One of the biggest challenges for starting a writing assignment is coming up with a topic. We often ask students to brainstorm a topic they are passionate about, justify it, and even take a stand on a position for it. However, this can be a daunting task for students who aren’t as comfortable in articulating their passions or even having a strong opinion.
Here are some strategies where the Write About This app can help students get over the common difficulty in finding topics for writing an argument.
Browse the Write About This app gallery and prompts: The gallery is full of images that can help trigger students’ creativity and writing initiative. With each image, students can click on the level of writing prompt (1-3) to explore. Encourage students to browse images they are interested in as well as browse the prompts. Many of the higher level prompts invite students to share their opinion and justify it. Simply browsing can help students find a source of inspiration to write!
Compare pictures within a category: Have students pick a category of images in the Write About This gallery that they are interested in. Instruct them to answer any of the following question starters to help stimulate thoughts: What is the best ___? Which is the better ___? What is your favorite ___?
Get a Writing Prompt from a Friend: Pair students together with someone they are fairly close with or know well. Give students time to peruse the Write About This gallery and writing prompts in search of an image and prompt that is well-suited for his/her partner. If they can’t find a suitable prompt, encourage students to create one for their friend. Sometimes it helps to have someone else who knows the student to get an idea of what to write about!
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.