The following are writing prompts and discussion topics based on the blog, “That Special Gift, Part 1.” After the prompts we have included suggestions regarding ways to use this blog in your classroom as well as a discussion about why this blog can be a useful tool in your classroom. So, get your students think, pair, sharing and see what develops.
- What is one of the best holiday gifts you ever heard about? What made it special?
- What does “abundance” mean to you? Is it a good thing? Why or why not?
- What winter holiday that you don’t usually celebrate are you interested in knowing more about? Research it and describe a “mashup” holiday that combines things about this holiday with things about another holiday you know about.
- How many gifts at holiday time is just the right amount? Defend your answer with reasons why this is the right amount and more would be too many.
NOTE: If you prefer that students not be required to write about or discuss themselves, suggest they respond to the prompts by talking about their experiences with friends or relatives instead of themselves.
Teachers, you can use this blog in classrooms. Here are two ideas about how.
- For middle or high school parenting or child development courses:
- Use the blog for discussion topics
- Require students to research the topics and agree or disagree with what the blog is suggesting.
2. For all courses, especially English Language Arts:
- Use the blog for writing prompts for paragraphs, theme papers, journal entries, class starters, etc. Have students read the blog and respond to:
- Do you agree with what is being said about kids? Do kids really act, think or feel that way?
- Do you agree with what is being said about parents, grandparents, teachers and child caregivers? Do or should they act, think or feel that way?
- What would be your advice on this topic?
- What was left out of this article?
- If you were a parent, would you use any of this information? How?
Why can this blog be a useful teaching tool?
- Students that see connections between their coursework and their lives do better in school.
- Most students will either be parents one day or have children in their lives that they care about, so the topical information can help them build their knowledge about children and parenting and develop a positive image of the type of parenting they want to do.
- The new core literacy standards adopted by most states call for frequent writing in all courses.
- Newly developed end-of-course assessments to be used by many states will require that students demonstrate that they can think critically. These prompts help students practice critical thinking.
- Newly developed end-of-course assessments to be used by many states will require that students demonstrate that they can analyze what they read. These prompts help students practice analysis.