Tell the Story of Your First Pet from the Perspective of Your Pet

Prompt

Think back to the time you got your first pet. Maybe you got a playful puppy or a scrappy old rescue hound or a retired racer. Maybe you got a curious kitten or a moody old cat. But that pet changed your world forever. Now, tell this story from the perspective of the pet writing a journal of the first few days in your new family. What do you think of your new home? What’s your opinion of your humans? Anything puzzling or peculiar? What do you think of the food? What recommendations would you make to improve it? What are the toys like? What will you do for fun? What are your fears? What are your hopes? Focus on writing it from the perspective of your pet. Use vivid language and precise descriptions.


Invent an Underwater School

Transcript:

A team of marine biologists has invited you to help design the first ever underwater school.
Okay, actually fish spend their entire lives in schools. But this will be the first underwater school for humans
What type of student would attend this school?
Where will it be located? How will students get to the school?
What will students learn? How will the subjects be different from a typical school?
What sports would be available? What clubs would you have? Maybe scuba diving? Surfing?
What would the mascot be?
What would the building look like? How would the classrooms be designed?
How would you keep students safe?
Your job is to design this entire school and explain how it functions.

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Reinvent Baseball as an Extreme Sport

Prompt

Baseball has long been considered America’s pastime. But in recent years, baseball has become less popular, with fewer tv viewers compared to other sports. People say it’s too slow and even boring. Your job is to reinvent baseball as an extreme sport. What changes would you make to the rules? What ideas could you borrow from other sports? How would you speed it up? What kinds of additional equipment would you add? How would you change the field? Are there any new players you would add? What would the new positions be? What kind of action can you add while also ensuring player safety? Write the instructions for this new version of baseball. Then describe why it will be more popular than the traditional game?

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Hansel and Gretel Are On Trial

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyoXEelT_xk

Prompt

Hansel and Gretel were arrested and now they’re on trial for trespassing, robbery, littering, and destruction of property. The lawyers have interviewed witnesses and examined the evidence. Now they are about to give the closing arguments before the jury. Was it really life or death? Were they harmless lost children who got lost in the forest without food or shelter? Or were they dangerous, candy-crazed criminals who went out of their way to harass a harmless witch and destroy her home? You need to write the closing arguments for both the prosecution and defense. Be sure to present specific facts and sound reason to present why Hansel and Gretel should be found guilty or not guilty.

 

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Create a Map of Your Life

Prompt

Create a map of your life. First, determine how you will organize your map. Will it be more like a treasure map with routes or will you have separate territories or domains? Consider the destinations. These might be locations of schools you’ve attended, homes you’ve lived in, or vacations you’ve gone. Or they might represent strong memories you have. Narrow down the most significant locations. Next, think about the map key and the symbols you might use. Will they represent key memories? Emotions? Significant people? Cultural forces? Will your compass rose have any significance? Will the four directions represent places or time or emotions or themes? Now sketch out your life map. Afterward, select a few key events and share how they form the larger story of who you are as a person.

 

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Should College Athletes Get Paid?

Prompt:

Every year, college sports generate millions of dollars for universities in the US.

Between ticket sales, merchandise, and television contracts, college sports have become a major industry. Currently, college athletes do not receive compensation for playing. They can’t earn money from endorsements or merchandise, either. On the other hand, many athletes receive scholarships for free tuition, housing, and food. However, many athletes do not get scholarships.
So, should college athletes get paid a salary?  Or is their free education compensation enough?

Make your points using sound logic and relevant facts.

 

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A Van Pulls Up with Your Favorite Book Characters

Prompt

Every year, on a foggy fall morning, an old van pulls up to your home. Inside are five of your favorite characters from the books you have read this last year and two characters from previous years. You get exactly thirty-two minutes to have a conversation with all seven of them. Your job is to write this conversation. First, explain which seven you will choose and why. Next, jot down a list of questions you would ask them. Then, write the dialogue back and forth. Remember that isn’t an interview. It’s a conversation, which means the characters will be interacting with each other as well as with you.

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Create a To Do List for a Super-Villain

Ideal Uses:

This is a good stand-alone prompt to promote creative thinking. However, this also works well as an activity before silent reading as they think about their protagonists from a new point of view (you would just need to modify it at the end by saying "focus on the villain in your current book"). It can also work well to think about the human side of the "villains" in history (reminding us that villains are often complicated). Or it could be a fun warm-up activity before a class read aloud.

 

Prompt:

What do you think Darth Vader does on his day off?

Perhaps he gets a slushy from Hoth? Maybe he takes his cape to get dry cleaned or he goes to the pharmacy to pick up a new inhaler. Maybe he has some "me time" at the spa, followed by hot yoga. Or maybe he just binge-watches the Golden Girls. Or does he play a vigorous game of pickleball?

You're going to create a to do list for a villain who has a day off. Think of things that make a villain seem more human or even boring. Be sure to make it realistic, keep it specific, and make it awesome!

 

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Is Technology Making Our World Better or Worse?

Prompt:

Technology is changing our world.

Our devices allow us to do things that were previously unimaginable. But is that a good thing? Do our devices bring us together or separating us? Or are we more alone? Are we more connected to knowledge or more likely to believe misinformation? We know new technology helps us save lives but what about the health risks from being sedentary?  Are we more distracted or more engaged?  What are the effects of adding metrics to our social interactions? And what does it mean that you can publish anywhere at any time and share your voice with the world?

Explore the pros and cons of technology and defend whether it’s making life better or worse here on Earth.

Be sure to include facts and deep analysis.

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Your Shoes Aren't Lost . . . They're Hiding

Prompt

Tell this story:

You just lost your shoes. Or so you think. But it turns out your shoes aren’t lost. They’re just hiding, because each day when you go to school, your shoes come to life. What does a day in the life of a shoe look like? How do they spend their time? What do they do for fun? What types of hobbies do shoes have? Where do they go? How do they transform your home into their world? Do they have their own media? Perhaps . . . Shoe Tube?
Do they have their own language? Perhaps squeaking? And if so, do they create their own music? What hidden dangers do they face?
What is each shoe’s personality like?

Now think about it. Where are your shoes hiding? And why?

Now, tell this story from the perspective of your shoes.

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