writing prompts

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by momtobaln, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. momtobaln

    momtobaln Rookie

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    Jul 10, 2007

    I teach 3rd grade and this is my first year. I would like to include creative writing as part of my morning activities. I have been looking, without much luck, for a good source for writing prompts to use with my students daily... anyone know of any?
     
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  3. born2teach84

    born2teach84 Comrade

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  4. born2teach84

    born2teach84 Comrade

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  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 10, 2007

    I use writer's workshop and it frowns on prompts....
     
  6. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 10, 2007

    I use a few. I don't go overboard on "los promptos" (fake Spanish haha language here) because then writing becomes (insert word here) ____(a chore?)____
    ____(a bore?)_____ _____(a thorn?)_____ _____(ick-ick-icky!!)____...

    Now if your school requires it (like mine), you don't have much of a choice on how often your students write to prompts. But in order to keep things progressive and fresh, I don't want to overload the kids with too much writing that does not encourage them to be their "own author". I believe in balancing both kinds of teaching to show students that they can be themselves... and also that sometimes they write to certain tasks.

    Okay, let me not get off-topic here with my use of boring adjectives and why I do what I do. Here's a few I do use and like- I do about four of my own a year-

    You have applied for someone to remodel your home, and your application has been accepted.
    Think of three things the remodeling crew can do to make your home a nicer place to live for you and for your family.
    Now explain in five paragraphs how your home can be remodeled.

    Everyone has thoughts of what they would do on their perfect day.
    Before you begin writing, think about what you would do on your perfect day.
    Now explain to the reader of your paper what you would do on your perfect day.

    Many people imagine being able to prepare their favorite foods well.
    Before you begin writing, think of three favorite foods you wish you could prepare well.
    Now explain to the reader of your paper the three different foods you wish you could prepare like a pro.

    This prompt is a favorite (yeah, there are actually favorites, too) and has generated fabulous writing from my fourth graders three years in a row-

    You decide on purchasing your dream house that actually turns out to be 100 years old. However, you discover your first evening at the house that there is a secret passage leading to a mysterious room. You find a letter written to get out of the house as fast as possible... because... (insert your own reason here).
    Before you begin writing, think about your adventure in this 100 year old house.
    Now write a story about your adventure in the 100 year old house.
     
  7. BASAM

    BASAM Comrade

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    Jul 10, 2007

    I'm not sure how it works in your state but in CO when the 3rd graders take the state assessment they have to do to the writing part so it might be a good idea to look at the website for the department of education for your state and take the released items from there for examples.
     
  8. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 10, 2007

    We have examples from the Sunshine State, if you want those, too. Are you preparing your students for a fourth grade writing exam in the future?
     
  9. born2teach84

    born2teach84 Comrade

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    Jul 10, 2007

    I teach writing workshops as well. Even though writing workshops frown on prompts, I feel as a teachers whose students will have to take a state exam in fourth grade I have to at least give them a few prompts so they know how to write to a prompt in a given amount of time.
     
  10. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 10, 2007

    I agree. Variety is good, very good. :) I like how my students are familiar with narrative and expository writing coming up from third grade.
     
  11. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    Jul 10, 2007

    I know- I looked at writers workshop, but decided against it because of the whole prompt thing. My students also have state testing where they are graded on a prompt.
     
  12. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 10, 2007

    Loves2teach, maybe you can go for a variety if you want to do the writer's workshop because then the students will be able to develop their creativity with mini-lessons and incorporate what they gather from the mini-lessons in their prompts. My students won't choose what they are writing about every single day, and it won't even be for the whole writing period, but they'll have the opportunity. We do "Writing Raters", where we rate prompts other students have written in previous classes, the current class, other classes across the state, and other classes across the country.

    Writing mini-lessons in my classroom focus on the four main areas- Focus, Organization, Support, and Conventions. FOSC is what gives the kids the scores on the state prompts.
     
  13. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 10, 2007

    But remember for whoever does prompts- the more general, the better! None of my more specific prompts would EVER show up on the state test. A good general example is- Everyone has a favorite hobby. Before you begin writing, think of what your hobby is. Now explain to the reader of your paper why you enjoy your hobby.
     
  14. AngelM

    AngelM Rookie

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    Jul 10, 2007

    I am planning to use daily journal prompts as well and had been searching around for ideas. I had bookmarked this link because it has a long list of prompts at the bottom. It might be a good starting point. :)

    http://www.tooter4kids.com/journal_writing.htm
     
  15. michelb366

    michelb366 Comrade

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    Jul 10, 2007

    I have two spiral-bound 3X5 books of journal prompts that I bought at a teacher supply store. My kids journal first things every morning and are given the choice of either following the prompt or writing something of their own choosing. I started last year just giving them 5 words to put into a story and they LOVED it.
    EX: Use all of the following words in a paragraph or story... a lightbulb, the ocean, a pencil, a tomato, and paint

    You'd be amazed at the stories you'll get in return!
     
  16. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 10, 2007

    I've done that with the words. It's fun! :) They DO like it.
     

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