Writing with Sharon Watson-Easy-to-use Homeschool Writing and Literature Curriculum

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Holocaust Remembrance Day

Holocaust Remembrance Day

HIGH SCHOOL PROMPTS

May 5, 2016 (April 23, 2017) is Holocaust Remembrance Day, the day we remember those people—most of them Jews—who were exterminated by the millions in World War II by the Nazis.

Maybe you’ve read The Diary of a Young Girl (or The Diary of Anne Frank), a real diary of a young girl just turned thirteen. In it, she chronicles her days of hiding out with her family and another family in an annex (an unused portion of a building, like an attic) in Amsterdam. Why are they hiding? Because if the Nazi soldiers find them, they’ll be sent to a concentration camp and likely be killed.

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Repentance

Repentance

HIGH SCHOOL PROMPTS

There are many gut-wrenching parts to the death of Jesus and his resurrection.

One is how Judas, a “friend” for three years, hands Jesus over to his enemies—with a sign of affection.

Another is when Jesus willingly steps into a rigged trial, one He knows he will lose.

Another troubling part of this account is when Peter, Jesus’ right-hand man, denies knowing Jesus even after he’s been warned that he will deny him. You can read about this in Mark 14:27-31 and Mark 14:66-72.

Jesus knows what Peter is doing. In fact, the Bible says that while Jesus is being mistreated in the house of the high priest, he turns and looks “straight at Peter” (Luke 22:61 NIV). At that point, Peter remembers the warning Jesus gave him, and he runs out of the courtyard and weeps “bitterly.”

The amazing part of Peter’s betrayal is that

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Invisibility

Invisibility

HIGH SCHOOL PROMPTS

Invisibility—is it a blessing or a curse?

According to Irish legend, wearing green makes you invisible to leprechauns and their pinches and tricks.

But wearing green is not the only way to become invisible. The scientist Griffin, in H. G. Wells’ The Invisible Man, makes himself invisible by experimenting with formulas and light. At the beginning of his experiments, he thinks invisibility will be a great gift to mankind. However, as he uses it more and then has a series of misfortunes, he plans to begin a Reign of Terror on the countryside. His invisibility has become a selfish means to revenge.

Those who put on the ring in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien become invisible. This comes in handy when

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91-Word Memoir

91-Word Memoir

HIGH SCHOOL PROMPTS

Could you write a story from your life in 91 words?

In honor of an elderly student who died just days before her 91st birthday, the online writing site Gotham Writer’s Workshop conducted a contest. The rules were to write a memoir, a story from your life, in 91 words.

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How Point of View Changes the Feel of a Story

How Point of View Changes the Feel of a Story

HIGH SCHOOL PROMPTS

A story’s point of view (POV) can affect how the story feels.

For instance, The Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis is written in the third-person omniscient POV: The narrator knows everything, even things that some of the characters do not. The invisible narrator in omniscient POV can tell readers what one character is feeling or thinking and then turn right around and ramble around in another character’s heart and mind and report that to us.

The omniscient point of view is out of fashion today. It followed all the major characters and reported on their happenings. We today want to journey through a story with only one or two main characters because it feels more personal that way.

Here’s a portion of the second paragraph of “The Wood Between the Worlds” in The Magician’s Nephew. The protagonist Digory has just arrived in that forest by means of a magic ring:

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Jesse Owens Proved Him Wrong

Jesse Owens Proved Him Wrong

HIGH SCHOOL PROMPTS

Adolf Hitler, chancellor of Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, believed that Black people were inferior. He thought they were savages and had less intellectual power than white people.

So when a super-fast runner named Jesse Owens proved him wrong and won four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Hitler and his Nazi followers were infuriated. He said Blacks should be banned from the games because they were primitive.

Despite all the struggles Jesse Owens had with other people because of his skin color, he wrote in his autobiography,

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Personal Narrative: Not Quite How I Remembered It

Personal Narrative: Not Quite How I Remembered It

HIGH SCHOOL PROMPTS

Have you ever visited a house you used to live in or a place you used to visit as a child?

Does it seem smaller to you or different in some way?

In this passage from “Remembrance, Ohio,” Ray Bradbury describes what it’s like to go back to a familiar place after a long time and find that it is not quite what you had remembered:

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National Park Service Centennial High School Writing Prompts

National Park Service Centennial High School Writing Prompts

HIGH SCHOOL PROMPTS

Have you seen the presidents on Mount Rushmore? Walked among the giant sequoias of Yosemite National Park? Stood on the precipice of the Grand Canyon? Explored an underwater shipwreck as a Junior Ranger?

The United States’ National Park Service turns 100 in 2016, but even before it was formed, 35 national parks and monuments were already in operation. We can celebrate a rich heritage of forests, deserts, mountains, sweeping landscapes, historical sites, and other treasures saved for our education and enjoyment.

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What Failures Will You Turn into Successes This Year?

What Failures Will You Turn into Successes This Year?

HIGH SCHOOL PROMPTS

Welcome to a new year!

A new year is time for new plans, new goals, and new ideas.

It is also a time for second chances.

So, let’s talk about failures.

Failures?

Thomas Edison, inventor of the phonograph (forerunner of the record player), the light bulb, and the movie camera, was told in school that he was “too stupid to learn anything.”

Walt Disney, according to the newspaper editor who fired him,

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New year, New Chance

New year, New Chance

HIGH SCHOOL PROMPTS

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”
-Oprah Winfrey

oprah winfrey photo: Oprah Winfrey OprahWinfrey0152.jpgYou remember Samson of Bible fame? You can read about him in Judges 13-16. God kept giving him chances to get it right, and Samson pretty much blew it every time by focusing on himself instead of on what God wanted.

But you don’t have to be Samson to feel the regret of missed chances or the frustration of personal failure. To be human is to know the gut-punch of remorse.

Maybe you feel as if you failed in something last year. Maybe you wish you could do something all over again, only this time you’d win. You’d do the right thing. You’d have the courage. You’d succeed.

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