Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Brain Boosters for Writing

This product is a little different for me, but I hope it will be something useful for both subs and teachers alike. This is a set of 12 brain boosting writing prompts aimed at jumpstarting creative and critical thinking. When I was in elementary school, my gifted ed teacher always started our class with a brain booster of some sort. Some of her favorites were writing prompts that foster creative and critical thinking. So, as an homage to Mrs. Hasse, I included one prompt I remember from all those years ago, "Which is softer: a cloud or a pillow."

My recommendation for using these Brain Boosters for Writing prompts is to start the lesson with a Think, Pair, Share cooperative learning strategy. If you are not familiar with that strategy, the students are first given time to just think about responses. They can even jot some ideas on the back of the sheet. Then the students pair up to discuss their thoughts. Finally, the teacher brings the class back together and calls on a few students to share what was discussed. I find this strategy helps prevent the "I don't know what to write" responses I get every time I do a writing activity. Then students can begin writing. I always tell them that any response is acceptable as long as they justify their answers with at least 3-5 reasons.

Last night as I was discussing this product with my own children, ages 13 and 8, we got into a rousing discussion over "Which is braver: a superhero or a soldier?" Even my 8-year-old was justifying with reasons such as "The soldier is braver because both go into dangerous places, but the superhero has superpowers, and the soldier only has guns." I think some of your students' ideas will amaze you.

I am selling Brain Boosters for Writing in my Teachers Pay Teachers store for $2.50. I really hope you and your students get a brain boost from them!

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