Holding students accountable for daily practice of skills is essential in English. And, writing is often one of the more challenging aspects of teaching. This prompt makes life a lot easier! I’ve been using this method all year in my 9th grade English classes with great success. It keeps students accountable for reading (and writing), pushes them to analyze based on different factors, and improves their writing skills through repetition of structure.
It also saves you from having to create prompts! Seriously. I have no time to do that!
I've found that creative style prompts only interest a few students, and honestly, I need my students doing more than narrative-style responses at the HS level. That is why I created this! It challenges students to think about what they are reading IN YOUR CLASS...not just an unrelated prompt.
In my experience using this, students are never at a loss for what to write, even when writing about the same piece of literature for more than one day.
The way the prompt is set up, a student can approach the analysis from different angles, thereby pushing them to expand their thinking about a particular reading assignment.
This works for fiction and non-fiction!
+All students need a composition notebook (they will use this all year)
+Students cut and paste the directions into the front of their notebook
+Students keep track of entries either by date or number (you decide). I keep a running list on a poster paper in my room so they can make sure they’ve done all the entries for a particular unit
+Collect and grade for completion (easy!)—especially if you are having them use these for discussion at table groups! (Or don't. It's up to you.)
+Create a routine! This is the first thing my students do every day in my class after announcements. They know it. They expect it. Routine is paramount!
I really did gear this to the HS English classroom, but you may find it works in MS (7th or 8th) and even in higher ed. Also, there are four versions of this prompt sheet included:
+The first one includes a reminder that these entries may be used for discussions and that they will be graded
+The second version just mentions using the entries for discussion (no grading comment)
+The third version just mentions that the books will be graded (no discussion comment)
+The fourth version makes no mention of either discussion or grading
+Each sheet has a sample paragraph (using the first prologue of Romeo and Juliet)
Use the one that works best with your classroom expectations and routine. For my honors classes, I use the discussion and grading version.
This is a great thing to start using in the beginning of the year.
Thanks, and enjoy the ease of using this!
Teacher in the Rye
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