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.



MIDDLE SCHOOL PROMPT Loch Ness Monster is in the news again. What do your writers think about monsters? Would they like to find one? Can they exist today?Nessie and other monsters are considered cryptids, creatures that have been sighted but have not been proved by scientists as actually living. Bigfoot would fit into this category, as would a Yeti.

Now it’s your turn: Choose any of the prompts below.

1. Why?

Why do we humans love to talk and think about monsters? Why do people want to discover or see one? Think of one reason and write a paragraph to explain what you mean. Give an example, if you have one.

2. What?

If you were to find a monster, whether it is one people already talk about or a new one, what would you like to find? Write about what you would like to find and where you would like to look for it. Or write a short story of someone discovering a monster.

3. Who?

Monsters have long appeared in stories. Grendel is the fierce foe of the hero Beowulf in the Scandinavian tale of the same name written in Old English. Frankenstein’s sewn-together monster has been the subject of many movies. And the superheroes in Marvel Comics’ X-Men series all are mutants, monsters of a sort.

Create your own monster or mutant superhero and write a story about him or her.

4. Really?

Do monsters exist? Have they ever existed? Write your opinion.

5. What? Again.

What is a monster? Write a definition in one sentence. Use that as your topic sentence and then write the rest of the paragraph to support your definition.


Would you like another prompt on Nessie and others? Click here.


Copyright © 2016 by Sharon Watson
Photo credits: Nessie–Public domain; Lego serpent–Sharon Watson
Image credit: Sharon Watson

Illuminating Literature BundleDownload your FREE chapters from our new literature course Illuminating Literature: When Worlds Collide.

Do you have an idea for a writing prompt? Contact Sharon Watson by clicking here.

Teachers, connect with Sharon on Facebook or Pinterest!

Drop the Drama: Help Stuggling Writers Jump These 5 Hurdles Are your writers struggling? Do you wish you could figure out why your children won’t write? Would you love to have a peaceful writing class experience?

Help your struggling writers—and you!—by identifying five hurdles to writing. Then learn practical actions you can take against those hurdles.

This article by me in The Old Schoolhouse magazine is also loaded with links to other helpful posts that will give you and your writers some welcome relief.

Click here to drain some of the tension from your writing class



Frustrated that your students don’t finish an essay or don’t know the steps to complete one? Worry no more! Click here for my latest article in The Informer about a super-practical writing schedule you WILL use!

Want daily writing prompts to tempt reluctant writers and delight eager ones? Find out more about Sharon’s daily writing prompts posted on SchoolhouseTeachers.com under “Dailies” or click here.

Get three FREE writing lessons by subscribing to Writing with Sharon Watson! Use the Subscribe form in the column to the right.

the-power-in-your-hands writing-fiction-in-high-school Check out the innovative The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School for your complete high school writing curriculum needs. If you have a storyteller at home, try Writing Fiction [in High School] with hundreds of examples from popular fiction and classical literature.

Jump InGet your middle school student ready for high school with this popular writing curriculum from Writing with Sharon Watson, published by Apologia! Featured in Cathy Duffy’s 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum, Jump In will prepare and even amuse your students as they learn the fundamentals of effective essay writing and storytelling.