Teaching Tip: Writing Prompts
Research has shown that frequent opportunities to write make students better writers. However, the students need feedback to improve. The problem is that there just aren't enough hours in a day for teachers to provide consistent and meaningful feedback for a hundred or more student essays. A solution to this problem is the 100-word writing response.
- Once a week post a topic for students to write about. Mix up the genres, and offer a range of topics over the course of a marking period that cover argumentative or persuasive writing, expository writing, and narrative writing.
- Over a ten or fifteen week marking period require students to complete a minimum number of final drafts - this can be individualized to differentiate instruction.
- Require students to write 100 words on the topic.
- Provide feedback on the 100 word rough draft and return it to the student. This can usually be accomplished during the class, and gives the teacher a chance to conference with individual students as they work.
- Students will turn in final drafts by the end of the marking period.
Here are some sample writing prompts to get you started.
- Argumentative: Imagine the school has received a grant and can build a new theater or a new baseball field. Which should be built? Why?
- Expository: Describe the perfect summer day. Who are you with? What are you doing?
- Narrative: Tell the story of your first day of school. What was the most exciting thing that happened? Be sure to create rich, round characters for your readers.