We like to think we’re fairly intelligent today, but did you know that the ancient Greeks and Romans harnessed the power of steam and wind 2,000 years ago?
Your students will enjoy these three prompts based on history and technology as they contemplate Hero of Alexandria, an ancient Thomas Edison, and how his inventions might have changed the world.
Random fact: Did you know that Hero invented the first vending machine? Patrons put in a coin and received holy water from his machine!
This week we’ve included plenty of links so your students can dig more deeply into these topics, if they wish.
Geared for middle – high school students.
Looking for basketball-related writing prompts? Whether your students are sports enthusiasts or not, you’ve come to the right place!
Have you ever seen tournament brackets like the one in #1? Free printable included!
Fun for students in 5th – 12th grade. Dig in!
To say that the Protestant Reformation had a great effect on the world is a vast understatement. Kings, kingdoms, and even everyday people felt the sting—and the freedom—this new movement brought.
Your students will be writing opinions, stories, and more while exploring some of the issues and topics associated with the Reformation.
If you’d like your students to learn more about Martin Luther in an interesting biography, check out When Lightning Struck by Danika Cooley of Thinking Kids Press.
These prompts are appropriate for students in 5th – 12th grade.
Let’s dig in . . .
Compare and Contrast: 2 Solid Methods
Have your students ever been asked to write a compare-and-contrast paragraph or essay but don’t know where to begin? Do they have trouble organizing their thoughts and information before comparing and contrasting?
Your 5th – 12th graders will learn two solid methods for compare-and-contrast writing with this free tutorial. It’s packed with two separate exercises, one for each method, and contains complete instructions and colorful worksheets. Your students will learn how to organize their thoughts before writing with either method, and then they’ll write two paragraphs using each method.
Students already know how to compare and contrast in real life: They do it every time they want to buy something and are torn between two choices. They go through the process mentally, and it’s likely automatic and subconscious.
MIDDLE SCHOOL PROMPTS
You might think this writing prompt is super boring, but hold on. It’s about to get really gross.
You can’t get to sleep, so you drink some warm milk. Or maybe you count sheep. No? What about read a boring book or listen to music until you fall into unconsciousness?
According to mental_floss magazine (August 2014), some people at the end of the 1800s believed so strongly in
MIDDLE SCHOOL PROMPTS
Enjoy this variety of writing prompts drawn from quotations by famous characters and people!
1. Star Wars
“Your eyes can deceive you. Don’t trust them.”
That quote is from the Star Wars character Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Have you ever looked at something and been confused or tricked by what you saw? When have your eyes deceived you? Write your story.
Could your students use a little help creating outlines? And what does a bowl of salad have to do with outlines?
My husband tells me he always made his outlines after he’d seen what he had written. I imagine this is fairly common.
But is an outline necessary? Not exactly. You can read about my sticky-note method here.
What is important, though, is organizing the material, and that is where students have trouble. They do not want to take the time to organize their thoughts, ideas, or material before they write.
Personally, I benefit from even a casual outline. That way, I don’t have to start with the introduction and work my way down to the conclusion; I have the pleasure of beginning wherever I like, where I feel the most comfortable. Then I can fill in the rest of my article later by using the organized points in my informal outline.
Whether your students use sticky notes or a more formal outline, they’ll benefit from these fun writing prompts.
Our word choices can have a huge impact on our readers. Or the words can muddle them. Let me give you an example.
If I write that a toddler is a good eater, I suddenly have a communication problem. The word “good” is not specific enough. Does “good” mean that the toddler is neat while eating? Does it mean that the child eats a large quantity of food or perhaps a variety of food without complaining? My readers will not have a clear idea of my meaning.
Your middle school students will learn this in the first writing prompt. I’ve written a very boring paragraph about something that seemed exciting to the student, but the words I selected were flat, overused, and not specific enough.
Teens will have fun with the second writing prompt as they practice using specific words and phrases to put a point across or create a focused mood.
Ready? Let’s go . . .
MIDDLE SCHOOL PROMPTS
Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit a particular site in Scotland each year, hoping to see a monster. What are they looking for?
It turns out that tourists are not the only ones looking for something. Operation Groundtruth has begun a search for the Loch Ness Monster (“Nessie”), a monster some claim they have seen. They are using a marine robot equipped with sonar to search the depths of the loch.
Nessie, if she exists, is thought to be a marine reptile, perhaps a plesiosaur, left over from the age of dinosaurs.
What has Operation Groundtruth found so far? The steep sides of the loch, the deep trench of the loch, and even a World War II airplane lying on the bottom of the loch. No Nessie. Yet.
Burros, tall tales, and fears: You can find them all in the Grand Canyon. In 1893, the Grand Canyon was made a Forest Reserve and then later a National Monument. It became a national park in 1919, just three years after the National Park Service was formed. Which prompt about this amazing formation will your students enjoy?