Differentiated instruction has to do with the use of the same content but in different ways or levels in order to engage and interest all students in the classroom at the same time.
Whether the purpose of the writing activity is to use the content or to learn the writing process, a leveled writing system can be useful. Each writing level has a milestone that needs to be met before the student can move on to the next step. It is systematic, and from my personal experience effective, for students learning either the content or the writing process itself. A great website to check out for an expository leveled writing system is http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Leveled-Expository-Writing-System-867302. It has a leveled writing system that begins with writing a topic sentence and ends with a DBQ essay. There are 7 levels in the leveled writing system. It is a very fast way to differentiate instruction by ability. It takes less than 5 minutes to create the writing assignment.
Teachers can also differentiate instruction for writing assignments by providing questions that involve different multiple intelligence learning styles yet are still based on the content. Differentiated instruction by providing questions that interest the students or that they can relate to might help their creative juices flow.
Differentiated instruction is definitely possible for writing activities. Whether you use a leveled writing system, an interactive writing system or provide question options based on the different multiple intelligence learning styles, differentiated instruction has the potential to improve student writing and increase their interest.