After reading each essay, he selects one error that occurs frequently in a student's work and points out each instance in which the error is made. He instructs the student to write a one page essay, comparing and contrasting three sources that provide guidance on the established use of that particular convention, making sure a variety of sources are available. Glorianne Bradshaw, a teacher-consultant with the Red River Valley Writing Project North Dakota , decided to make use of experiences from her own life when teaching her first-graders how to write.
For example, on an overhead transparency she shows a sketch of herself stirring cookie batter while on vacation. She writes the phrase "made cookies" under the sketch.
Then she asks students to help her write a sentence about this. She writes the words who , where , and when. Using these words as prompts, she and the students construct the sentence, "I made cookies in the kitchen in the morning. Next, each student returns to the sketch he or she has made of a summer vacation activity and, with her help, answers the same questions answered for Bradshaw's drawing. Then she asks them, "Tell me more. Do the cookies have chocolate chips?
Does the pizza have pepperoni? Rather than taking away creativity, Bradshaw believes this kind of structure gives students a helpful format for creativity. Stephanie Wilder found that the grades she gave her high school students were getting in the way of their progress. The weaker students stopped trying. Other students relied on grades as the only standard by which they judged their own work. She continued to comment on papers, encourage revision, and urge students to meet with her for conferences.
But she waited to grade the papers. It took a while for students to stop leafing to the ends of their papers in search of a grade, and there was some grumbling from students who had always received excellent grades. But she believes that because she was less quick to judge their work, students were better able to evaluate their efforts themselves. Erin Pirnot Ciccone, teacher-consultant with the Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project , found a way to make more productive the "Monday morning gab fest" she used as a warm-up with her fifth grade students.
She conceived of "Headline News. After the headlines had been posted, students had a chance to guess the stories behind them. The writers then told the stories behind their headlines. As each student had only three minutes to talk, they needed to make decisions about what was important and to clarify details as they proceeded.
They began to rely on suspense and "purposeful ambiguity" to hold listeners' interest. On Tuesday, students committed their stories to writing. Because of the "Headline News" experience, Ciccone's students have been able to generate writing that is focused, detailed, and well ordered. Slagle, high school teacher and teacher-consultant with the Louisville Writing Project Kentucky , understands the difference between writing for a hypothetical purpose and writing to an audience for real purpose.
She illustrates the difference by contrasting two assignments. Write a review of an imaginary production of the play we have just finished studying in class. They must adapt to a voice that is not theirs and pretend to have knowledge they do not have. Slagle developed a more effective alternative: Authenticity in Writing Prompts.
Mark Farrington, college instructor and teacher-consultant with the Northern Virginia Writing Project , believes teaching revision sometimes means practicing techniques of revision.
An exercise like "find a place other than the first sentence where this essay might begin" is valuable because it shows student writers the possibilities that exist in writing. In his college fiction writing class, Farrington asks students to choose a spot in the story where the main character does something that is crucial to the rest of the story.
At that moment, Farrington says, they must make the character do the exact opposite. Bernadette Lambert, teacher-consultant with the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project Georgia , wondered what would happen if she had her sixth-grade students pair with an adult family member to read a book.
She asked the students about the kinds of books they wanted to read mysteries, adventure, ghost stories and the adults about the kinds of books they wanted to read with the young people character-building values, multiculturalism, no ghost stories. Using these suggestions for direction, Lambert developed a list of 30 books. From this list, each student-adult pair chose one.
They committed themselves to read and discuss the book and write separate reviews. Most of the students, says Lambert, were proud to share a piece of writing done by their adult reading buddy.
Several admitted that they had never before had this level of intellectual conversation with an adult family member. Suzanne Linebarger, a co-director of the Northern California Writing Project , recognized that one element lacking from many of her students' stories was tension. One day, in front of the class, she demonstrated tension with a rubber band. Looped over her finger, the rubber band merely dangled. It's the tension, the potential energy, that rivets your attention.
It's the same in writing. Linebarger revised a generic writing prompt to add an element of tension. The initial prompt read, "Think of a friend who is special to you. Write about something your friend has done for you, you have done for your friend, or you have done together.
Linebarger didn't want responses that settled for "my best friend was really good to me," so "during the rewrite session we talked about how hard it is to stay friends when met with a challenge.
Students talked about times they had let their friends down or times their friends had let them down, and how they had managed to stay friends in spite of their problems. In other words, we talked about some tense situations that found their way into their writing. Moving From Fluency to Flair. Ray Skjelbred, middle school teacher at Marin Country Day School, wants his seventh grade students to listen to language. He wants to begin to train their ears by asking them to make lists of wonderful sounding words.
They may use their own words, borrow from other contributors, add other words as necessary, and change word forms. Among the words on one student's list: Grammar, Poetry, and Creative Language. Kathleen O'Shaughnessy, co-director of the National Writing Project of Acadiana Louisiana , asks her middle school students to respond to each others' writing on Post-it Notes.
Students attach their comments to a piece of writing under consideration. While I was reading your piece, I felt like I was riding a roller coaster. It started out kinda slow, but you could tell there was something exciting coming up. But then it moved real fast and stopped all of a sudden. I almost needed to read it again the way you ride a roller coaster over again because it goes too fast. Says O'Shaughnessy, "This response is certainly more useful to the writer than the usual 'I think you could, like, add some more details, you know?
Anna Collins Trest, director of the South Mississippi Writing Project , finds she can lead upper elementary school students to better understand the concept of "reflection" if she anchors the discussion in the concrete and helps students establish categories for their reflective responses. She decided to use mirrors to teach the reflective process.
Each student had one. As the students gazed at their own reflections, she asked this question: Trest talked with students about the categories and invited them to give personal examples of each.
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Below are just a few of the previous teen essay writing prompts used in StageofLife. These writing prompts are quick tools to Jump-start class discussion read our " Life Isn't Boring " essay by one of our Stage of Life college interns as an opener to a memoir or life-essay writing exercise Build stronger student essay writers Kick-off a new unit or novel that may tackle a theme addressed by one of these writing prompts Provide in-class writing exercises, whether you're a Language Arts teacher or a homeschooling parent For each writing prompt, we've included additional resources such as links to a mentor text for the prompt, a summary page about the writing contest that used that prompt, and the national Stage of Life press release surrounding the use of that student essay writing prompt.
Do we have too much stuff? Teens and Mass Consumerism Press Release: What Scares Teens Press Release: When have you succeeded or failed at achieving a goal?
On Writing Novels by kat. Teens and Goal Setting Press Release: What was your biggest "Moment of Awesomeness" in your life? Teens and Moments of Awesomeness Press Release: What does "Patriotism" mean to you? Faith in Freedom by tordcksn17 Writing Prompt Summary: Teens and Patriotism Press Release: How do you hope to make your summer an unforgettable one? Teens and Summer Press Release: Share a special memory about your mother, grandmother, or an important woman in your life.
Teens and their Moms Press Release: No press release was sent out for this writing contest Writing Prompt: What news stories are teenagers most passionate about, and why? Teens and the News Press Release: When have you applied the phrase "No Fear" in your life? Two Words by brodie.
Teens and Fear Press Release: Why can't you turn away from your favorite TV show? Teens and TV Press Release: Where do we go after Newtown? A Different Look at Violence in the Media by h. Gun Control National Press Release: Wrap it all up with a mock TED conference at your school, inviting parents, other classes, and administrators, if you wish. It features short videos meant to inspire students to think in creative ways. Creating a unit around great love poems, both canonical and modern e.
Explore various forms, from haiku to sonnet to totally free expression, then create a class anthology of love poems, including both the greats and selections from your own writers. Give students the chance to find out. As the year comes to a close, invite them to write their own charge to the graduating class. What would they say to inspire the seniors? Something to make them laugh? Something to make them cry? Consider having your class vote on the top three pieces and printing them to give to the graduates.
Students always perk up for an authentic audience and a connection to the real world. Introduce them to one of the many free blogging platforms and let them blog about a topic that truly interests them. Choice blogging makes a great genius-hour option. You can devote one day a week or every other week to letting students write about their passions on their own blogs, simply by assigning a different topic each week. Start with list posts, review posts, news posts, video posts, and top-ten posts.
Eventually, you can let them choose their own format, as long as they produce a post each week. Ask each student to begin a story on a blank piece of paper, introducing a main character.
Complete High School Writing Assignments With Our Experts. High school student stress: It is all too real. In fact, the list of things teens stress over is almost unbearable to look at, and when you throw on top of that the stress associated with studies, you can bet the student’s going to start feeling like the pressure is really on and set to increase.
Writing Prompts for High School and College Students Looking for interesting writing prompt ideas for your Creative Writing or Language Arts class?
2. Establish an email dialogue between students from different schools who are reading the same book. When high school teacher Karen Murar and college instructor Elaine Ware, teacher-consultants with the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project, discovered students were scheduled to read the August Wilson play Fences at the same time, they set up email communication between students . Ever feel stumped? Uninspired? Blank? These creative writing prompts will kick your muse into high gear so you can start writing again. Be creative and have fun!
I was lucky to have had great creative writing teachers when I was in high school. They were very passionate about literature, and because of them I continued to pursue creative writing. Those teachers also impacted me because of the great creative writing activities they used to allow the.