|Tell it like it feels.|
Research indicates children need practice expressing their feelings, identifying what is an appropriate response, and who is their support system. Writing assignments can really help.
|Writing is a powerful outlet.|
Writing, however, can function as an outlet for a student's deep feelings.
Here is my Number One All Time Favorite Writing Prompt; it works especially well at the beginning of school. The students are given a promise of confidentiality.
"Three Things I Want You To Know About Me."
Students can describe sports' preferences, music, family life. With seventh graders, I found they would frequently write about very serious things, too, that their dad was in prison, or how their mom had been diagnosed with cancer but is okay now. Kids can be eloquent, if someone just asks them something important. As a teacher I got to know the students very quickly, and I don't just mean that they couldn't spell or punctuate. It felt good for them to write about something important, something they chose to tell Teacher about.
|Kids can be eloquent if allowed.|
|Angels' fan in the midst of Dodgers' fans.|
Let's not be always so serious all the time. Life for kids now is pretty stressful in general. So here is a topic that can generate fun, friendship and comradery. If you wish, the students can create powerpoints. One year I did a powerpoint of my own, the students thought it was pretty funny.
"Three Of The Coolest Things I've Ever Seen."
|The Chivas forever.|
Here's a link with so many other ideas for fun in class.
Middle school kids have a very basic sense of humor, so teachers had better be ready for this one. Actually, age doesn't really mature a sense of humor in most people. So I just tell the kids to keep it 'G' rated, and try to minimize the bathroom humor with this topic.
"The Three Times I Laughed The Hardest"
|I laughed so hard...|
Here's a link for help with explaining the technicalities of writing.
The anecdotes the kids can come up with.
|Can't Touch That|
Oh, the Three Coolest Things I've seen?
Close runner up--Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation."