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iOpeners

Note to Teachers: Bellwork, or iOpeners, are invaluable for productively managing the very first seconds of class. Each of these offers an extensive, and organized, set of writing prompts to start class. Nonetheless, some can also be used for more extensive journals, discussion topics, and homework writing.

  • new Writing Prompt Sheets: Useful handouts ask students to write something every day; then turn in for a weekly grade.
    • The Vocabulary Development Sheet requires the word, a definition, and an original student sentence using the word in such a way that its meaning is clarified. Obviously, you can prescribe a vocabulary list or have students select words on their on from their reading.
    • The Term Application Sheet includes a space for a literary term, its definition, and an original student example. Talk the Talk is a one-page handout with the most used and useful terms for AP Language and for AP Literature.
    • The Writing Skills Development Sheet has a place for a label, an original sentence, and a revision. Use it to ask students to write a particular sentence type, to use a sentence as a model to imitate, or to write a basic thesis sentence, then revise for a more sophisticated style.
  • Prompts from the Advanced Placement Literature Prompts could be used for a pop quiz on last night’s reading, or even the final exam on a text. Groups can be assigned to develop a thesis and evidence citations for different prompts. As a review heading toward the AP exam, students can discuss which works they have studied fit which prompts.
  • Prompts from the Timed Essays, while for 20-minute essays, work wonderfully for Socratic seminar discussions.
  • Prompts from the Autobiography Portfolio work as in-class personal writing assignments, but work even better as literary responses. What better reading check than a Personal Alphabet to describe Scout Finch?

PowerPoints & Online Visuals

Advanced Placement Literature Prompts -- PowerPoint with each open question prompt, from 1970 to 2019, on a separate slide. Handout. Analyzing Political Cartoons -- Directions for analysis of political cartoons, with a different cartoon on each slide. Handout includes several worksheets. Fillable pdf.
Autobiography Portfolio -- Each slide covers one assignment in the Portfolio Project. Although developed for personal writing, you can assign appropriate ones to be written for literary characters. Handout. Art Prompts -- Artwork that lends itself to writing. Handout on Writing about Art. Check out Annie Barrett’s “Seeing Matisse’s The Red Studio.”
Timed Essays -- SAT style 20-minute essay agreeing or disagreeing with the statement on each slide. Handout with grading rubric & sample essay. Picture Prompts -- Nearly 100 photographic images that lend themselves to writing and suggested writing topics. Handout.
Quote Prompts -- Each slide has a quote which can be explained, discussed, analyzed, supported, contradicted, and/or used as a sentence model. Visual Writing Prompts are gorgeous, and inspirational. I have selected 60 from the website -- just in case they disappear.
Writing Quotes -- The quote on each slide relates to writing, reading, or a specific form of literature. 500 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing from The New York Times -- Each entry on this categorized list links to a related Times article and includes a series of follow-up questions. 
Paraphrasing -- 40 quotation that lend themselves especially to paraphrasing. Handout. List Love -- 101 List Prompts for Art Journals. These probably work best if students do embellish these with doodles and drawings and stickers.

Voice Lessons

newVoice Lessons by Nancy Dean

PowerPoints: Each slide is a quote from Nancy Dean’s Voice Lessons. You will need a copy of the book for exercises using the quote.

newVoice Lessons by Nancy Dean Extended

PowerPoints: Each slide has activities to accompany the quotes.

newVoice Lessons from Nancy Dean

PowerPoint: A massive 176-slide show with ten new quotes for Tone, Diction, Detail, Imagery, and Syntax. Each quote is followed by two discussion questions and two sample responses. Created by Dina Cooper and shared on SlidePlayer.com.

If you find special ways to use these, please let me know. Email.

Please feel free to use any materials you find helpful.
If you download or print anything from this site, please consider making at least a $10.00 donation.
I can maintain and expand this website only with your help. Thank you for your support.

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Updated 13 April 2021.