Use the YES! article, prompt, and sample essays in each writing lesson to bring the real world to your classroom—and to take your students’ writing to a new level.
Student Writing Lessons
Describe how you would feel if a place that defines you was threatened to be destroyed or taken away. What would you do? Would you fight to save it?
Is not voting a responsible option in a presidential election? Weigh in with your argument.
What is one thing you fear about your future? How can you lessen that fear?
Describe how you would feel if you were forcibly banned from going to school tomorrow—and indefinitely. What would you do?
Dig deep to identify and explain how you personally can treat people more justly. Describe what treating people fairly and humanely looks like to you. How might your actions make a difference where you live (school and community)? In greater society?
Describe a teacher or a classroom experience that helped make learning joyful and meaningful for you. Conversely, what message do you have for teachers and administrators who make learning tedious, even painful? How could they make learning more interesting and inspiring?
What is one worry you’d like to throw away? What would you replace your worry with, and what would you—and possibly those around you— gain by not having that worry in your life?
What are some ways—digital or otherwise—that you get strength and support to fight world suck with awesome?
Do teachers and administrators at your school discipline students with dignity? Or with disrespect?
Whether or not you agree with war, how might you welcome a war veteran home and support his return to community life?
If you simplified your life, what things would you get rid of or use less?
Do genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in your food concern you?
What would happen if you deliberately spoke to or smiled at people you might usually ignore- cashiers, the homeless, or someone of a different ethnicity?
If you could design your dream house, what would it look like?