WRITING PROMPTS INTRODUCTION. Assertiveness

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1 INTRODUCTION The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (RAK) has created writing prompts for teachers to use as a supplement to their writing curriculum. These narrative and opinion writing prompts reinforce the RAK 12 Kindness Concepts while helping students develop their writing skills. The prompts can be used to: extend social and emotional learning into writing instruction. offer additional social and emotional instructional resources for anchor activities or during free choice time. spark ideas for creating your own writing prompts that focus on kindness. start a discussion about the Kindness Concept with or without a writing component. The writing prompts are labeled by Kindness Concept, grade level and type of prompt. Feel free to use and adapt for another grade while making sure the prompt is developmentally appropriate. RAK recommends assessing student work using your district s or school s writing assessment rubrics. Evaluating student writing that has social and emotional content can be challenging, particularly since the goal is also to support students as they figure out how to be kind to others. Using language that inspires kindness and helps students reflect on their thinking around kindness is a skill that takes time to develop. Becoming familiar with the RAK lesson materials and the Kindness Concepts will help you more effectively assess student writing around this content. Assertiveness Elementary School Definition: Standing up for yourself and what you believe without upsetting others. Middle School Definition: Expressing yourself effectively and standing up for your point of view, while also respecting the rights and beliefs of others. Narrative: Write about a time when you stood up for a friend who was being teased. Opinion: If you wanted to play a different game than a friend, what could you say? Grades 3 5: Narrative: Describe a time when you stood up for something you really believed in. How did it make you feel? Was it hard or easy to do that? Why? Opinion: Do you think it is possible to stand up for what you believe in without upsetting others? Why or why not? Narrative: Write about a time when you resisted the pressure from others to do something that you knew you shouldn t do. Opinion: How would you stand up for yourself if someone tried to make you do something you didn t want to do? Page 1 of 6

2 Caring Elementary School Definition: Feeling and showing concern for others. Middle School Definition: Feeling and showing concern for others. Narrative: Write about a time when you felt happy for someone else. Opinion: How can you show a friend that you care? Grades 3 5: Narrative: Describe a time when you showed someone that you cared about them. Opinion: What do you think it means to care for or be kind to another person? Narrative: Describe a time when you showed sympathy to someone else. Opinion: Do you feel and show concern for everyone in the same way? Why or why not? Compassion Elementary School Definition: Caring about someone else s feelings and offering to help that person. Middle School Definition: Feeling empathy for and/or a desire to help another. Narrative: Write about a time when you cared about a person s feelings. Opinion: If someone gets hurt on the playground, how can you help? Narrative: Write about a time when you hurt someone s feelings and what you did. Opinion: If a new student comes to your class, what can you do to make them feel comfortable? Narrative: Describe how you can be empathetic to someone who you don t get along with. Opinion: Do you think it is important to help people in other parts of the world who are suffering? Why or why not? Fairness Elementary School Definition: Treating people in a way that does not favor some over others. Middle School Definition: Treating people in a way that does not favor some over others, acting justly with kindness. Narrative: Write about a time when you shared and played fairly with a friend. Opinion: How can you be fair to others in a game? Narrative: Write about a time when you were working in a group and treated others fairly. Opinion: What do you think it means to treat others fairly? Page 2 of 6

3 Narrative: Write about a time when you acted justly with kindness. Opinion: Do you think it is always possible to treat others fairly? Why or why not? Gratitude Elementary School Definition: Being thankful. Middle School Definition: Being thankful when someone has shown you kindness or caring; not taking anything for granted. Narrative: Write about a time when you thanked someone for helping you. Opinion: Do you think it is easy or hard to thank people? Why? Narrative: Write about a time when someone was grateful to you and how you felt. Opinion: Is it easier to be grateful to people you know? Why or why not? Narrative: Describe a time when you felt grateful to another person and why. Opinion: Some people say gratitude is an attitude. What do you think this means? Do you agree? Why or why not? Helpfulness Elementary School Definition: Giving help to others. Middle School Definition: Giving aid or support to those in need. Narrative: Write about a time when you helped someone. Opinion: What are some ways that you can help others? Narrative: Write about a time when you helped someone you didn t know. Opinion: When you help others, do you think it is important to get something in return? Why or why not? Narrative: Describe when you helped someone in need and how you felt. Opinion: Do you think helping others through volunteering or a service project is important? Why or why not? Integrity Elementary School Definition: Doing what is right even when no one is watching. Middle School Definition: Acting in a truthful way, behaving properly when no one is watching. Narrative: Write about a time when you shared with a friend even though no one told you to. Opinion: What would you do if you found $20? Page 3 of 6

4 Narrative: Write about a time when you listened to someone else s ideas. Opinion: If you saw answers to a test on your teacher s desk, what would you do? Narrative: Write about a time when you did the right thing even though no one was watching. Opinion: When do you think it is hard to tell the truth? Perseverance Elementary School Definition: Keep trying even when something is hard. Middle School Definition: Keep going in spite of difficulties or obstacles, not giving up. Narrative: Write about a time when you kept trying. Opinion: What would you do if you had to learn a new game that was hard or confusing? Narrative: Write about a time when you tried hard to understand something that was confusing. Opinion: Do you ever feel like giving up when something is hard? What do you do to keep going? Narrative: Describe a time when you keep trying even though you wanted to quit. Opinion: What helps you keep trying even though it might be easier to give up? Respect Elementary School Definition: Treating others as you would like to be treated. Middle School Definition: Treating yourself and others the way you want to be treated; honoring the rights of others. Narrative: Describe a time when a friend did not treat you kindly and how you felt. Opinion: How can you show respect to your classmates? Opinion: Why do you think using good manners and being polite are ways to be kind? Narrative: Describe what showing respect to others means. Opinion: What do you think it means to respect other people s beliefs and ideas? Narrative: Describe a time when you used respectful or disrespectful words and what happened. Opinion: How can you resolve conflicts in a respectful way? Opinion: What can you do if you notice someone being bullied? Page 4 of 6

5 Responsibility Elementary School Definition: Doing what you need to do. Middle School Definition: Recognizing the right thing to do and then doing it. Being trustworthy and dependable. Narrative: Write about a time when you were asked to do chores. Opinion: If you are asked to clean your room and you want to play, what would you do to be responsible? Narrative: Write about a time when you were asked to take care of something and you didn t. Opinion: What do you think it means to be trustworthy and dependable? Narrative: Describe a time when someone was relying on you to get something done. Did you do what was expected or make a different choice? How did that feel? Opinion: What do you think can happen if people don t take responsibility for their actions? Self-Care Elementary School Definition: Learning how to take care of yourself. Middle School Definition: Learning how to care for yourself mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually and then doing it. Using positive, encouraging language when speaking to yourself; not beating yourself up over mistakes or perceived failures. Narrative: Write about a time when you were kind to yourself. Opinion: How would you feel if you only worked and couldn t play? Opinion: If you are upset or sad, what kind words can you say to yourself to help you feel better? Narrative: Write about a time when you didn t take care of yourself and what happened. Narrative: Write about a time when you didn t do well on a test or couldn t understand your homework. What did you say to yourself? Opinion: What do you think are some ways that you can take care of yourself? Narrative: Describe what causes stress for you and what you can do to deal with the stress. Narrative: Describe a time when you wanted to give up but used encouraging words to keep going. Opinion: What is easiest for you to care for, your emotional, mental, physical or spiritual health and why? What is most difficult for you to care for and why? Opinion: How can saying I can t and Everyone is better than me impact how you feel about yourself? Page 5 of 6

6 Self-Discipline Elementary School Definition: Controlling what you do or say so you don t hurt yourself or others. Middle School Definition: Controlling one s words and actions for the benefit of self and others. Narrative: Write about a time when you followed the rules. Opinion: Why do think it is easier to act kindly when you are in control of your body and your words? Narrative: Write about a time when you said or did something unkind to a friend and what happened. Opinion: What are some ways that you can control your words and actions? Narrative: Describe a time when you said no or walked away from someone who was pressuring you to do something harmful. Opinion: Why do you think it can be hard to control the way we act? Page 6 of 6

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