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Getting Students to Write [VIDEO]

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Fun prompts to get your class engaged!

Creating writing prompts is easy. Creating FUN writing prompts to boost student engagement... now that's a tricky one! Dawn from our Learners Edge Curriculum and Instruction team is here to give you some fresh ideas on how to get your students to write. 

Dawn - Getting Students to Write

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Dawn from Learners Edge.

I'd like to share some ideas that I had for writing prompts that I used with students to get them writing for practice or for an assignment. My goal was to make writing fun, so some of these things are a little more on the humorous side, but they're designed to be very fast and fairly effective.

Sometimes the most interesting writing can be found in the most common of places. Craigslist and Amazon reviews are wonderful resources for creativity. You would Google "Best Amazon Reviews" and sit back and enjoy. Share those reviews with your students and allow them to write their own, for instance, on maybe the most ridiculous product that Amazon has to offer. If a review is too much of a stretch, then have the students create a story around a particular review. Or, you can have some characters from a piece of literature write the review. Can you imagine Holden Caulfield writing an Amazon review?

Another prompt I used hearkens back to Ernest Hemingway's six word story.

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

While this example isn't necessarily humorous, the effect is very powerful because it's only six words. Have your students write a joke, a memoir, or a story using just six words. Remember, that they have to be very intentional about the words that they choose. It's going to be harder than they think.

Finally, I like to use art or photographs to help inspire some writing discussion. I would choose a photograph, or a piece of art--an image that students don't know the context of--they can write a story around it, they can brainstorm about it. It's up to you, really, if you want to reveal the true context of the picture, but it is a good way to get things started.

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Topics: Instructional Strategies, Teaching Excellence, Video

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