WRITER PROMPTS to Help Students Express Themselves

December 3rd, 2008 by ClickSchooling Leave a reply »

Recommended Website:
BillzTreasureChest: Writer Prompts

Age Range: 9-17+ (Approximately. Younger children may enjoy some of the ideas as well.)

In February 2007, ClickSchooling featured MakeBeliefsComix.com where children of all ages create their very own comic strips while improving literacy. It is the brain-child of journalist and author Bill Zimmerman.

Well, we just discovered that Bill has another website-blog featuring WRITER PROMPTS that regularly offers new ideas to spark students’ imaginations and encourage them to write more.

When you click on the above url, it takes you to Bill’s blog page where he regularly adds the “Writer Prompts.” Just scroll down the page to see the most recent entries, and then explore the archive of writing prompts by using the menu on the right side of the screen. Here are two examples from the site:

  • Tell Me About Your Name – What is it? Does your name have a special meaning? Is there a special story about your name and how you got it? Were you named after someone – a relative or a hero or a person from history or a character in a book? Were you named after a flower or animal? How do you feel about your name?
  • What Are the Things That Give You Hope? When I read recently that the ivory-billed woodpecker, once thought to be extinct, had been seen in Arkansas, I thought of the words in a beautiful poem by American poet Emily Dickinson in which she wrote: “Hope is the thing with feathers – that perches in the soul…” How does “hope” look to you? What are the things that give you hope? Write about them and remember what you write so you won’t ever forget hope, no matter what life brings to you.

Students who write responses to these prompts, may have their writing posted on Bill’s blog to reinforce their writing efforts.

This website also contains selections from the books Bill has written as writing prompts. Use the menu on the left side of the screen to explore the virtual “Treasure Chest” that includes the following writing prompts, based on Bill’s books (with actual descriptions from the website):

  • Find Sunshine – Get some words of cheer that will “encourage you to think some new thoughts to replace the tired, gloomy old ones you’d like to escape; maybe, they’ll even make you smile or chuckle.”
  • Record Your Life’s Stories & Memories – “Each of us through our years of living and experiences acquires knowledge and wisdom worth recording. Doing so helps affirm the value of our lives.” These prompts “will help you reflect on and better understand what you have learned on your life’s journey.”
  • Learn The Wisdom of Animals – “My little dog taught me how to have fun, to relax more and to enjoy the fine weather and new grass. She has shown me what loyalty is. In short, she has helped me become a better human being.” Use these prompts to imagine what words your pet or other animals would use, if they could, to impart their simple truths.

As you can see, the writing prompts are designed to help students tap into their own creativity and express their deepest thoughts and feelings. Bookmark this site and check in regularly to see the new writing prompts as they are posted.


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