Here are a few prompts to get the creative juices flowing for your secondary students, including several related to issues plucked from recent headlines. Some are for deep thinkers, others are…well…not so much. But writing should be enjoyable, anyway!

  • As of 2018, student loan debt in the US stands at over $1,500,000,000,000. The average cost of a public school bachelors degree is nearing $100,000, and a private school will set a graduate back almost $200,000. Is a 4-year college degree worth the price in today’s society?
  • Review the most recent book you read or movie you watched.
  • Are there situations when it is expected that we put on a different persona than our true selves? Is this a good or bad thing?
  • Describe your favorite sports-related moment.
  • What do you think of your schedule this year? Will you be able to focus on what is most important to you? How can it be more manageable?
  • What life lessons can be gleaned from Napoleon Dynamite?
  • What is your favorite musician or group? Why do you like them?
  • Recently, several prominent people have faced consequences for old social media posts (e.g. James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy director). Should we be held accountable for our words, even words spoken or written years ago?
  • Helen Keller stated, “The highest result of education is tolerance.” What do you think? Why is this true or untrue?
  • Describe a time when a personal failure became a positive experience.
  • In response to the ongoing debate over NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys recently stated that anyone wanting to play for his team would “stand for the anthem, toe on the line.” Should a private business owner be allowed to enforce a policy like this one?
  • Should all students be required to take algebra to graduate?
  • Watch the video below and discuss your views on homework. Do you feel teachers assign too much? Not enough?

  • What changes, if any, should be made to the current school dress code?
  • Would you be better or worse off if you were to get rid of all of your social media accounts?
  • Which is more important, creativity or knowledge?
  • If you could go to lunch  (their treat!) with anyone, past or present, who would it be and why?
  • Would you be open to having a small computer implanted into your body to monitor your daily activities at all times, if the device promised to detect illnesses or other threats to your health at the earliest possible moment?
  • Complete the following using no more than 50 words: If you want to achieve greatness…
  • Describe the earliest memory you have.