Writing topics for bored students

Do you have students who read over a list of writing topics and then set it down, bored? I have found topics that are sure to interest them.

high heel shoes made of wireOne group of topics concerns weird, unusual or unbelievable images.  If you use any of these topic suggestions, make sure you share the images from the internet with the student. It’s the images which will bring a smile and a flicker of interest. Then together you can come up with ways to work one or more images into writing.  If access to the internet is not available, then make a photocopy of some of the images for the student to look at.

These topics work well in the fall as Halloween approaches.

  • Search “ugly haircuts pictures” or “ugly haircuts images.”
  • Search “ugly dog pictures” or “ugly dog photos.”
  • Search “weird faces pictures” or “weird faces photos.”
  • Search “unusual jack o lanterns.”
  • Search “unusual shoes.”
  • Search “scary photos of people.”
  • Search “longest fingernails photos.”
  • Search “smiling horse pictures.”
  • Search “expensive car images.”
  • Search “twins images.”

shoes with ladder heelsAnother group of writing topics of interest to kids is the games that they play.  I allow students to add hand drawn diagrams to their writing to encourage them to use these topics, but I make sure they explain everything in words too.  Some ideas you might try are

  • How to solve a Rubics cube.
  • How to checkmate a king in four steps.
  • How to get down to one marble in a solitaire game.
  • What properties to buy in “Monopoly” in order to win.
  • How to win at “Clue.”

What about video games?  I find they don’t work.  When I let kids write about them in the past, the essays would go on for eight or ten pages with no end in sight.  I wound up writing “to be continued” at the end of a page so the student could move on to revising and editing.  Also, the writing is tough to understand even if it is done well because of the strange way vocabulary is used in the games.  Beware.

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