Sample Writing-to-Learn Prompts

Admit Slips: Upon entering the classroom, students write on an assigned topic: Examples: “Who was Gandhi and why should we care?” “Pick one word to describe the TONE of your evening last night and explain.” “Did you agree with Ellen’s actions in the chapters last night. Why or why not?”

Crystal Ball: Students describe what they think class might be about, what direction a discussion might take, or what might happen next in the novel.

Found Poems: Students reread a piece of text, either something they have written or something published, and find key phrases. They arrange these into poem structure without adding any new words.

Awards: Students recommend someone or something for an award the teacher has created, such as “Most helpful molecule” or “Most insidious leader.”

Yesterday’s News: Students summarize the information presented the day before in a film, lecture, discussion or reading

Exit Slips: As a closing activity, students write on an assigned prompt. Example: “The three best things I learned today were…” “Three aspects of my essay that I need to look at are…”

Adapted from Improving Adolescent Literacy by Fisher and Frey, p. 142-148


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