Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Intentional Writing - Prompt and Circumstance

           So, what's all the hullabaloo about?  You guessed right, the prompt, not pomp! A good writing prompt can make or break your students.  They might be smiling and full of accomplishment, or they may have a disjointed mess that you have to struggle through to read.  Creating prompts that lead a student to an amazing writing piece can leave most teachers sweating.  Whether you're writing your own or using others, here are a few tips to get those students brainstorming and writing.

           The first thing you can do is grab a great book, find an inspiring paragraph, and share a portion that shows great writing techniques. Find one that shows what's happening versus telling the story.  So many students want to tell you what happened, but the true craft of writing comes from the mental picture that the reader gets as they are reading the piece.  All of the wonderful authors out there will provide you with endless examples of pieces to share with your students to get them writing.  Your challenge will be to come up with a prompt from the section you read.  If you are stumped, try my favorite site for mentor texts, prompts, and lessons.

 is the home of the digital writing prompt, an online activity that you or students can use to inspire their writing. Other resources that you can find there include digital photos for writing, 6 trait information, and writing genres, so you should be able to find something to get your students going.  If not, another site to find great prompts is

          Wonderopolis is a site that encourages wonders about our world through focusing on the small things.  And any teacher who teaches writing knows how hard it is to get your students to focus on one idea or wonder.  Well, Wonderopolis will help you accomplish this through prompts each day.  I love this site for it's simplicity, creativity, and wonder!

          Other sites that range from the random lists to the organized prompts include:

     So, don't struggle with coming up with a prompt that you are unsure about, use the ones out there that are tried and true.  You'll be having a little pomp and circumstance for your students when they share their pieces. 


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