The following are writing prompts and discussion topics based on the blog, “Holiday Gift Items Revisited.”
After the prompts we have included suggestions regarding ways to use this blog in your classroom and why this blog can be a useful tool in your classroom. So, get your students to think, pair, and share and see what develops.
- Do you think the American Thanksgiving Holiday is still important in 2014? Why or why not?
- Make-up a recipe for a special dish to be served at a family meal. It can be something from scratch or something that combines two or three things that are edible by themselves but are not usually eaten together – like jam on pretzels. Give your dish a name. It can be as unusual as you like, but it should be something you really think will be tasty and are willing to taste test.
- Imagine that there is a character in a novel that is a lot like you – your age, lives in a city or town like yours, has a family a lot like yours, likes many of the same things you do. This character is celebrating a Thanksgiving Holiday this month. What is he or she going to be most grateful about and why?
- Review the list of holiday gift ideas at “Holiday Gift Items Revisited.” Select a few that you would recommend that a friend or relative consider giving to someone special to them. Explain why these are your recommendations.
- Review the list of holiday gift ideas at “Holiday Gift Items Revisited.” What two gifts should be added to the list? Why?
Teachers, if you collect additional gift ideas from your class (from kids or adults), we would love to see them. We may be able to use them in future lists (with credit given to your class, if you provide that information).
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.