Short Lesson Ideas

Below is a list of brief, in-class activities/prompts that can illustrate some of our department’s defined writing abilities.  The objective is to pick prompts that demonstrate the writing abilities relevant for the writing assignments you use in your particular class.  You may need to first activate relevant knowledge/context. Be sure to explain the goal of the activity and give time limits.

Activity Ability
Write a caption for this figure.

Ability 1: Describe background; Ability 9: Visual elements

Choose a position on ______ and list 3 pieces of evidence for it.  Ability 2: Audience; Ability 6: Logical connections
What thesis (argument) would ___, ____, and ___ support? Ability 3:  Substantiation; Ability 6: Logical connections
What do these 3 things (ideas/people/brain systems) have in common? Ability 4: Synthesize
Create a bumper sticker summarizing yesterday's lecture. Ability 4: Synthesize
What words, phrases, and images do you associate with the word ______. Ability 4: Synthesize
Create a list of thesis statements that might belong to a paper about _____. Ability 5: Establish thesis
Create a list of research questions on topic ______ (at end of unit). Ability 5: Establish thesis/scope
Present table of data and ask students to formulate a thesis statement (what story do these data tell)? Ability 5: Establish thesis
What does _____ have to do with ____? Ability 6:  Logical connections
Present a concept map and get students to label connecting lines. Ability 6: Logical connections
Present a rambling topic sentence and inductively get revisions. Ability 5:  Establish Thesis
Present an over-complicated sentence and ask for distillation. Ability 7:  Avoid Distraction