Resources for Writing Prompts:


Other TeachersFirst Special Topics Collections

This collection of reviewed resources includes many types of writing prompts, both visual and verbal, to inspire writing. Whether you want students to try their hand at poetry or informational writing, there are ideas here to help. Make this collection available for students to find their own inspiration for open-ended, creative writing assignments. Teachers can also use this list to find 2-3 possible choices for a targeted writing assignment. Student choice is key in helping student voice come through in their writing.

 

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TubeChop - TubeChop.com

Grades
K to 12
9 Favorites 1  Comments
   
Chop pieces of You Tube videos easily and effortlessly in as little as a few steps. Quickly share your chopped video by providing a URL link or using the embed ...more
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Chop pieces of You Tube videos easily and effortlessly in as little as a few steps. Quickly share your chopped video by providing a URL link or using the embed code in a wiki, blog, or other site. View easy instructions and examples of chopped videos on the front page of the site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): gamification (80), movies (66), safety (89), video (275), webquests (28), writing prompts (77)

In the Classroom

No registration is needed to use this free, web based application. Users need to be able to find an appropriate You Tube video and know where the start and end times of the portion they wish to cut. If more than one portion is wanted from the video (i.e. remove the whole middle), users will have to create two chopped segments which can be posted separately.

First, select the video you want to use. If the URL is not known, no problem. Search for the video within TubeChop itself. Once the video is selected, click the "Chop" button. Select the part you want by dragging the two black sliders that appear under the video to choose the desired start and end times of your chopped piece. It is helpful to note the time markers when you are previewing the original video and then move the markers to those points. Once your chopped piece has been chosen, simply click "Chop it." The chopped video appears with its own Tubechop link. Copy the embed code to share the video on your blog or website. The embed code is easily entered on a wiki as well.

If YouTube is blocked in your district, Tubechop videos will not show, either, since they are "pulled" from YouTube. Check school access before you plan to use TubeChop! (When tested in a district that blocks You Tube, the actual Tube Chop video did not play.) Be sure to check District policy about use of You Tube videos. Even if YouTube is not filtered, as with all resources used in the classroom, be sure to preview the appropriateness of the video before using in the classroom. TubeChop removes unwanted material whether inappropriate or not needed for that particular lesson.

Choose only portions needed for use in that particular lesson or remove unwanted portions that are inappropriate (or boring!) Create little clips to use as a webquest. Though it is time consuming, it would be easier for younger students to focus on smaller pieces of video to locate information. Chop small pieces of video for use as writing prompts for essays, creative writing, or blog posts. Chop portions of videos showing different viewpoints or arguments to any scientific, political, economic, or historical event. Use in the Arts to showcase music, dance, art, or other creative pursuits. Use chopped portions of video footage captured by the public to compare with news accounts to uncover bias and discuss perspective.

Comments

TubeChop is a great tool to select one part of some YouTube video, but if you are interested in selecting multiple parts of the same video, then you will need something else. I've found www.vibby.com to be great for this purpose - and it even allows annotating and commenting each specific part! Toni, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Big Huge Thesaurus - Big Huge Labs

Grades
1 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
This simple-looking online thesaurus is actually MUCH more than a quick-look-up. You can find synonyms, antonyms, similar words, and rhymes for any word you enter. A click on any of...more
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This simple-looking online thesaurus is actually MUCH more than a quick-look-up. You can find synonyms, antonyms, similar words, and rhymes for any word you enter. A click on any of the words offered provides the same information for THAT word, sending you on word-paths through the English language. Innocent-looking links at the top of the page also provide hundreds of prompts for blog posts and stories, with enough choices to inspire any writer. Don't let the boring white background and plain-text presentation fool you. This tool has magic powers to make words interesting to almost anyone. The database of words used to generate this thesaurus comes from "the Princeton University WordNet database, the Carnegie Mellon Pronouncing Dictionary, and suggestions from thousands of people on the internet just like you." See a special note to teachers below regarding student behavior!

tag(s): rhymes (29), thesaurus (22), vocabulary (293), word study (73), writing (360), writing prompts (77)

In the Classroom

Keep this link handy among the resources on your class web page or wiki, and be sure to bring it up on your screen or interactive whiteboard to remind students of the rich tools it offers as you teach grammar, revision, poetry, essay-writing, or even letter and resume writing. With primary grades, share the rhyming words to help teach spelling and phonics! As students share in revising a passage or writing a poem on the interactive whiteboard, have this thesaurus available on another window to model their search for just the right word. Encourage students to look up any new vocabulary or terminology at the start of new science or social studies units so they can gain a broader "sense" of the words themselves through a constellation of synonyms and related words. Help students refine vocabulary by having them rank the various synonyms offered for a certain word, deciding which has the most positive or negative connotations. Offer the writing prompts for student journal or blog posts or creative stories. ESL/ELL students can explore new words with this tool, even practicing the rhyming sounds and noticing their varied spellings. Check out the Big Huge Labs educator account. Easily pre-register students to avoid creating logins, view and download their creations, and view the site advertisement free. You will find information about the Educator Account here.

NOTE: If students enter an inappropriate word, they WILL find classroom-inappropriate terms. As with use of any reference, your students need to know your classroom's consequences of such activity. The options are no different from students looking up body parts or pornographic terms in a print dictionary or on Google.

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Make Beliefs Comix - Bill Zimmerman

Grades
2 to 12
10 Favorites 0  Comments
Make comics to prompt writing, assess understanding, or as digital storytelling. Looking for an alternative to a quiz or an assignment of boring vocabulary definitions written on notebook...more
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Make comics to prompt writing, assess understanding, or as digital storytelling. Looking for an alternative to a quiz or an assignment of boring vocabulary definitions written on notebook paper? Trying to find a way to prompt students to write even short passages? Trying to teach simple dialog to ESL/ELL students? Working on appropriate language and interpersonal skills with emotional support students? Looking for a creative way to make clever newsletter additions, bulletin board items, or class rules? Use this great online tool for both students and teachers to create web-based or printed comic strips from a selection of characters and voice bubbles-- and with your OWN text! Our editors made a sample for you to see.

This site also features writing prompts. To find the writing prompts, click to Enter The Site and then scroll to the bottom of the page. The link for Writer Prompts can be found on the bottom right side of the site. The Writer Prompts link will lead you to the creator's blog, with many writing prompts (with new prompts added often). This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (54), digital storytelling (145), writing (360), writing prompts (77)

In the Classroom

This one is ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Demonstrate the tool on the whiteboard or projector and allow the class to create a strip together before you share the link on your teacher web page. Have students create strips as a quiz or other assignment and email the links to you. No more papers to carry around and grade! Build a collection of comics on different curriculum topics to use as anticipatory sets/activators or to spark discussion. Have younger students make comic strip greeting cards for Mother's Day. The possibilities are endless.

The site creators tell us that Makebeliefscomix accepts accent marks and characters from Spanish, French, Italian, German, Latin, Portuguese, in addition to English, they hope soon to add Chinese and Japanese.

Use the writing prompts to excite reluctant writers. Visit often, as new prompts are added weekly.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Toasted Cheese - Stephanie

Grades
8 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This is a useful site that makes life a little easier for writing teachers. BUT USE CAUTION! Looking for different daily prompts to address different kinds of writing and ...more
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This is a useful site that makes life a little easier for writing teachers. BUT USE CAUTION! Looking for different daily prompts to address different kinds of writing and issues? This site has current and past calendars that offer everything from first lines to assorted kinds of poetry. It has writing articles by both amateur and professional writers, writing exercises called "A Pen in Each Hand," links to other writing prompt sites, as well as chats and forums. The "Pen in Each Hand" link provides archived writing activities. BE CERTAIN to preview whatever you are using and do NOT permit students to surf this site. There are some inappropriate topics for use in school. Obviously the chat/forum option should be closely monitored or avoided entirely.

tag(s): creative writing (156), writing (360), writing prompts (77)

In the Classroom

This site is worth it if only for the variety of the daily prompts; however, there is a lot here to engage students. The story examples (such as the "Pushcart Prize Nominations"), the online literary journal, and the assortment of writing exercises give teachers a smorgasbord of activities to choose from. Just be sure to preview whatever material you wish to use in class and do so on a teacher-controlled machine. Or avoid recommending the site itself and find ideas you can use by projecting a writing prompt alone on your interactive whiteboard or projector, having students brainstorm ideas and write on their own to avoid potential "public" content here. Introduce blogging using one of these prompts. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Prompts - Creativity-Portal.com

Grades
2 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This site offers writing prompts of many types, from written prompts to line drawings, to photographs, from story starters to articles on the imagination. With plenty of prompts available...more
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This site offers writing prompts of many types, from written prompts to line drawings, to photographs, from story starters to articles on the imagination. With plenty of prompts available at your fingertips, teachers will find inspirational starters in a form which will appeal to all types of students.

There is a submission option at this site. You are able to submit articles or projects, suggest websites with FREE learning content, creativity journey blogs, or inspiring success stories. Before you submit any students' work, be sure to check with your school's Acceptable Use Policy and always get parental permission.

tag(s): drawing (75), journals (20), writing (360), writing prompts (77)

In the Classroom

Use these writing prompts with your ESL or ELL students to get them to incorporate new vocabulary into a written piece. Share the on your teacher web page for all students to use as starters for blog writing or journaling. Have students share their own ideas of writing prompts, drawings, and photos that they feel may help others start writing. Submit students' work and ideas, after the proper precautions have been taken.

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Bill'z Treasure Chest - Bill Zimmerman

Grades
4 to 10
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This writing site offers interesting prompts for intermediate and secondary students. The site is set-up as a blog, and you are able to make comments on the writing prompts. New ...more
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This writing site offers interesting prompts for intermediate and secondary students. The site is set-up as a blog, and you are able to make comments on the writing prompts. New prompts are added at least once per week, sometimes twice or more. There are archived writing prompts dating back to 2005 - so there are PLENTY of choices to use in your classroom. Adding a comment requires an email address. Rather than using your personal or work email addresses, create a free Gmail email address.

tag(s): blogs (79), writing (360), writing prompts (77)

In the Classroom

Share the writing prompt(s) on an interactive whiteboard or projector and have students independently writing on paper or typing on the computer. These would be terrific prompts for student blogs! Provide two or three choices for students to use writing prompts. Have younger students work with a partner to brainstorm and list possible stories based on the prompt.

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Dragon Writing Prompts - Joyce Fetteroll

Grades
8 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
While this site would require some supervision, the variety makes it very attractive to the writing teacher. It has prompts that are pictures, others that are quotes, still others that...more
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While this site would require some supervision, the variety makes it very attractive to the writing teacher. It has prompts that are pictures, others that are quotes, still others that give first and last lines, or simply words-- either real or made up. The categories given in the right hand column range from adopt-a-plot to year-long mystery. Both students as writers and teachers as instructors are limited only by their imaginations! Check out the site first as some schools may block what appears to be a blog site, but really is something quite different.

tag(s): creative writing (156), writing (360), writing prompts (77)

In the Classroom

Assign a small group of students to each kind of prompt category and create a writing contest for each week or month. You can create prizes, publish bulletin boards, or even create your own class online writing magazine wiki with the results.

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Writing Prompts/Journal Topics - CanTeach

Grades
2 to 8
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Are you continually looking for writing prompt ideas? As the title suggests, this site provides a lengthy list of simple writing prompts. The prompts could easily be tailored to grade...more
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Are you continually looking for writing prompt ideas? As the title suggests, this site provides a lengthy list of simple writing prompts. The prompts could easily be tailored to grade level and writing ability as needed.

tag(s): writing (360), writing prompts (77)

In the Classroom

Use these prompts for morning work, journaling or blogging. Cut prompts into strips and place in a grab-bag. Have students "pull-a-prompt" from the grab bag as a guided reading center or after-lunch activity. The prompts could also be used as conversation starters during morning meetings.

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Thoughtful Learning - Write Source: Writing Topics - Houghton Mifflin Co.

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
  
The authors of Write Source have moved their materials to Thoughtful Learning. Explore this great site to find free minilessons, student writing topics, and models of good writing....more
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The authors of Write Source have moved their materials to Thoughtful Learning. Explore this great site to find free minilessons, student writing topics, and models of good writing. The writing topics are divided by grade level in elementary and intermediate, then grouped as 9-12 for high school. Each section includes many writing prompts --enough to whet the appetite of almost any student. The minilessons are a treasure! Many have a short video explanation and some have templates to print! The student models are shown by type (creative writing, persuasive, research, response to literature, business, etc.) and level. As for writing assessments see the elementary and middle school models in all of the major modes of writing, and rubrics that assess each example as "Strong," "Good," "Okay," or "Poor." Download blank rubrics to use with your students. The upper levels of this site, such as persuasive writing or literary analysis, open the door to higher level thinking. There are free curricula Teaching Guides for K-3, however, the other levels of curricula books have a cost. Though the videos display on this site, they reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (79), essays (24), writing (360), writing prompts (77)

In the Classroom

Have the students choose their own prompt from the list and then share their writing within a small group, with the class, or on their own blogs. Replace paper and pencil and have your younger students create a blog using Seesaw, reviewed here., while older students can use Telegra.ph, reviewed here. With Telegra.ph you just click on an icon to upload images from your computer, add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links. This blog creator requires no registration. Use the models and anonymous sharing on an interactive whiteboard to create a "safe" way for students to share writing as process and hear how others do it. Take this a step further and enhance student learning by having them use a collaborative writing tool like Penflip, reviewed here, or Google Docs. There is also the option of altering student learning and PUBLISHING student models with Book Creator, reviewed here, or Ourboox, reviewed here, as a motivator. Be sure to get parent permission!

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Writing Prompts and Scoring Guides - Bakersfield City School District

Grades
K to 8
4 Favorites 0  Comments
Are you looking for some new writing prompts for your class? This website provides writing prompts for grades K-8 and includes narrative writing, expository writing, persuasive writing,...more
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Are you looking for some new writing prompts for your class? This website provides writing prompts for grades K-8 and includes narrative writing, expository writing, persuasive writing, observational writing, writing about events, writing a friendly letter, writing a thank you note, writing informational reports, writing responses to literature, writing technical documents, writing a character analysis, and many other forms of writing. The best part is that there are rubrics provided with each prompt. The rubrics offer explicit details for students and an excellent assessment tool for teachers.

tag(s): expository writing (38), narrative (18), persuasive writing (56), rubrics (32), writing (360), writing prompts (77)

In the Classroom

Use the writing prompts (and rubrics) to simplify your lesson planning and grading. Model responding to a prompt on an interactive whiteboard. Then have the students "revise" your draft on the whiteboard and assess it according to the rubric so they can see how the process works. SAVE the various steps of this process in your whiteboard software as a "flip chart" or "notebook" so students can view it again later to reinforce writing process steps. Print some step-by-step examples out for a "Writing Center" bulletin board.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Painless Writing - Richard Guidone

Grades
3 to 9
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This site developed from the Yale-New Haven Teachers' Institute offers some tried and true as well as new ways to get children writing painlessly. It walks a teacher through rationale...more
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This site developed from the Yale-New Haven Teachers' Institute offers some tried and true as well as new ways to get children writing painlessly. It walks a teacher through rationale and procedures and offers lessons for different lengths of writing, etc. Guidone offers some creative ways to get kids writing, especially reluctant learners who might need a little prodding of the imagination! While you may be familiar with some of the methods, his combinations can be surprising and thought-provoking. Definitely worth a look, despite the simple, text-only appearance of the page.

tag(s): process writing (43), writing (360), writing prompts (77)

In the Classroom

Mark this one as a Favorite so you can find a writing prompt at a moment's notice. These idas would work well with blogs or journals. You cna also use the prompts to model writing techniques on an interactive whiteboard-- always a motivator!

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Talking Point Worksheets - English Club.com

Grades
6 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This collection holds a variety of pdf format worksheets designed to kick off discussions on controversial topics of interest to middle school and high school students. Although designed...more
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This collection holds a variety of pdf format worksheets designed to kick off discussions on controversial topics of interest to middle school and high school students. Although designed for limited English speakers, some topics have general interest. Teachers will need to examine the worksheets carefully due to the presence of some British expressions that might confuse American speakers. New Talking Points are available every month, so it's worth checking back to see new offerings. This files require Acrobat Reader. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): debate (45), speech (87), worksheets (65), writing (360), writing prompts (77)

In the Classroom

Use these topics as you teach speech, debate, or persuasive writing skills. WARNING: DO NOT share this link with your students directly. Topics include "taboo" words that you would NOT want them discussing in most classrooms, though mature ESL learners do need to understand them(and that is exactly what the sheet is about!). The sheets provide excellent prewriting questions to get reluctant student-writers thinking and organizing ideas.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Create your own R.A.F.T.S. Prompts for Social Studies - Northern Nevada Writing Project

Grades
4 to 12
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Looking for writing prompts that are fun and geared toward social studies? Trying to reinforce content knowledge using writing? Look no further! This web site offers a great ...more
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Looking for writing prompts that are fun and geared toward social studies? Trying to reinforce content knowledge using writing? Look no further! This web site offers a great way to create writing prompts simply by clicking on an icon and receiving the luck of the draw. The teacher chooses the subject and by random selection, the web site chooses the Role, Audience, Format, Topic and Strong Verb. Students can also create their own, though it may be tricky for lower grades (might require several walk-throughs). Great for students who struggle with brainstorming writing topics.

tag(s): writing (360), writing prompts (77)

In the Classroom

Use this for literature contracts or guided reading assignments. It is also helpful for teachers who are having writer's block! Great way to tie social studies to language arts.

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Create your own R.A.F.T.S. Prompts for Science - Northern Nevada Writing Project

Grades
4 to 12
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Looking for writing prompts that are fun and geared toward a science? Look no further! This web site offers a great way to create writing prompts simply by ...more
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Looking for writing prompts that are fun and geared toward a science? Look no further! This web site offers a great way to create writing prompts simply by clicking on an icon and receiving the luck of the draw. User chooses the subject and by random selection, the web site chooses the Role, Audience, Format, Topic and Strong Verb. May be tricky for lower grades and will require several walk-through lessons. Great for students who struggle with brainstorming writing topics.

tag(s): writing (360), writing prompts (77)

In the Classroom

This is a great way to find ideas for literature contracts, guided reading assignments, teachers who are having writer's block. Great way to tie science to language arts using a write-to-learn approach. This is a sure way to build content area reading comprehension of your science textbook.

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Writing Fix for Kids - Writing Fix

Grades
1 to 5
3 Favorites 0  Comments
Give elementary students some choices of creative writing topics with this interactive resource that encourages out-of-the-box thinking. Choose any of the 14 interactive games to find...more
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Give elementary students some choices of creative writing topics with this interactive resource that encourages out-of-the-box thinking. Choose any of the 14 interactive games to find new ideas.

tag(s): writing (360), writing prompts (77)

In the Classroom

Keep this link on your class web page for access both in and out of class! Let students advertise their favorite prompt tool on your interactive whiteboard or projector before sharing a writing piece that resulted from this prompt.

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Imaginary City - Tate Museum

Grades
2 to 6
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Challenge your students to use their creativity with this virtual art project that guides them through the construction of an imaginary scene. Need a bit of inspiration? Investigate...more
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Challenge your students to use their creativity with this virtual art project that guides them through the construction of an imaginary scene. Need a bit of inspiration? Investigate the origin of each of the objects used to create the student-designed picture. Each is part of a larger piece of artwork in the Tate Gallery collection. But don't stop there. Use your students' newly created works as prompts for a writing activity.

tag(s): design (89), writing (360), writing prompts (77)

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The Big Read - The National Endowment for the Arts

Grades
6 to 12
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The Big Read is a National Endowment for the Arts endeavor aimed at increasing reading and literary discussions. This site's main initiative is to address communities and aims...more
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The Big Read is a National Endowment for the Arts endeavor aimed at increasing reading and literary discussions. This site's main initiative is to address communities and aims to provide cities and towns with local programs and opportunities to read and discuss books. The resources and study guides are well-suited for teaching and encouraging reading for enjoyment as well as study. Many middle and high school books of all genres, such as Fahrenheit 451, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Great Poems and Tales of Edgar Allan Poe are featured, and are often accompanied by an online documentary film about the author and the literary work, discussion questions and topics, and lesson plan ideas. The Big Read is continually expanding and offers grants.

tag(s): literature (256), resources (106), writing prompts (77)

In the Classroom

You will want to save this website to your favorites to return to it often and implement materials to fit your curriculum. The materials may be projected on your classroom whiteboard or projector to enhance background information, comprehension, and critical thinking for the literary selection you are currently studying. Thought provoking questions could be used for both oral and written responses.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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