Personal Narrative (Writing Trait: Ideas & Organization): Do you remember when you first learned to ride a bike? Who helped you learn to ride without training wheels and how did it happen? Describe how you felt when you could first ride on your own. Draw a picture or make a timeline to help plan your writing.
Descriptive Writing (Writing Trait: Word Choice & Ideas): Do you enjoy riding your bike? Where do you ride? Describe one of your favorite bike rides or most frequent rides you enjoy on your bike. What makes it stick out in your mind? Describe what you see and smell or how you feel as your are pedaling.
Expository Writing (Voice & Ideas): In school you are always learning about ways to save the Earth. We learn about recycling, conserving water and electricity, and pollution. How can riding your bike help save the Earth? Research and describe the benefits of riding your bike vs. riding in a car.
Expository Writing: Research Report (Writing Trait: Ideas & Organization) There are many fascinating mountains in the world. Mt. Everest and Mt. Fuji in Asia, Mt. Kilamanjaro in Africa, Mt. Blanc in Europe, and Mt. McKinnley in North America. Choose a mountain to reaserch. Where is it located and what is so special about this mountain? Describe it’s characteristics. How was it formed? Is it a volcano? Inform your readers as much as you can about this mountain.
Letter Writing (Writing Trait: Ideas) This past week while visiting the Udine International School, their students gave me letters to give to other students at different schools around the world. In their letters they asked the students a handful of questions. Choose a country and make a list of questions you would ask another student at a school in that country. (This is a brainstorm activity for next week’s writing prompt!)
Letter Writing (Organization & Conventions) Use the list of questions from week 5 to help prepare a letter to a pen pal in another country. First introduce yourself and then find out information about them. Don’t forget the 5 components of a friendly letter and that it looks like a letter.
Poetry Writing: Haiku (Writing Trait: Word Choice) Haiku are short poems that use adjectives and sensory words to express a feeling or describe and image. They are often inspired by nature and were originally developed by Japanese poets. When taught to students in school, they follow the rules of being 3 phrases, made up of 5 syllables, 7 syllables, and 5 syllables. Can you write a Haiku poem about the season autumn?
Although you might not think of it as a writing prompt, timelines are a visual and written form of communicating information. Make a timeline of your life, including any major events that have occurred in your life from birth to present. Events that you might want to include are moving to a different school or country, starting school, loosing your first tooth, the birth of a brother or sister, and interesting trips. Next week you will use this timeline for a writing prompt.
Expository (Ideas & Voice) Last week I had a lot of difficult riding, probably my hardest week of my entire trip. I had some long days both in distance and hours, not to mention there were a lot of hills. Now I can look back now and be proud of what I accomplished, but in the moment it was hard. What is one of the hardest things you’ve done in your life? Were you able to make it through this difficult moment? How? Explain this experience trying to make the reader empathize.
Persuasive (Word Choice & Voice) I’ve been in contact with
a lot of schools to plan my upcoming visits as I head to Asia.
Surprisingly I’ve had a lot of invitations to visit schools both on
my route and in other places. I wish I could visit them all but I
just can’t pedal that much, at least not this year! Write me a
letter to convince me to visit your school? Why do you want
me to come? What makes your school special or different than
others? Who knows, you might just convince me after all!
Week 11 & 12
Persuasive (Ideas & Word Choice): Since I arrived in Asia, I’ve had a really difficult time communicating with people. In China, very few people speak English in the rural areas that I have visited and I don’t speak Chinese. I’m constantly reminded why it is important to speak a second or third language. Do you agree with me? Persuade me of your opinion about learning a second language and use examples and facts to back up your opinion.
Week 13 & 14
Persuasive (Word Choice and Organization): Today I visited the Bac Ha market in Vietnam. It is famous for the H’mong tribes who come from their surrounding villages to sell handmade goods, food, and produce. Think about something you do really well, whether it be something you make, a talent that you have, or a service that you could provide. Write a short paragraph selling what ever it is that you do. Keep in mind your audience, who would buy this? Why do they need or have to have your product? What makes it special? How would it improve their life?
Week 15 &16
Personal Narrative (Ideas & Organization): After being on my own for so long in the mountains of Northern Vietnam and Laos, I’m back in bigger towns. I’ve encountered a lot of people who have helped me recently and made my trip more enjoyable and memorable. When is the last time you helped someone? Describe the situation and context. Who did you help and how do you know they appreciated your gesture? How did it make you (and them) feel?
Week 17 &18
Expository/List (Ideas): About a week ago, people all over the world celebrated the New Year. During this time of the year, people often reflect on the past year and think about goals and qualities they would like to improve for the coming year. Make a like of your most memorable moments in 2013. What were you most proud of during the past year? What are some goals or “resolutions” that you would like to work on for 2014. How do you plan to achieve them?
Week 19 & 20
Expository (Organization & Word Choice): Now that you’ve researched how the bike works as a simple machine, write about it. Organize your ideas in order to briefly explain how this simple machine works. Make sure you mention the energy that goes into a bike and what energy is released by pedaling? Although it should be an informative paragraph, carefully choose your words to make it entertaining and catch your reader’s attention.
Week 21 & 22
Persuasive (Ideas & Voice): I had a fabulous time riding through SE Asia. The food is delicious and cheap, the weather was beautiful, and the people were incredibly friendly. It is hard for me to choose my favorite country, because I enjoyed them all for different reasons. However, I would argue that Vietnam was the best country in SE Asia for cycling. Think about the places you’ve been, whether it be a park or somewhere special close to your home, or somewhere in another country, and convince me to visit to ride my bike. Why would I like it? What could I see? Are there places to eat and sleep close by? Who knows, maybe I’ll be so convinced I might just have to come and ride my bike!
Week 23 & 24
Expository (Organization & Ideas): Riding 15,000 kilometers in 6 months was a huge accomplishment for myself. I usually ride that many kilometers in a year or more. Think of an accomplishment in your life that makes you proud. How were you able to achieve this goal? How did you feel during and after you succeeded? Explain.
Week 25 & 26
Story Writing (Ideas & Organization) As mentioned in this week’s Inquiry & Investigation question, the New Zealand Sand Fly is what I will miss the least when I leave the country. Legend has it that the goddess who created New Zealand thought that it was such a beautiful place to be, she didn’t want anyone staying around too long or ruining it’s natural beauty. Therefore, she created the Sand Fly to deter people from hanging around too long. Think of your own creation myth for why a certain animal exists or pesters humans. For instance, why do mosquitoes buzz in ears or bite? Why does a stink bug let off an awful smelling odor?
Week 27 & 28
Letter Writing (Voice & Ideas): Ever since I took an interest in hiking and outdoor activities, I have wanted to visit New Zealand. It is an outdoor sport paradise. Is there somewhere you dream of visiting? Write me a letter and tell me about where you would like to travel. What is it about that place that interests you? What would you do there? Who would you travel with and how long would you want to stay? Explain.
Week 29 & 30
Persuasive (Ideas & Word Choice): Ever since I moved to Barcelona, I’ve thought of myself as a city person. I enjoy living in a city, but last week, while visiting my friends on a farm, I suddenly could see myself living on a farm. Where do you prefer to live, in the country or on a farm in a small town or in a city, an urban center? Convince your audience of your opinion. Gather as much information and evidence to support your opinion and help make your argument stronger. Suggestion: You might want to read the Aesop’s fable, The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, or the Frog and Toad story, Country Frog, City Frog.
Week 31 & 32
Persuasive (ideas & word choice): Speaking of animals, a lot of students I’ve had in the past love to care for animals as pets. Would you like a certain type of pet? Is it hard to convince your parents to let you have a pet? Write a letter to your parents convincing them to let you have a pet. Think of at least three strong reasons for letting you have a pet and details to support each reason. If you want an extra challenge, think of a counterargument to show that you recognize both sides of the argument, but that you still feel strongly about having a pet. You never know, you might actually end up sending this letter to your parents!
Week 33 & 34
After graphing the data from the Problem of the Week this week, write a short summary stating your conclusions from the data. What does the graph tell you? Why does this type of graph best suit the data? Can you make any predictions?
Week 35 & 36
Poetry (Word Choice & Organization): I was born and raised in The United States. It is where I’m from, but for the last 10 years, Barcelona, Spain has been my home. For this poem brainstorm adjectives and words from your five senses to describe your house in a In five senses poems. You will be describing your home with one of the senses on each line. Use the following template to help organize your poem.
Line 1: Tell the color of the subject
Line 2: Tell what it sounds like
Line 3: Tell what it tastes like
Line 4: Tell what it smells like
Line 5: Tell what it looks like
Line 6: Tell how it makes you feel
Week 37 & 38
Expository (Organization & Ideas): Speaking of two-thirds, the school year is also about two-thirds of the way over and you’ve been working hard. Have a look through your writing portfolio at all the different pieces you’ve published this year. Think about your school year and all that you’ve been learning. What piece makes you the most proud? Why? How have you grown as a writer? Write a short paragraph reflecting on this writing piece. Do you feel as though you could still improve in a certain area of your writing? Explain.
Week 39 & 40
In this week’s Problem of the Week I use the idiom “Hit the Jackpot”. I didn’t literally take my hand and hit the jackpot, it is an expression that means I got lucky and was successful and won some money. Idioms are word combinations that are used which have a different meaning than the literal meanings of each word. See if you can brainstorm other idioms you might have heard, then think of your own idiom. Be creative, it can be about anything!
Week 41 & 42
Expository (word choice and organization): This week has been truly delightful for me staying with my hosts because I’ve had some time to cook and make meals for myself and my hosts. I made my favorite Brownie recipe and also blueberry pancakes. Do you have a favorite recipe that you’d like to share? Maybe it is your own creation and actually not a recipe that you follow. Take some time to think about the different food items you need for the recipe. Make a list of ingredients, then list the steps you should follow in order to make it.
Week 43 & 44
Narrative (Ideas & Organization): Summer vacation is right around the corner and I’m sure you are getting excited to be on vacation. Think back to your previous summer holidays. Is there are particular memory that sticks out in your mind, maybe a trip, summer camp, or place you visited that was your favorite. Write about a special memory you have from the summer and think about how you could connect it with what you are looking forward to this summer.