On Monday we kicked off our 12 Days of Teaching series, which will feature three weekly posts for the next month that offer strategies for keeping you and your students focused throughout what is often a highly distracting time of year.
Loosely based on the 12 Days of Christmas, we began with 1 Project Based Learning. While not all of the posts will be centered on the festive season today we offer 2 Christmas-inspired writing prompts.
As students begin crafting their holiday wish lists, we thought it might be a good time for them to reflect on the past year. On which side of Santa’s list would they land if they were judged on their activities over the last few months? With that in mind, consider these two writing prompts:
- Think about a time when you did something that might be construed as “naughty”—played a prank on your sister? Stayed up late? Skipped out on that homework assignment? Write a letter to Santa providing a reason for your “slip up” and then write a persuasive argument as to why he should forgive you. For extra marks brainstorm ideas on how you can make up for being naughty with some ways of being nice.
For tips on persuasive writing, take a look at this Teachers Media International resource, which includes five short videos to spark your students’ imaginations.
- It’s easy to get wrapped up in twinkling lights and cinnamon smells at this time of year, but this season is also about sharing, caring, and thinking of others. Consider a time in the past year when someone did something nice for you—maybe it was that morning your parents made your favourite blueberry pancakes, or when your teacher helped you understand that difficult algebra equation. Have you experienced kindness from a stranger? Write a letter to Santa telling him about the experience, and why this person should absolutely end up on his “Nice” list.
Of course, these writing prompts can be adapted for a more generic message, helping students to understand the importance of recognising their actions throughout the year, not only when they think it will make an impact on old Saint Nick.
If you’re in the United States, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! Check back with us on Friday for the third installment of our 12 Days of Teaching blog series.
~ The Teachers Media Team