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Practice Prompts

Descriptive Essay Prompts

       Prompt Option 1:

Teachers use a variety of texts (e.g. textbooks, novels, newspapers, etc.) to engage their students in learning. Describe a time when a teacher effectively used a text to improve your learning experience. Then, describe crucial characteristics of an effective reading assignment.  Finally, explain how you as a teacher can use reading materials in an engaging and/or productive way.

Your descriptive essay should include the following three components:

(1) a description of a time when a teacher used a text to improve your learning experience

(2) an explanation of important characteristics necessary for a good reading assignment

(3) a specific description of how you plan to use texts effectively in your classroom

       Prompt Option 2:

Teachers are influential figures in students’ lives. Identify a teacher who positively impacted your education. Describe what this teacher did to either a) help you value your education more or b) inspire you to pursue the teaching profession; be sure to include at least two specific supporting examples. Then, detail how you plan to emulate this teacher in your future classroom.

Your descriptive essay should include the following three components:

(1) identify a teacher who had a positive impact on your student experience

(2) choose either option a or b, and be sure to include at least two specific supporting examples

(3) explain how you plan to emulate this teacher in your future classroom

       Prompt Option 3:

Teachers are continually finding new ways to use technology in the classroom. Describe how technology involvement has changed over the course of your student career. Then, reflect on the effectiveness of technology for you as a learner. Finally, detail how you plan on using technology in your own classroom.

Your descriptive essay should include the following three components:

(1) a description of the evolution of technology seen in your student experience

(2) a reflection of how effective technology has been for you as a learner

(3) a detailed plan of how you intend to use technology in your classroom

       Prompt Option 4:

Some teachers require their students to complete a service learning assignment or project. Describe a time when you were required to do service for a class. Explain why you felt like it was or was not worthwhile. Then, explain if and how you plan to use service learning in your future classroom.

Your descriptive essay should include the following three components:

(1) a description of an experience you had doing service for a class assignment

(2) a reflection of your experience with an opinion about service learning

(3) an explanation of if and how you plan on using service learning in your future classroom

       Prompt Option 5:

Teachers often use group work as a way to engage students and encourage teamwork. Describe a time when group work was successful for you as a student. Then, describe a time when group work was unsuccessful. Reflecting on these two experiences, explain how you plan to implement group work effectively in your future classroom.

Your descriptive essay should include the following three components:

(1) a description of a successful experience with group work

(2) a description of an unsuccessful experience with group work

(3) an explanation of your plan to implement group work effectively in your future classroom

Persuasive Letter Prompts:

       Prompt Option 1:

Teachers and administrators are noticing an increase in violence and vandalism at your school. The administration has proposed random weekly locker checks as a solution to this issue. Write a persuasive letter to your administration in which you support or argue against this proposal.

Your persuasive letter should include these three components:

(1) a clear statement in which you identify your position on this issue

(2) several reasons that support your position (include personal examples when appropriate)

(3) a professional tone and presentation appropriate for a letter to administrators

       Prompt Option 2:

Studies show that somewhere between 40 and 50% of teachers leave the profession within their first five years. Some credit this burnout to large class sizes, required involvement in extra-curricular activities, lesson planning, minimal preparation time, classroom discipline, and more. Write a persuasive letter to your district superintendent in which you offer suggestions on how to prevent or relieve teacher burnout.

Your persuasive letter should include these three components:

(1) a clear statement in which you identify your position on this issue

(2) several reasons that support your position (include personal examples when appropriate)

(3) a professional tone and presentation appropriate for a letter to your district superintendent

       Prompt Option 3:

Current statistics highlight an increasing gap between the earning potential of high school graduates and college graduates. Because of this gap, your principal has decided to emphasize college preparation for all students by focusing on things like the ACT, SAT, and college entrance essays. Some teachers are concerned that, realistically, many students will not follow a traditional college route; this new emphasis could deprive these students of valuable preparation for their diverse post-high school plans. Write a persuasive letter to your principal in which you support or argue against his plan.

Your persuasive letter should include these three components:

(1) a clear statement in which you identify your position on this issue

(2) several reasons that support your position (include personal examples when appropriate)

(3) a professional tone and presentation appropriate for a letter to your principal

       Prompt Option 4:

Because of the state’s added emphasis on end-of-year test results, the principal at your elementary school has decided to spend less time on extra-curricular subjects (PE, music, art, etc.) in order to create more instructional time for core subjects. Write a persuasive letter to your principal in which you support or argue against this plan.

Your persuasive letter should include these three components:

(1) a clear statement in which you identify your position on this issue

(2) several reasons that support your position (include personal examples when appropriate)

(3) a professional tone and presentation appropriate for a letter to your principal

       Prompt Option 5:

Sports can be a great way to get students involved in school; however, competitions and practices can take students out of important classroom instruction time. Your administration has proposed that student athletes maintain a minimum of 80% attendance in all classes to remain eligible to play.  Write a persuasive letter to your administration in which you support or argue against this proposal.

Your persuasive letter should include these three components:

(1) a clear statement in which you identify your position on this issue

(2) several reasons that support your position (include personal examples when appropriate)

(3) a professional tone and presentation appropriate for a letter to your administration