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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English/ELA, On Wednesdays We Write, Teacher Resources

On Wednesdays We Write – Prompt #4

Prompt #4:

Glory. What is glory? Take a few minutes to reflect. It’s OK to use a dictionary or to Google the meaning. How does glory look? Sound? Smell? Taste? Feel? How do you know when you achieve glory? What items would be on the checklist? Does glory come from within, or does another’s attention or praise bring glory? Is it a conscious goal or a byproduct? Share briefly an encounter you’ve had with glory.

Prompt #4 – Challenge:

Write a poem titled “Glory” that conveys the essence of the word.

Poetic form: whatever works

Suggested length: as long as it takes

Share your prompt responses by uploading in the comments.

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English/ELA, On Wednesdays We Write, Teacher Resources

On Wednesdays We Write – Prompt #3

Photo by Pixel unit from Pexels

Prompt #3:

Write a dialogue between these two ducks that introduces and resolves a conflict. If read out loud, the conversation should last 3-4 minutes.

Prompt #3 – Challenge:

Write an introduction to the duck exchange, except for this challenge, make the same conversation between humans. Give the characters names, brief physical descriptions, and internal traits that set up the dialogue to make sense. Follow the introduction with a revised version of the duck dialogue that fits the human characters you’ve created.

I’m excited to read what you’ve created. Upload your exercise in the comments to share.

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English/ELA, On Wednesdays We Write, Teacher Resources

On Wednesdays We Write – Prompt #2

Photo by Jaymantri from Pexels

Prompt #2:

Write the exposition for a story that begins with the following:

When I opened my eyes, I struggled for a minute to figure out whether I was dreaming or awake…

Remember that exposition gives the background for a story. It introduces characters and setting (time and place), as well as the situation in which the characters find themselves.

Prompt #2 – Challenge:

Advance the story through the inciting incident, which is the event that reveals the conflict and draws the main character into their journey.

I’m looking forward to reading your stories. Upload your work in the comments to share.

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English/ELA, On Wednesdays We Write, Teacher Resources

On Wednesdays We Write – Prompt #1

Photo by Nikita Khandelwal from Pexels

Prompt #1:

Tell me about your favorite fork. Describe what it looks like. What color is it? What shape? Of what material is it made? Detail any engravings or decorative features. Is it one-of-a-kind or one of many? How does it feel when you hold it? Why is this one your favorite? What people, events, ideas, or emotions do you associate with it?

Prompt #1 – Challenge:

Write a vignette featuring this fork. A vignette is a very short sequence of events, creating a snapshot of one brief moment in time. Work in as many descriptive details as you can, but remember to place them in a narrative.

The narrative may be fiction or nonfiction.

Suggested length: 300-400 words

Upload your writing in the comments to share.

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