Writing is an important skill for students to develop. Writing doesn’t have to be reserved for Language Arts, we can introduce it into every subject area through brief writing activities. I used to use the writing prompt, “How does the story end, or what happens next” in my social studies classes, especially at a critical point in a video or historical story we were exploring. The exercise wasn’t about getting a historically correct response, but engaging their thinking in a short writing exercise. We have tools to assist in creating writing prompts with a little technological assistance.
Discovery Education: Discovery education is much more than a video library. One of the many great features is the Builder Tools Section. Here you have the option to create assignments, Quizzes, Boards and Writing Prompts. You are able to create your own, or select a premade one and adjust it to fit your needs.
What I like about the writing prompts I have explored is they provide a visual either an image or a video that connects to the writing task being assigned. When creating and assigning in Discovery Ed the students will be provided a window to record their responses. I don’t have classes in Discovery Ed so I can’t simulate that experience to show you examples.
Google Forms or Google Docs: Google Forms allows you to add images and videos above questions to provide visual context for the question or writing prompt. Google Docs allows only adding images so to use a video you would have to use a hyperlink. I like to insert a video clip from youtube such as the battle of fort wagner in the movie Glory and have students write what they think happens next, which side wins and why. There are so many possibilities for using visuals as inspiration for your writing prompts. When would I use forms instead of Discovery ED- when the video or image I wanted to use isn’t available in Discovery ED.
Additionally Google Forms has added Math Equations so you could insert charts, graphs, equations for students to solve.
Youtube Videos- for those who have students under 13 there is still an option for you. You can use safeshare.tv Copy the URL the web address of the youtube video into Sharesafe.TV and this site will remove any of the extra content that we would normally see in Youtube. Copy and paste the new link into your form or doc and students can access the video. Example: Quantum Leap in safeshare.tv. A quick example of a writing prompt using the Quantum Leap Video. Difference between safeshare.tv and youtube - safeshare is a hyperlink, and the youtube video I am able to embed it into the form and students could watch it right in the form.
Another video tool that might assist you is TubeChop - Chop YouTube VideosThis allows you to take a Youtube video and select just the section of the video you want to use. This can be very beneficial for directing students to just the aspect of the video that is most important for them to engage with.