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Holiday Writing Prompts

Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 15 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

Writing about upcoming holidays can give students a break from the doldrums of everyday work. This lesson gives writing prompts in multiple skill levels for Thanksgiving with the idea that teachers can substitute any holiday for each prompt. The three main writing styles are covered within the prompts.

Three Writing Styles

Do your students seem to hate writing? Do they complain when you say it is time to work in their journals? Holidays are a great time to get students interested in writing. It may even seem like a bit of a break to students to focus on the holiday at hand rather than 'regular school stuff.' Anything that gets them engaged is great.

Common Core Standards prescribe three styles of writing that should be stressed in your writing prompts. These are informative, opinion/persuasive, and narrative. This lesson will cover writing prompt samples in each of these styles for multiple levels of writing skill (low, mid-range, and high). One holiday will be used to show the diversity of options available for these types of prompts (you can substitute any holiday you wish).

Informative - To Tell About

Being able to impart information in a clear and concise manner is an important writing skill. Writing informative essays gives students the opportunity to assess their own knowledge about a topic and practice how to express that information to someone else. Make sure that you only ask questions that your students have the knowledge base to answer.

  • Thanksgiving is an interesting holiday because. . .
  • What is Thanksgiving all about? Please write a properly formatted essay explaining this holiday.
  • Thanksgiving is a holiday with great tradition for Americans. How did the holiday begin? Who celebrated the first Thanksgiving? Why?

Opinion/Persuasive - Win Your Reader Over

One truth about human nature is that everyone has an opinion. Allowing students opportunities to argue their point and defend their opinions can increase their general level of interest in the assignment. The more engaged they are, the more likely you are to get great work out of them. Give these opinion based prompts a try.

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