-practice 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 writing skill, prompt students to work on the writing skill together, and prompt students to work on the writing skill independently before they begin their follow-up independent-practice activity.

Mark Lesson as Complete and View Report

Once your students have completed a Quill Lesson, you will need to mark the Quill Lesson as complete to officially close it.

When you assign the follow-up independent-practice activity immediately after the Quill Lesson, the Quill 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 for the Quill Lesson.

Exit lesson, view report button

If you exit the Quill Lesson before assigning follow-up independent-practice activity, you can mark the Quill Lesson as complete by first navigating to Launch Lessons page in the My Activities tab.

Then, find the Quill Lesson that you would like to mark complete and click the Mark As Complete link to the right of the Quill Lesson's name.

Mark as complete link next to a lesson's title

Once you mark a Quill Lesson complete, you can view the Activity Analysis report by clicking the View Report button that appears to the right of the Quill Lesson's name.

View report link appears after marking the lesson as complete

Quill Lessons Checklist

  • Find a Quill Lessons activity in the activity library using the search bar and filters.

  • Assign a Quill Lesson to your classes.

  • Review the Quill Lesson plan PDF.

  • Customize the Quill Lesson slides. (Optional)

  • Launch the Quill Lesson from the Home tab or the My Activities tab.

  • Use the Teacher Model slides to demonstrate the writing skill.

  • Anonymously share student responses during the Quill Lesson.

  • Have students retry responses after discussion.

  • Flag students for small-group instruction.

  • Assign the follow-up independent-practice activities.

  • Mark the Quill Lesson as complete.

  • View student responses in the Activity Analysis report for the Quill Lesson.

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 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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