Every morning, I have a student thumb through the myriad writing prompt books I’ve collected and choose a prompt for the day’s journal writing. While I’ve tried other starters (or kick-offs, or bell-ringers, or whatever one wants to call the activities intended to get kids actively productive from the moment they enter the classroom), I like journal writing the best. It ensures that, no matter what else happens in the lesson, the kids have done some writing.
As I prefer to teach by doing, I too take a moment to write a response to the day’s prompts, especially when kids choose a particularly thought-provoking one.
Today’s was one such prompt:
You answer a knock at the door and find a delivery guy holding a package for you. You open it up to find … what? Describe the best package you can imagine receiving.
What could I possibly want that would fit in a box? I want my daughter to grow into a self-assured woman. I want my wife always to smile when she thinks of me. I want my parents to stay healthy and active for many, many more years. I want my students to leave my class with skills and knowledge that will serve them for a lifetime.
How could I put these things into a box? Perhaps the box contains a photo album recording my daughter’s successes, my wife’s smile under gray hair, my parents standing with my daughter after graduation, my students holding college diplomas — a peek into the future that’s a reflection of the past.