Featured Column: Sunday Routine
Sunday Routine is a weekly series that profiles “newsworthy New Yorkers” and how they spend a typical Sunday. These routines — which can include going to church and spending time with family or meeting up with friends and binge-watching TV — are as diverse as the people who have them.
In this lesson, we invite you to use this column as a model for writing about your own life. What do you do on a typical Sunday? What do these activities say about you? You’ll read the routines of several New Yorkers, then you’ll write one of your own — tracing your day from when you wake up to when you go to bed.
Ideas for Teachers: Use this writing activity to get to know your students at the beginning of the school year. Or, use it to introduce a unit on personal or narrative writing. See our full narrative writing unit here.
Start by responding to our writing prompt, “What’s Your Sunday Routine?”
What do you do on a typical Sunday? Where do you go? Who do you spend time with?
3. Look closely at the introductory paragraphs to each Sunday Routine. What is the purpose of this section? From whose point of view is it written? What kind of information is included?
4. Now look at the routine itself. How is it formatted? From whose point of view is it written? About how many activities are included? What kind of information does each description include?
5. What themes do the writers write about in their routines? Name at least four. (For example, in “How an Artisanal Doughnut Maker Spends Her Sundays,” Kimberly Camara writes that she spends time with her mother and brother on Sundays. So the theme would be “family.”)
6. Choose one activity from each routine that intrigued you. What did you find interesting, entertaining or memorable about this activity and the writer’s description of it?
7. Finally, consider the language and style the writers use. How would you describe the tone of each routine you read? How would you describe the tone of this column overall?
Now, it’s your turn. Create your own Sunday Routine based on a typical Sunday in your life. (Your Sundays might have changed during the pandemic and that’s OK. As the writers do in many of the profiles you read, feel free to also write about things you did before Covid and how those activities have changed.)
Your Sunday Routine should be formatted like the columns you read and include:
A headline, written in the style of the column.
A few introductory paragraphs that give your reader an idea of who you are.
A routine that starts from when you wake up in the morning until you go to bed at night. Aim for eight to 10 activities.
Go further by adding photographs or illustrations of your Sunday.
Once you’ve finished, reflect on the assignment: What was it like to write about your own life? How did your style of writing change with this genre? What did you learn about yourself? What might others learn about you from reading your Sunday Routine?