Series: Preparing Youth for Civics & Politics in the Digital Age

Spark Your Persuasive Writing: 3 Simple Prompts
Lesson Objective: Brainstorm ideas for writing
Grades 9-12 / All Subjects / Writing

Thought starters

  1. What are the three questions Ms. Chin uses for prompts?
  2. How does Ms. Chin use discussion to draw out more ideas?
  3. How could you use this strategy in your own classroom?
Great activity to get students to write a persuasive essay about something that they personally care about.
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Starting a prompt or lesson with very basic questions allows the student to expand and get creative with their own ideas. This video is very interesting in the sense that three basic questions allowed the students to get very creative and be able to expand on their own ideas. My only question is how can you apply this lesson to other subjects?
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This activity is very engaging because it allowed the students to give their personal opinion and experiences. The fact that it started from a very simple question and it can be expanded to a deeper level of writing is fascinating.
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Awesome. Very talented.
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WIll definitely consider trying this with theory and novel discovery.
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  • Spark Your Persuasive Writing: 3 Simple Prompts Transcript
    Speaker 1: So in order to draw out ideas for what you

    Spark Your Persuasive Writing: 3 Simple Prompts Transcript
    Speaker 1: So in order to draw out ideas for what you might want to write about or what you have to write about, one technique I really like is to use three very simple, guided questions.
    Speaker 1: The three questions I use are, I know, I care about, and I wish people understood that. And then you have young people fill out the rest of that sentence.
    Speaker 1: I know. I know what you're writing. I know the sky is blue. Always try to emphasize, this is not about facts that everybody agrees on. This is about your personal experience.
    Speaker 1: I care about, that's what I care about. May not be what Denise cares about, or what [inaudible 00:00:42] cares about, and that's fine.
    Speaker 1: And the last one, I wish people understood, something that you understand based on where you're coming from that you feel like maybe not everybody gets.
    Speaker 1: So here's how it's going to work. Write those phrases on your piece of paper, and then I want you to write three things under each of those categories. And if you use a complete sentence, get into as much detail as you want or feel comfortable with, and then we'll come back and share.
    Speaker 1: Let's ask some follow-up questions. There's some really interesting things written up here. So let's get to know a little bit about the story behind some of the stuff that y'all wrote.
    Speaker 1: I have one, I'm going to be selfish and ask this. I'm curious about the one like, I can't be perfect, I can't fix all problems. That's no reason not to try. Whose is that?
    Molly: Mine.
    Speaker 1: Molly. So can you tell us more about that?
    Molly: I guess I've just kind of always wanted to be the person that fixes everything, and I've always wanted to be the best and the fact that I couldn't be has often times made me want to quit.
    Speaker 1: Have you ever felt like that before? Like you feel like you shouldn't try because you can't be perfect or that the problem's so big, you don't know how to wrap your head around it?
    Speaker 3: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
    Speaker 1: Yeah.
    Speaker 1: There's something really universal about that. And I feel like that's a sign of something that might want to expand, and other people are going to be interested in.
    Speaker 1: The technique of using three very simple questions makes us feel like the process is very simple, too. I can just dig deep into what I've experienced, and come up with something that could be the kernel of a really deep, persuasive story.
    Speaker 1: That's true whether you're doing commentary writing, persuasive essay, whether you're trying to do create writing prompts. All of those techniques start with something very small and simple, and through facilitation, show that they can become these big, important, persuasive essays.

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