Let’s continue with this month’s writing prompts.
These prompts provide teachers a great way to add more writing time in class. Some have two suggestions, one for middle school (MS) and one for high school (HS). These can be simple writing assignments, warm-ups, or journal entries. Feel free to use these any way you wish.
May 8 – Theme: National Train Day
High-speed trains can travel fast with some prototypes with speeds over 400 mph. In theory, a high-speed train could race up the East Coast, from NYC to Miami, in seven hours. The same trip would take a car about 18.5 hours. Should Americans invest in high-speed rails for trains or in roads for cars? Why or why not?
May 9 – Theme: Peter Pan Day
Pretend you were in J.M. Barrie’s story about Peter Pan, a boy who never grows up and remain eternally young. Which part would you most like to see or do: fly, visit with mermaids, fight the pirate Captain Hook, or meet the mischevious fairy Tinkerbell? Explain your answer.
May 10 – Theme: Civil Disobedience.
In 1994, political activist Nelson Mandela was sworn in as South Africa’s 1st Black president. Mandela followed the example of the civil disobedience practices used by Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Consider King’s statement, “Any man who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community on the injustice of the law is at that moment expressing the very highest respect for the law.”
For what injustice would you practice civil disobedience?
May 10: Theme: Postcards
In 1861, the US Post Office authorized the first postcard. Postcards are usually sent from a vacation place or as a greeting card to mark an event, or even just to say “hello”.
Design a postcard and prepare a message.
May 11 – Theme: Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month
Do you have asthma or allergies? If so, what are your triggers? (What makes you have an attack or sneeze, etc.) If not, do you think that schools do enough to help those who have asthma and allergies? Why or why not?
May 12: Theme: National Limerick DayLimericks are poems with the following scheme: five-lines of an anapestic meter (unstressed syllable, unstressed syllable, stressed syllable) with a strict rhyme scheme of AABBA. For example:
“There was an Old Man in a tree,
Who was horribly bored by a Bee;
When they said, ‘Does it buzz?’
He replied, ‘Yes, it does!’
‘It’s a regular brute of a Bee!'”
Try to write a limerick.
May 13 – Theme: Mother’s Day
Write a descriptive paragraph or poem about either your Mother or someone who is a Mother figure to you.
May 13 – Theme: Tulip Day
In the 17th century, tulip bulbs were so prized that traders would mortgage their houses and fields. (provide a picture or bring in real tulips). Describe a tulip or another flower using all five senses.
May 14 – Theme: Lewis and Clark Expedition
William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition was able to create a map of the Louisiana Purchase by merely walking through and exploring it. Today Google uses cars with custom cameras over five million miles to develop their Google Maps apps. How do maps figure in your life? How might they figure in your future?
May 15 – Theme: L. F. Baum’s Birthday – Author of the Wizard of Oz books and creator of Dorothy, the Wicked Witch of the West, the Scarecrow, the Lion, the Tin Man, and the Wizard.
Which character from the world of Oz would you most like to meet? Explain your answer.
May 16 – Theme: National Bar-B-Que Month
The word barbecue comes from the Caribbean word “barbacoa.” Originally, barbacoa was not a way of cooking food, but the name of a wooden structure used by indigenous Taino Indians to smoke their food. Barbeque ranks in the top 20 most popular foods in the USA. What’s your favorite picnic food? Do you like bar-b-que, hamburgers, hot dogs, fried chicken, or something else entirely? What makes it so special?
May 17 – Theme: Kentucky Derby
(MS) This horse race is also called “The Run for the Roses” for the draped blanket of roses placed over the winning horse. This idiom uses a rose, as do many other idioms. Choose one of the following rose idioms, or any other idiom you know, and give an example as to when it could be used:
- a bed of roses
- a rose by any other name
- bed of roses
- bloom is off the rose
- bring the roses to (one’s) cheeks
- come out smelling like a rose
(HS) Just before the race at the Kentucky Derby, the crowds sing “My Old Kentucky Home.” The revised lyrics of the original song by Stephen Foster changed the word “darkies”, and substituted the word “people.” Crowds now sing:
“The sun shines bright in the old Kentucky home
Tis summer, the people are gay…”
Should songs with questionable lyrics from years ago continue to be used for public events? Are there songs that are so inappropriate that they should be dropped entirely?
Source: Writing Prompts for Journal Topics and Writing Ideas (thoughtco.com)
Note: This year Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 8 and The Kentucky Derby is Saturday, May 7.