“Staying in the Lines” – Teacher’s Corner


Teacher’s Corner

Writing Prompts and Discussion Topics on the Subject of “Staying in the Lines.”

  1. Remember a time when you colored in the lines. Maybe when you were younger. Maybe while coloring with a younger child. Write or discuss:
    *  What is it like to “stay in the lines”?
    *  Do you think it is a good idea to “stay in the lines”? Why or why not?
  2. Remember a time when you colored outside the lines. Maybe when you were younger. Maybe while coloring with a younger child. Write or discuss:
    *  What is it like to ignore the lines?
    *  Do you think it is a good idea to color outside the lines? Why or why not?
  3. Compare and contrast these two ways of doing art – within the lines and outside the lines. How are they alike and different? Which do you prefer? Why?
  4. Describe another situation for which coloring in and out of the lines can be a metaphor.
Read more about children and art at The Benefits of Art, Choices, and Discipline: Part 1.
Teachers, you can use this blog in classrooms. Here are two ideas about how.
  1. 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.

What do you think?

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