Apr 08 2011
Using Pictures as Writing Prompts–Say Goodbye to Dated and Tired Prompts
I am a writing teacher…my kids HAVE to write, but doesn’t it seem odd that I’m supposed to be super fond of manufactured, outdated, old and crusty writing prompts (here is a short list)? Don’t you hate, hate, hate writing prompts? Ugh! They are so boring and lame, but what can we do? The kids have to learn to write on demand, and they have to be able to write to those bland prompts on tests, right?
Well, yes and no. They do have to be able to produce good writing on demand, but they don’t have to write to those awful prompts. They gain the skills of creativity and innovation when they write about pictures. I love to use pictures of obscure scenes and have kiddos
- “tell me the story”
- “convince me that this is/is not okay”
- “describe the scene”
- “explain what is going on“
I borrowed a few images from the web to show you how this works…put the picture up on your Elmo, Document Camera, or display it using your projector. Invite inquiry and creativity from your class, and then move to the writing. Below are a few pictures and the directions I have used in the past…
Now tell me that this isn’t better than a half-sheet of paper asking the kiddos to write on whether having school uniforms is a good idea, or if we should extend the school year next year? (I see you blushing…you were going to use those tired prompts tomorrow weren’t you? I hope this gives you some ideas for better ways to get your students motivated to write. It usually works for me.
Look for another post on using videos as writing prompts…Coming Soon!