Writing to a Prompt

I really like this post from Two Writing Teachers about Writing to a Prompt.  As we continue our discussions about what the workshop format looks likes, we often communicate that students should not be writing to a prompt because it is teacher-driven and, therefore, compromises the authenticity of the writing and element of student choice.  While this can be true, the reality remains that this type of writing is the expectation in testing situations so students need instruction and application opportunities with it.  This blog post gives some great practical advice on how to implement the teaching and application of prompt writing into our daily workshop.

Additionally, we can make this writing style more authentic if we are intentional in the content of the prompt.  I have provided two links to resources below that provide engaging prompt opportunities for kids.

1) Do your kids love to argue?  Try some of these argumentative writing prompts from the NY Times: http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/learning/2015/02/05/301-prompts-for-argumentative-writing/?referrer

2)  Do you want to show kids how their writing can build from their initial response?  Use this resource to not only find good prompts, but it also provides varying levels of student work that you can use as mentor texts to show kids.  This gives them opportunity to have students identify how the piece grew stronger with each increased score.  This is a resource that helps give students that explicit anchor to name what an author is doing and think about how to apply those same skills to their own writing.


#SOL15- Day 5 of 31

Slice of Life image




Running is a passion,

But am I running to or from?

Most times I am not sure.

I suppose it’s actually both at the same time.

To work and from the annoying drivers-

To my to-do list and from the stress-

To soulful music and from my own rambling thoughts-

To lunch and from work-

Breathe, breathe, catch your breath.


To work and from the world.

At my desk they are there and I am here.

Separated by a window, but united in humanity.


To the gym, to home, to my heart.

Sweat dripping from my nose, heart pounding on the breeze,

The race is almost done.

Through the front door I run-

my family, my world.

Breathe, breathe, catch your breath.

The race is finished,

and I fall blissfully exhausted into bed.

#SOL15- Day 4 of 31

Slice of Life image

I am about finding my place and making an impact.

I am about making waves, hoping to see its ripple effect in time.

Even though I am a creature of habit, I’m about making a change;

because you don’t have to look too far to see that we need it.

I am about challenging you in hopes of pushing you beyond your comfortable boundaries,

making you see yourself for more than you ever thought you could be.

Yes, I am about many things and each has their place where I hope to make a mark,

and leave a lasting, positive affect.

I am about my family; they are my home,

nestled deeply within my heart, their very thread is my bones.

Providing and receiving unwavering support,

the true definition of unconditional love.

I am about being the best mommy I can be to Lillian,  since I’m her only one.

I am about being the best wife I can be to Kyle, because he’s my only one.

I am about being the best woman I can possibly be,

I never want to let my family down.

I am about my friends; they are my cup of coffee on the back porch.

Hours of pointless and not-so-pointless conversation,

Smiles, laughter, tears, screams, shouts of joy, disgruntled complaining,

They all define a moment,

A moment where we need to be lifted up,

A moment that need recognition,

A moment that didn’t seem special at all,

until you shared it with a friend.

I am about being the best friend that I can be.

I never want to let them down.

I am about my community; it is my running path through the park,

The Missouri River gleams its sparkling eye in my direction

and I am inspired by the nature around me.

I am equally, if not more so, inspired by the people.

What is their story?  What are their ties to my school, my church, my neighborhood?

It’s evident those connections exist, or else we would not be in this place at the same moment.

If only we had more time to inquire and know them.

I am a voter, a volunteer, a public servant, a teacher.

I want to give back to my community for giving me a place to belong.

That comfort alone allows me to find success in my day-to-day life.

I am about my Tigers; they are shade between the columns on The Quad,

where I sat with friends to study,

but all we did was converse,

sometimes through dialogue, but often through silence.

They are football Saturdays at Farout Field.

They are the Alpha Chi Omega house on Richmond Street.

They are 10 roommates at 1603 University Place.

It is my education, lasting friendships and life memories.

It is my beloved Mizzou.

I have found my place in many aspects of my life,

And like to think I’ve left my mark in each of them.

I’m still looking for my place in may aspects of my life,

and I’m enjoying the view.

Places.  Yes, places.  That’s where the good stuff happens.