The following are writing prompts and discussion topics based on the blog, “Make-Believe and Funny: Two Good Things.”
- Write or find 3 knock-knock jokes or riddles appropriate for preschool children. Work with a friend and tell each other your jokes or riddles. Make a report on which ones were the funniest to you and what made them funny. You can write your report, video it, or demonstrate it.
- Think of a child you know. What does this child want to be when he or she grows up? Is it an occupation that is usually done by only women or men? If so, is the child you are thinking about the “right” gender?
- If yes, write several reasons why you think men end up in “men’s” occupations and women in “women’s occupations.” Write about whether you agree or not with these reasons and why.
- If no, write about what you think it will be like for that person to be in that occupation. Give several ideas about what would make it easier for that person.
- What advice would you give a parent about dealing with their children about “monsters under the bed.” Be sure to consider the need for children to learn the difference between real and pretend. See That Special Gift – Part 2 as a resource.
- Give an example of a situation where a young adult is having trouble telling the difference between real and pretend.
- How do you think a young adult gets to be that age and still be confused about what is real?
- What do you think could help that young adult figure out the difference between pretend and real?
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.