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## 10 Writing and Assessment Prompts For Students – From Astrological Prediction to Beauty Tip

Clarifying one’s understanding of new concepts is a necessary – and powerful – part of the learning process. In many classrooms, ensuring the time and learning experiences that would give students the chance to solidify and apply their new learning has been abandoned due to fear of high-stakes testing. In fact, we have diminished student learning by omitting the time and experiences (like writing) they need. In this article, you have 10 different writing (and rating) prompts, along with examples of how these prompts can be applied in various content areas.

**1. astrological prediction**

- Write astrological horoscopes for characters in a story. Use story events to support predictions.
- Compare different astrological characteristics to a real entity. For example, an Aries represents a ram. Identify the true descriptions of an Aries and research the common traits given to a person with an Aries for an astrological sign.
- Identify a person’s astrological sign and compare the common traits given for that sign to that person’s behaviors.
- Predict the possible outcomes of someone’s behavior if the individual believes in astrological predictions. Is this wise or foolish, in your opinion?

**2. autobiography**

- Write about the life you want to live. Identify the time in history (and the future) and the different stages of your desired life. Essentially, you write your autobiography in advance.
- Write a short autobiography of Harriet Beecher Stowe (or any other author we have studied). Since this is an autobiography, you’ll be writing in that person’s voice.
- Write an autobiography of a historical figure you would like to meet. Since this is an autobiography, it will be in that person’s voice.
- Write a fictional autobiography of a novel character. Since this is an autobiography, it will be in that person’s voice.

**3. price**

- Write a paragraph about whether it is worth entering a contest where the odds of winning the major prize are 1,000,000:1.
- Write an award presentation to present to your favorite historical figure.
- Write an award presentation about one of your accomplishments – or the one you hope, plan, and/or want to achieve in the future.

**4. axiom**

- Rewrite the mathematical axioms in your own words. You can’t do that, of course, unless you really understand the mathematical concept. Show me.
- In Candide, the characters’ lives (at least initially) were guided by axioms. Identify the impact of these axioms.
- Define what an axiom is and identify at least one Candide axiom that you found particularly funny or silly.
- Predict the outcome if the axiom _______________ is accepted by the characters in the story.
- Predict the outcome if the axiom _______________ is not accepted by the characters in the story.

**5. baby book**

- Illustrate your personal story. What words or phrases would best describe the events in your life?
- Create a baby book for the child of a famous person, real or not, for example, Hitler’s child – how would he raise him?
- Create the baby book of a famous character or person that we have studied.
- Compare a baby book to a scrapbook.

**6. baccalaureate address**

- Write a speech you would give to next year’s classmates (since you will have graduated from that math course).
- Write a baccalaureate address to a class of cattle. Hey, you’re in Future Farmers of America (or a farming class)…so be prepared to tell them what’s happening to them and what they can expect!

**7. ballad**

- Explain what a musical ballad is, then show and/or play examples, possibly ones you have created.
- Explain a folk ballad – what does it say about the culture?
- To accompany the melody of a popular tune (rock, rap, country, etc.), write words explaining a mathematical concept, a rule, a principle, etc.

**8. ballot**

- Design a ballot for at least 3 people you would like to run for president of the United States or another country. Suggest a few words (or phrases) that explain each of these candidates.
- Write a ballot initiative for the legislation you would like to see enacted. Phrase it in a way that people understand why they should support the initiative.

**9. banner**

- Design and write text for a banner that shows what you are currently learning in our class.
- Design a banner for Holocaust survivors to carry upon their release.

**10. beauty tip**

- How can health and technology make a person more beautiful (and does it matter)?
- Write a sample beauty tip, i.e. an anti-drug message.
- Examine and write about Shakespeare’s “My Mistress’ Eyes” sonnet or Byron’s “She Walks in Beauty”.
- Compare a beauty tip for external beauty to internal beauty.

See how much fun you can have with these – and watch what happens with your elementary, middle/high school, or college students as they show off what they know using these ideas or the ones you have created based on these prompts.

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