Spanish for You! students write journals, called "diarios" in Spanish. This is a way for them to build skill using vocabulary, verbs, and grammar creatively and correctly in sentences. They learn to use words and concepts in context along with conjugating verbs. This contributes to them learning to write stories since they write about themselves (as if characters in a story), and they have to sequence the events of their day.
Indirectly this helps build conversation skills. The practice of using a variety of learned concepts, words, and conjugated verbs together to communicate mimics what we do in conversation. The journal is like the written version of what we might tell someone about our day.
Students seem to really like to write these. I see a lot of creativity and am always amazed at how wonderfully they pull different things together using all they have been learning. It's especially rewarding to see students use old material from previous years showing their retention and ability to use it. And sometimes, students show skills they have developed with language usage that I never even taught directly. Awesome!
PS - If you're looking for a fun, affordable, and easy-to-use curriculum for teaching your classes or for your kids at home, take a look at Spanish for You!