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Two New Good Writing Prompts For My Students

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I’ve collected various writing prompts (and links to the texts that go with them) at The Best Posts On Writing Instruction. Here are a couple of more I’m adding that are based on recent New York Times columns.

One is a piece by Roger Cohen headlined Mere Human Behavior. In it, he talks about examples of courage needed to speak up and act in the face of injustice instead of just “avert[ing} one’s gaze.”

Here’s the prompt I plan to use with Cohen’s column:

In his column, what is Mr. Cohen saying about how people should respond when they see an injustice? To what extent do you agree with what his position? To support your opinion, be sure to include specific examples drawn from your own experience, your observations of others, or anything you have read, including this column.

This next column is an interesting “take” on the value of saving endangered languages. “In Why Save a Language?” John McWhorter questions the typical reasons used to support endangered languages and offers different ones.

Here’s the prompt I plan on using with this piece. It’s perfect for IB Theory of Knowledge classes:

What reasons does Mr. McWhorter say he formerly used to try and convince people about the value of saving an endangered language and what does he say now? To what extent do you agree with what his position? To support your opinion, be sure to include specific examples drawn from your own experience, your observations of others, or anything you have read, including this column.

I’m also adding this prompt The Best Resources For International Mother Language Day.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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