I teach middle-schoolers, so I know how tempting it can be to want to just tell students to “Think harder” when they tell me that they can’t think of anything to write. I jest, I don’t want to tell them that…(right?)
I actually found it more frustrating when I worked in the private sector and felt like I wanted to tell some of my teammates to think harder and brainstorm more!
But, I do genuinely want to help my students learn how to think and how to communicate those thoughts. I think we all do. But how do we do that?
For starters, I can’t really say my students aren’t thinking unless I ask them to write something they want to write. Judging a student’s answer to a book I forced them to read and an essay I forced them to write doesn’t seem fair. So, I wanted to see if they could think and write about things that are important to them.
I gave them two minutes and asked them to make an argument for one of the following:
- YouTube or NetFlix
- Scheduled Tests or Pop Quizzes
- Six-Day school and no homework or Five-Day school with homework
Set your timer for two minutes, make your argument, and tune in on Monday to see what some of my students wrote! Happy Friday 🙂
By the way, many thanks to Amrit and Cindy who shared lines from their stories and/or their stories!
Here are some of my students’ responses:
|When that laugh echoed down the hall, I felt a weird emptiness, and little did I know, that was just the beginning. – greta|
My evil loofah started shaking and sped to the door. It just kept on jumping and jumping, and over my fence it went! – joss
Once upon a time I played first base. – liam
At the sanctuary, it was night time and the sunset was the most beautiful thing that I had seen in years. It was the perfect night, the elephants safe and healthy, eating lettuce, and my vanilla ice cream with hot fudge filling my tastebuds with delicious creamy and sweet flavors. – susanna
Her family left her behind at a county fair where only one boy was present. Observing her loneliness, he came up to talk to her. -sophie
I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was a long eel on the floor! How did it get in? How had I not noticed!? – Nikash
(Lost, falling, elephant). Peanuts was walking around one day with his herd when he saw a red marking next to a cliff, and as he walked over, he tripped, sending him down into the ravine. – Matthew
By the way, this exercise can be done with any age group! Because they are coming up with the words and the story, it is easily accessible to all.
I’ll leave it up to you to decide if these responses show that my students are thinking. You know what I am going to say 🙂