The English Classroom

A HELPFUL GUIDE FOR PRESERVICE TEACHERS

The Situation

You want students to be creative and different with their writing, but they lack ideas.

The Solution

There are so many ways that you can get your students writing quickly! Here is one for free: when students come into the classroom, or if you just want to do a bit of writing, show a written prompt up on the whiteboard, such as the following: 

The air turned black all around me.

But we need a visual for students too! Something that will prompt their imagination. 

Now, you might like to do a couple of things here – it really depends on your classroom. You might ask some questions about the environment. Where could the story take place? Why is the character in this location? This will provide students with a variety of ideas about how to start their story. 

Otherwise, you might like the let the students run wild, on the page of course. 

You can then have students share their work to each other using a variety of cooperative activities. Jump over to that section of the website to get some ideas.

Here are a few other prompts that I have collated over the last few years from: https://www.literacyshed.com (Create a folder in your laptop and collate them, that way they are always at your disposal).

  • I didn’t mean to kill him.
  • Icy fingers gripped my arm in the darkness.
  • Wandering through the graveyard it felt like something was watching me. 
  • The eyes in the painting follow him down the corridor. 
  • A shrill cry echoed in the mist–Icy wind slashed at his face and the rain danced its evil dance upon his head as he tried to get his bearings on the isolated beach.
  • Footsteps slowly creaked on every step of the stairs. The bedroom door handle turned slowly. 
  • My hair stood on end, a shiver raced down my spine and a lump came to my throat. It was him…
  • Bleary-eyed, I went downstairs for breakfast, the house was empty, even the furniture had gone…The lights flickered and then went off, then the sirens started, it was coming, we knew it wouldn’t be the last time.

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