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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You Get an Unlimited Supply of Legos

Ideal Uses:

This prompt works well as an enrichment prompt for students who have finished other writing. However, it also works well as a way to get students engaged in creative thinking and in descriptive language. You could also have students complete it as a choice-based story prompt.

 

Prompt:

You get an unlimited supply of Legos and you can build anything with it. But there’s a catch. You only get 48 hours. That’s right. 48 hours. So . . . What will you make? Will it be a house? A city? A truck? A boat? A robot? How big will it be? What will it look like? What purpose will it serve? What will be the practical use? Who will you invite to help you in this project? What could possibly go wrong with it? What will you do to prevent this? Where will your Lego creation be located? Make your story vivid and interesting.

 

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What Will Life Be Like in 2057?

Prompt

What will life be like in 40 years? Why not let students take a guess? This video writing prompt asks them to come up with 5 things that will have been invented by the year 2057.

Transcript:

Imagine that you can fast-forward into the future. In this case, the year 2057.

What do you see when you imagine it?

What will the arts be like? Think of the fashion trends, culinary innovations, art movements, musical genres and movies that will be popular.

What will our cities be like? What kind of transportation will people use? What will the buildings be like? More crowded? Less crowded?

What types of new technology will be available?

What challenges and social issues will we be facing that are not as big of a deal right now? What changes will we see in our environment? How will people be coping with it?

Now, based upon this future, come up with five things that will have been invented by 2057. Describe how each of those inventions will change life on earth.

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Invent a New Method of Transportation

Prompt

Invent a new method of transportation.

What is the main goal of your transportation? Is it to help the environment? To increase safety? To get to locations faster?

How many people would use this transportation at a time? Will there be individual pods? Pairs? Small groups of people, like a car? Or large groups, like a bus or a train?

How is your transportation powered?

How would your design build on existing technology? Will you use elements from a plane? A car? A drone? A train? A rocket? A satellite? What new ideas would you introduce?

How would the navigation work? Would users have control over the vehicles or will they be fully autonomous and controlled by AI?

What are the risks in this transportation? What are some of the challenges you would face? How would you deal with different weather conditions? How would you handle the weight of cargo?

Describe how this method of transportation would work and how it would change the world forever.

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Invent Your Own Superhero

Prompt

Remember when you were little and you’d be watching tv or reading a comic book. You’d see this superhero come in and save the day and you’d think . . . maybe that could be me. You would grab the nearest blanket, tie it around your neck and scale to the top of the couch and for a moment . . . it felt real. You felt the clouds rushing through your face. You felt like you could save the world.

At some point, that vision faded. You got older. Smarter. You outgrew your costume.

But . . . what if?

What would someone need to do to transform into a superhero?

Consider:

What advice do you have on choosing a name?

How about an outfit? A color-scheme? A logo?

What do you do when someone doesn’t have a superpower? Any advice on gadgets?

How about the hero’s lair? What practical advice can you offer a prospective superhero on choosing a city?

What kind of transportation should a superhero use?

What will you do about money? What happens if a superhero isn’t independently wealthy?

How can a superhero tap into his or her tragic backstory to find strength?

Now, turn this advice into a step-by-step guide to how to become a superhero.

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Tell the Story of a Creature that Lives in a Volcano

Prompt

Invent a creature that lives inside of an active volcano.

That’s right.

A volcano.

Consider the following:

What does it eat? Is it an herbivore? Carnivore? Omnivore? How does it search for its food?

What adaptations does it have to help it live in this environment? How can it handle the heat?

What does its habitat look like? Where exactly does it live?

Is it nocturnal or diurnal?

What does it look like? Does it have legs? If so, how many? Does it have a tail? Does it have scales? Wings? Gills?

Describe its features. Is it fast or slow? Is it smart? Can it run? Swim? Fly? Slither?

Draw a picture of this creature and create annotations describing everything. Focus on how this animal could survive in such a harsh environment.

 

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Design a City for Superheroes

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Design a School on Mars

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Design the Ultimate Tree House

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Divergent Thinking Challenge

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