Memories act as writing prompts

Attributions: 
by: Chris Thompson

In an effort to help students generate writing ideas, Spanish Fork Junior High School counselor, Mr. Jackson, related one of his first childhood memories to Mrs. Thompson's seventh grade English students. Jackson displayed a 1977 Tonka 4X4 which featured removable wheels, a tire jack, and a red gas can. He went on to describe in detail the Christmas morning he discovered what would become his favorite toy and explained its sentimental value that was sparked by his family-owned tire business in Springville. Hearing Jackson's account gave students the opportunity to reflect on their own cherished memories and prompted them to write anywhere from five to eleven outlines the following day. Students have since finished several drafts and are looking forward to sharing their own autobiographical stories with the class. Referring to the visit, Thompson states, “Never before has generating narrative ideas been so easy for my students. Todd's account gave their writing relevance and meaning—both of which are musts in the writing process. I can't thank him enough.”