English/ELA, On Wednesdays We Write, Teacher Resources

On Wednesdays We Write – Prompt #14

Prompt #14:

Think of smoke. What is the source of that smoke? Describe how it smells in 100 or so words. Reach for olfactory-friendly words, and don’t be afraid to use comparisons to help you get the most vivid description.

Prompt #14 Challenge:

Write a poem about smoke. Include a description of the source and striking olfactory images. Give the smoke a deeper meaning. Make observations about life or the world.

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English/ELA, On Wednesdays We Write, Teacher Resources

On Wednesdays We Write – Prompt #13

Prompt #13:

Pretend these gummy flavors come in a package together. On the back is a list of the flavor names and a 25ish-word description of each. Write the names and descriptions of each flavor. Get creative.

Prompt #13 Challenge:

Choose one: superpowers or dreams. Go back to your flavor names and descriptions and add which specific superpower or dream type is associated with each gummy color.

Prompt #13 Super Challenge:

Write a journal entry from someone who ate gummies containing different superpowers or dreams. Work in the flavor names and descriptions. Detail the experience that followed.

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English/ELA, On Wednesdays We Write, Teacher Resources

On Wednesdays We Write – Prompt #12

Prompt #12:

Listen. What do you hear? Describe that sound.

Listen again. What else do you hear? Describe that sound too.

Listen one more time. What new things do you hear that you didn’t notice the first two times you started paying attention to the sounds around you? Describe those things.

You should have a paragraph for each of the sounds you discovered in each round of listening. Some sounds you heard because they were loudest. Others may have come to you when you listened to your surroundings at a deeper level.

The sounds may be constant, or they may be–quickly or slowly–passing through your environment.

Look back at your descriptions. Pull the sounds together into one paragraph, situating them in your surroundings.

Prompt #12 Challenge:

Take the next step and write what comes out of the auditory setting you have described. Is it a mental landscape? Is it physical? What activity is happening? Set up the scene for what will happen next.

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English/ELA, On Wednesdays We Write, Teacher Resources

On Wednesdays We Write – Prompt #11

Photo: Canva

Prompt #11:

What are you waiting for? Almost always, we’re waiting for something. What is it you are waiting for? How long have you waited? What has happened during that time? What have you learned? When do you anticipate the wait will be over?

Prompt #11 – Challenge:

Dream about what will happen when the wait is over. Tell that story.

Want others to share your wait? Post your thoughts in the comments.

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English/ELA, On Wednesdays We Write, Teacher Resources

On Wednesdays We Write – Prompt #10

Prompt #10:

After ocean storms, the shore is littered with trash and treasures. The global pandemic that began in 2019 was a storm affecting the whole world. As you reflect on the impact of the COVID-19 season, look along the shoreline of your life. What treasures appeared on the sand? What trash did the waves dredge up?

Prompt #10 – Challenge:

Select one treasure or one piece of trash the pandemic deposited on your shoreline. Fully develop that metaphor in either prose or poetry form.

Engage in a writing community. Share your Prompt #10 or Prompt #10-Challenge response in the comments.

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English/ELA, On Wednesdays We Write, Teacher Resources

On Wednesdays We Write – Prompt #9

Prompt #9:

Describe this setting. Remember that setting includes both time and place. Write “beyond the borders of the photo” in your description.

Prompt #9 – Challenge:

Into this setting, place a character who will find conflict in or with this space at this time. Tell the story of how that conflict begins.

I want to hear this story, and I bet others do too. Share in the comments.

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English/ELA, On Wednesdays We Write, Teacher Resources

On Wednesdays We Write – Prompt #8

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Prompt #8:

You are packing two boxes of books. One is for yourself, and one is for someone you love. List the books that go into each box. Try to come up with at least ten for you and ten for your loved one.

Prompt #8 – Challenge:

Pick one or two books from each box and explain why you would choose those. Think deeply. Make this little expository piece come alive.

In the comments, share your list(s) or your explanation(s), or even just the title of the One Book to Rule Them All.

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English/ELA, On Wednesdays We Write, Teacher Resources

On Wednesdays We Write – Prompt #7

Prompt #7:

Let’s talk diction. Words have a couple of different types of meaning. First, there’s the dictionary definition of the word, its literal meaning. We call that denotation. Second, there are the emotional and psychological associations we have with words. We call those associations the word’s connotation.

In the complexity of the English language, some words have multiple denotations and connotations. Take the verb fly, for example.

In the collage above, each photo represents a different meaning of the word fly. Depending on your interpretation of the image, each also has the potential to have a different connotation, a different psychological or emotional response.

For each photo in the collage, write a paragraph explaining both the connotation and the denotation of the verb fly as you experience it when you look at the image.

Prompt #7 – Challenge:

Share the story of your most recent flying experience. It could embody a definition of flying similar to one of the prompt photos, or it might be another type of flying altogether. Narrate events and explain the feelings. Make connections.

Let’s talk connotation and denotation in the comments.

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English/ELA, On Wednesdays We Write, Teacher Resources

On Wednesdays We Write – Prompt #6

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

Prompt #6:

In paragraph form, narrate the process of washing hands. Go methodically through the steps, but try to avoid using the actual words, “Step one, step two,” etc. Let the directions flow in story form, but don’t add characters or other details. Just show the process.

Prompt #6: Challenges:

Wait… what? More than one challenge?! Yes, yes, there are TWO challenges for this one, but you need to choose only one of the two–the one that suits you best.

Collaborative Challenge:

Grab a partner or two and ask them to help you with a little experiment. You’ll read your Prompt #6 step-by-step instructions for washing hands, and your partner(s) will, in real life, do EXACTLY what you wrote. And I mean EXACTLY. Instruct your collaborative team not to do anything that isn’t included in the words you wrote. If things get weird, you’ll know you missed some steps. Once everyone stops laughing, revise your paragraph and try the same experiment on a new person to see how well your revision went.

Solo Challenge:

Take the hand-washing paragraph you have written and add in the thoughts of the person washing their hands. If the person is you, then write what you would think as you wash your hands. If the hand-washer is someone other than you, make their thoughts consistent with who they are and their context. In either case, feel free to bring in a narrative frame.

For this solo challenge, experiment with form. Do you want to put thoughts in italics? Although if someone is handwriting the prompt, I suppose underlining would be best. Do you prefer to introduce thoughts directly? I wondered as I became conscious of just how cold my hands actually were.

Let me know how it goes. I can’t wait to read these. Upload your writing in the comments.

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English/ELA, On Wednesdays We Write, Teacher Resources

On Wednesdays We Write – Prompt #5

Photo by Valentin Antonucci from Pexels

Prompt #5:

What do you see as the biggest problem facing our world today? Explain the concern and why it dominates other issues.

Prompt #5 – Challenge:

What are the options for solving this problem? Which one do you think is the most viable? Why?

Let’s talk about how to make the world a better place. Upload your prompt response in the comments.

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