Easy and Quick Prompts to help students connect to your content

It’s happened to all of us – you work so hard on a lesson – to make it engaging, hook students, and ensure that you cover all the content needed for the formative assessment…. and yet… when you assess… students seem to have not “gotten it”. What can a hard-working teacher do??? Insert some short prompts here and there to help students connect learning to themselves and make it relevant! Check out the prompts below and pick three to have students complete as stopping points throughout your next lesson. See if their connections, memory, and engagement with the content goes up!

Prompts to try:

Emotional connections:

  • Write three sentences about your emotional connection to the content so far. What emotions does this content elicit? Why?
  • What about this content is scary (or funny, or sad, or another emotion)? What scares you and why?
  • What event in your life can you connect this content to?
  • How would knowing this content a year ago (or more) have helped you? Share a specific example.
  • How can you apply this content to your life? What connections can you make to yourself or someone you know?

Curiosity:

  • What are you curious about this topic?
  • What part of this content do you have more questions about?
  • Who in your life do you think knows more about this topic?
  • Who in your life do you think would be interested to learn about this?

Summarize:

  • Summarize this content with 5 emojis. Write a paragraph to explain your emoji summarization.
  • Write three sentences you learned about this topic. Be prepared to share with a classmate.
  • Write a paragraph about what you’ve learned about this topic so far from the perspective of a news anchor or sports caster. Be prepared to share!
  • Write a poem or song lyrics describing this topic with your table group. Include as many vocab terms a you can. Get as far as you can before the 3 minute timer sounds.
  • Teach your table group about this topic as if they were toddlers. How can you simplify it so that they will understand?

You may have noticed that toward the end of my list of prompts (above), I started to provide a character to become (news anchor, sportscaster) and/or an audience to speak to (toddlers). As I continued to try to brainstorm more prompts for this list, I created a table to help. This table allows for an almost endless amount of prompts as you the teacher or your students select a character to assume the role of, who your audience is, and a product.

You could assign this as a choice – asking students to choose one from each group to create their own prompt.

Imagine you are a:Explaining the topic to a(n):Using:
SportscasterToddlera sticky note
News AnchorAliena song
Youtube starparenta poem
Pop singerhuge crowda verbal explaination
College professorPolice officera book blurb
GrandparentCritica product review
Detectivecrowd of people who disagree with youa list
The Presidentyour best friendsa few sketches
a talk show hostyour parentsa commercial

OR you could utilize this Random Prompt Generator I created using a template at Flippity.net.

You simply click the circle arrow on the right to spin all of the “wheels” of prompts to get your random prompt. If you (or your students) love two parts but hate one of them, you can also JUST spin one wheel at a time by using the circle arrows located under each column or colored wheel.

I hope you are able to use some of the prompts at the top as well as some of these silly and fun prompts in the chart and in the randomizer in order to help students make connections to their lives and have fun with your content!

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