The following are writing prompts and discussion topics based on the blog Children’s Interests and Talents Belong in School.
Name three things that interest you – even if you don’t know very much about those things right now. Include things you think you are good at doing or things you know a lot about.
Imagine that your reading, math, and science assignments had to do with the things you are interested in. For example, if you were reading about the history of a sport, the science of cooking, or the math related to building things. Do you think that would be a good way to learn? If so, why? If not, why not?
Imagine you need to prepare a flyer to get other students to understand that learning about the things they are interested in could make them better students. What would your flyer say? Be brief and to the point. Use words that will be understood by and appeal to your audience.
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.