Database: Effective prompts

Collaborate: Your best writing/speaking prompts

In my quest to develop IPAs, I have some prompts for interpersonal speaking and presentational writing that end up taking off!  Almost all students write a TON of information and continue to write as much as they can about the topic.  Some ideas flop.  I have students write the minimum required, and really do not elaborate.  While I haven’t found the secret as to why some take off and some flop, I can at least share what HAS worked for me.

Today, I was inspired!  I saw that Rosalyn Rhodes (@spanish_rhodes) shared on Twitter an idea that had her students discuss family traditions and celebrations.  She reported that her students discussed them for 40 minutes!  I decided to do the same prompt for my students, and they also spoke for 40 minutes (and then the class was over!  They probably could have kept talking!)  Therefore, many times, a prompt that works for one person has a higher success rate of working for another.  But, how can we find ones that work?

Enter databases!  I love databases!  I rely upon the MovieTalk database frequently.  (Students always ask me how I find these great videos!)  Sara-Elizabeth started an authentic resource database that I also check out when I need new authentic resources.  I thought that currently, there isn’t a database for solid topic prompts.  What speaking or writing prompt can you give to your students that pushes most of them to express as many ideas as they can instead of barely writing anything before turning in their assignment?  I have already started the database here, but this database is only as successful as the number of people who read it and contribute.  I hope that this becomes helpful for teachers of all languages!

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