Journal Prompts

Need to make up work? Journal prompts will be posted here.


Third 9 Weeks
Jan. 9-10 - How did you spend your break? What was the best part? WOD: Autopsy
Jan. 11-12 - You don’t have to go to college, but not going to college should be a choice. What does that statement mean for you? WOD: Stamina
Jan. 18-19 - Free Write
Jan. 22-23 - If you were president, what laws would you change?

Second 9 Weeks
Oct. 18-19 - How much do you think about what you eat? Do you have any concerns about food? WOD: Deficit
Oct. 20-23 - Free Write. WOD: depict
Oct. 24-25 - Where do you get your news? Do you feel like you know a lot about what is going on? When and how do you ever question your news sources? WOD: Credible
Oct. 26-27 - Free write. WOD: critical
Oct. 30-31 - Do you believe in ghosts? What are they? Tell a ghost story.
Nov. 1-2 - What is something you think should change? Describe, explain. Imagine how it could be better. Or make a list of rules you don't like. WOD: justify
Nov. 3-6 - Look at what you wrote last class. Now make a list of arguments from the other side. WOD: perspective
Nov. 7-8 - Reflect on your persuasive argument, and the problem you are describing. Make a metaphor/simile for it. WOD: agitate
Nov. 13-14 - Free Write. WOD: craving
Nov. 16-17 - Make a list of things you are grateful for. WOD: serenity
Nov. 27-28 - Sometimes "more is less." Describe a time this might be true. WOD: permeate

First 9 Weeks
Sept. 6-7 - Free Write! WOD: Ponder
Sept. 8-11 - Think back to elementary, middle, or early high school. Describe the best or worst day you've had at school. WOD: Nostalgia
Sept. 12-13 - Remember examples from Dante's personal narrative, and go back and add detail, imagery, metaphor to your last journal entry.
Sept. 20-21 - Free Write
Sept. 22-25 - What is your favorite object? Fully describe it. What could it symbolize for you? WOD: Trait
Sept. 26-27 - 11 Vocab Words from Story of an Hour
Sept. 28-29 - Free Write. WOD: Cumbersome
Oct. 2-3 - Create a new metaphor: “So far, my life is like ____”; explain. WOD: Integrate
Oct. 6-10 - Who are your role models? What traits do they have you admire? Try to think of words and actions, not money and clothes. WOD: attribute
*** Journal Check ***

2017 Fourth 9 Weeks

March 21-22: What's Your Tribe? What are all the different groups you belong to? Who would you fight to protect? Would you defend a stranger? Describe an example.
March 23-24: Free Write! Remember to write at least half a page, and give it a title when you are done.
March 27 and 30: Write about a favorite place you’ve been. Be very detailed in your description.
March 28-29: If you were in charge of deciding on a new memorial site, what would it be remembering? What would it look like? Why is it important?
March 31-April 3: Interview your new tablemates. Identify at least 2 new things you have in common with them individually. Together, list 5 adjectives that describe your group and identify a mascot.
April 4-5: Free Write!
April 19-20: Your family has been told they are being “evacuated.” All you know is that you are being taken to an “Assembly Center;” you don’t know how long you’ll be gone. You cannot take your pets. You can only take one suitcase. What do you put in it? What does the rest of your family put in theirs? What roles do you and your family members take on? (I’m guessing somebody cries, somebody leads…)
April 25-26: Pick a character from your book and imagine walking in their shoes. How does it feel? What do you do?

2017 Third 9 Weeks
  • Why are there so many words in the dictionary? Would life be better with fewer words to learn?
  • How do you feel about starting sporting events with the national anthem? our daily pledge of allegiance? What are you thinking about when you do it?
  • Write about a time you wanted to go against the crowd: what happened if you did, or why didn't you?
  • Write a love letter to any noun of your choosing (person, place, or thing).
  • What Super Bowl ads do you remember the most? Why do you remember them? 
  • List all the ways modern technology has made your life better; then list all the things we may have lost with it.
  • What was the hardest part of the essay you planned last class?
  • Is a community's safety (school, country) more important than individual freedom? Explain.
  • Make predictions for 3 of the characters from The Crucible.
  • Puritans were afraid of Satan/witches. Make a list of things our society is afraid of today.
  • List objects that might carry symbolic value in an occult story. What are their associations?

2016 First Collection

Dec. 8-9 - Reflect on your Blackout Poetry. What did you learn? If you were absent: What could the title "Small Fates" be about? Write about all the possibilities.
Dec. 6-7 - When is less actually more?
Dec. 2-5 - Analysis and reflection on the poem Death of the Ball Turret Gunner.
Nov. 30/Dec. 1 - Think of all the people you know. Identify some one who is more silent than talkative. Write a detailed character description of them. Why are they so silent?
Nov. 9/10 - Think about your last journal entry. Who would disagree with you, and what are there reasons? Why do you still think your ideas are right or better?
Nov. 7/8 - What is an issue you feel strongly about? Something people should know more about? Or something you want to see changed?
Nov. 3/4 - Do you have strong political opinions? What do you base them on? Where do you get your information?
Nov. 1/2 - Free Write
Oct. 12-13 - Free Write
Oct. 7-11 - Write about a time you had a conflict with somebody. What started it? How was it resolved?
Oct. 5-6 - Free Write
Sept. 29-30 - Make a short list of your favorite things that you own. Then add a description of why they are important to you, and what they say about you.
Sept. 27-28 - Create a metaphor for yourself. "I am like a ____ because ___." See if you can add "and" and add a few more connections.
Sept. 23-26 - Free Write
Sept. 19-20 - Free Write
Sept. 15-16 - What concerns do you have about where your food comes from?
Sept. 7-8 - Think back to elementary, middle, or high school. Describe the best or worst day you’ve had at school. Maybe it was a time you were stereotyped or underestimated. Maybe it was a time you experienced something or accomplished something great.
Sept. 2-6 - Consider controversial team mascots. Should they change them? Why or why not?
Aug. 31-Sept. 1 - How can journaling help you?

2016 Fourth Collection - Most of these prompts were supplied by students.

  • May 9-10 - You are on the International Space Station (ISS) and something goes wrong. Which team from Spare Parts do you want in Houston figuring out a solution and giving you the instructions? Why? Did you answer change from if you were asked at the beginning of the story?
  • April 22 and 27 - You've got a ticket in your hand...where will you go? What will you do? What will happen when you get there?
  • April 20-21 - Choose an identity, an interest, or a talent that defines you. Describe and explain.
  • April 14-15 - Describe your family, home, neighborhood, or community, and explain how it has shaped you as a person.
  • April 12-13 - What is your definition of success?
  • April 8/11 - Describe/tell a story about your first job. If you haven't worked yet, fully describe your dream job.
  • April 4-5 - Write about a time you felt bullied.
  • March 29-30 - Describe your peers at Connally for a reader far away. Use imagery and metaphors.
  • March 24/28 - Every parent wants their child to go further. How will you and your siblings be the improved generation in your family?
  • March 22/23 - Should public schools be allowed to deny enrollment to undocumented students?

2016 Third Collection
  • Jan. 5-6 - Write about one thing you learned over the break, and then write about one goal you have for 2016. What do you want to have accomplished by the end of the year? How will you achieve it, and how will you measure if you were successful or not?
  • Jan. 7-8 - Fully describe this picture and imagine what it might be about:

  • Jan. 13-14 - How much do you think about what you eat (or don't eat)? What are your personal rules and guidelines? Your family’s? 
  • Jan. 15/19 -  Images and instructions here.
  • Jan. 20-21 - Makeup instructions here
  • Jan. 22/25 - Write about a time you believed something that turned out to be not true.
  • Jan. 26-27 - Describe your research question. Where did it come from? Make some predictions.
  • Jan. 28-29 - Write 3 "what if..." questions. Pick 1 and fully answer it, writing for 10 minutes without stopping.
  • Feb. 1-2 - What is the most interesting thing you've learned in your research so far? Has your question turned out to be a good one, or have you changed it to go another direction?
  • Feb. 3-4 - What else are you curious about? If you could design a class at CHS that you wanted to take, what would it look like?

2015 Second Collection
  • Oct. 15-16 - What new things have caught your interest since school started in August? What do you think you might want to read about next?
  • Oct. 19-20 - Write again about the issue you feel strongly about, but this time FROM THE OTHER POINT OF VIEW.
  • Oct. 21-22 - Contrast the 11th grade you with the 7th grade you. How have your views changed? Be specific in how and why. 
  • Oct. 26-27 -What kind of people need to just go away? How do you identify them to get rid of them?
  • Oct. 30/Nov. 2 - The Puritans were afraid of Satan, witchcraft...unseen evil forces. What are people in our society afraid of? Make a list.
  • Nov. 5-6 - A friend or family member has been targeted (any situation...bullies? Nazis?...). Standing up for them might not work and will put you in danger. What do you do? Describe all the ramifications (consequences, possible results...).
  • Nov. 9-10 - Make predictions for 3 play characters.
  • Nov. 13/16 - Pick two Crucible survivors, and write a summary of how they would appear in Act V if the story continued.
  • Nov. 30/Dec.1 - Describe your holiday week or one event or one person you spent time with. Create/use a metaphor for it.
  • Dec. 4/7 - Using Kobe's poem from last class as a model or inspiration, write a letter to something (an abstract idea, NOT a person) you love or hate. Use at least 3 poetic devices.

2015 First Collection
  • Aug. 31/Sept. 1 - Pretend it is May 2016, and write about the highlights of your junior year. Try to use at least one literary device.
  • Sept. 2-3 -  Write about at time you pretended to be something you weren't. OR...Describe your identity. How important is it? How could it change?
  • Sept. 8-9 - Write about a time you were misunderstood by an adult. How did you feel? How did you respond? Be descriptive!
  • Sept. 11/13 - Why do we read so much in school? What should be required? Should all students read a classic? 
  • Sept. 15-16 - Write about a time you wanted to do or be something great, but failed.
  • Sept. 17-18 - Write about a favorite place, or memory.
  • Sept. 21-22 - Rewrite your favorite place/memory journal entry from last class, but add sensory images and a metaphor.
  • Sept. 23-24 - See the photo and instructions here.
  • Sept. 25/28 - Write about a time you felt helpless. (Synonyms: powerless; ineffectual; impotent).
  • Sept. 29-30 - Write about a time you think the media over-reacted or got the story all wrong.
  • Oct. 1-2 - See the photo and instructions here. (first slide)
  • Oct. 5-6 - How do you use money? Cash? Plastic? Piggy bank? Bank account? How do you see yourself using it in the future? Or tell a story about a money memory.
  • Oct. 7-8 - What is an issue you feel strongly about? If you had power, what would you change?
  • Oct. 9/13 -  Review the 6 Reading Signposts on this bookmark. Pick one that you have noticed in your independent reading book, and describe.

2015 Last 9 Weeks - Students Write the Prompts!
  • March 23/24 - Have you or a friend felt like giving up on school? How did you convince yourself or them to keep going?
  • March 25/30 - How has your past made you who you are?
  • March 31/April 1 - What changes do you think PfISD should make to improve our graduation rate? 
  • April 2/6 - How do you picture your life 10 years from now?
  • April 9/10 - Write about a time you did something out of the ordinary.
  • April 13/14 - If you were granted one wish, what would it be? What would be some possible results, good and bad?
  • April 17/20 - How many hours per day do you use your phone? What else could you be doing or thinking about with that time?
  • April 21/22 - Write about a time you were the bad guy.
  • April 23/24 - If you could see through some one else's eyes, who would it be, and why?
  • April 27 (A) - When has your imagination helped you through a hard time?
  • April 29-30 - What do you like to wear? What does your clothing say about you?
  • May 1/4 - How will you spend your summer? What is something you could do that would get you closer to achieving your goal?
  • May 5/6 - How does the music reflect what your generation is all about? (Analyze it like a speech: what is the tone? who is the audience? what is the message?) 
  • May 7/8 - Write about a time you got something you always wanted.
  • May 11/12 - What are your thoughts on getting a new principal?
  • May 13/14 - Make a list of why the dream in Spare Parts is impossible; then make another list of what might help them achieve it anyway.
  • May 15/18 - What skills and assets does each member contribute to the team? (Oscar, Christian, Lorenzo, Luis).
  • May 19/20 - Why did the judges pick the high school students over MIT? (It was NOT pity or kindness).
2015 First 9 Weeks - Grading Rubric is Here
  • Jan. 7/8 - Brainstorm goals you might have for all areas of your life. Then select the most important and expand with details on how you will achieve it, and how you will measure your success (or failure). I resolve to:
  • Jan. 9/12 - Look up the definition of empathy. What does it make you think about? Write about an experience you had that involved empathy.
  • Jan. 15/16 - Pre-Reading Practice. What do you already know about your book's subject, author? How do you think it might or might not relate to your life? What do you think the title means?
  • Jan. 22-23 - Imagine living in your book's world.
  • Jan. 26/29 - Write about your favorite memory.
  • Jan. 30/Feb. 2 - How do you decide who to believe? What makes some one a trustworthy authority?
  • Feb. 5/6 - Where did your research project question come from? Why does this interest you?
  • Feb. 9/10 - What happened when you researched your question? Did you have trouble with search terms? What kinds of sources did you find? Did your question change as you found out more?
  • Feb. 13/17 - What else are you curious about? If you could create a class at CHS, what would be in the curriculum?
  • March 2/3 - Write about a time you pretended to be someone/something else. (why? how did you feel? how did it benefit you, or did it?)
  • March 4/5 - Take the Emotional Intelligence self-assessment. What did you learn from your scores? Where are your strengths, what needs improvement? Give examples of real-world situations.
  • March 6/9 - "Snow" Day! Yesterday we all received the gift of extra time. How did you spend yours? Tell your "snow" day story, and be descriptive.
2014 Last 9 Weeks
  • Oct. 22/23 - What is poetry? How do you know it, and why do we write it?
  • Oct. 24/27 - Sometimes "less is more." Describe when this might be true.
  • Oct. 28/29 - What words of wisdom does your mother, father, or other key figure have for you?
  • Oct. 31/Nov. 3 - Describe what scares you most, or about a time you were really scared.
  • Nov. 6/7 - What's your issue? Make your case! Write about something you would like to change, or reinforce. Perhaps "people should... or "the rule should be..."
  • Nov. 10/11 - When was the last time you changed your mind about something? What persuaded you?
  • Nov. 14/17 - What do you know about witches, and the witch trials in Europe and early America? What do you want to know? Exit response: What was the most interesting or surprising thing you learned in the Salem Witch Trials video?
  • Nov. 18/19 - What group or type of people do you think should just go away? How would you determine exactly who belongs in this group?
  • Nov. 20/21 - How important is your reputation? What aspects are highest priority--at school, at home, in the community?
  • Dec. 1/2 - Write about a time you rebelled -- or just wanted to -- against societal or parental expectations. Include why, how you did it, how it felt, and what happened.
  • Dec. 3/4 - Write about a time you stood up for some one else, or some one stood up for you. If you never have, why?
  • Dec. 5/8 - Think about John Proctor's choices by the end of Act III. What should he do? What are the possible results? What would you find at the Proctor farm if you visited one year later?


2014 First 9 weeks
  • Aug. 27/28 - Totems. What animal(s) best represents you? Describe (not list!) the characteristics you share or admire.
  • Aug. 29/Sept. 2 - Describe your personal philosophy -- your guiding principles or rules for living. How did you develop them?
  • Sept. 5/8 - What's the most creative thing you've ever done?
  • Sept. 9/10 - Make a list of questions you want answers to that science can't explain.
  • Sept. 11/12 - Is man more good or evil?
  • Sept. 15/16 - Many children's stories include a moral or lesson. What was your favorite? Why do you still remember it today?
  • Sept. 17/18 - Describe a character in your SSR book. What advice do you have for them? 
  • Sept. 19/22 - Write about your proudest moment or just describe yourself, but do it using third person (he/she instead of "I")
  • Sept. 25/26 - Think about the last time you disagreed with some one. Write about it from their point of view.
  • Sept. 29/30 - Write about your favorite part of the day.
  • Oct. 1/2 - Describe a day you could never forget, making sure to use descriptions for all five senses (taste, touch, sight, smell, sound.)
  • Oct. 3/6 - What superpower would you choose? Describe how you would use it.
  • Oct. 7/8 - List all the ways you can replace "said" when writing dialogue.
  • Oct. 9/10 -  Describe a place where you feel safe and relaxed. 
3/7 - Write about a time you thought you would be bad at something, but you tried it anyway.

3/18 - Write about a time you felt like an alien on a strange planet.

4/3 -Describe and give an example of what you like most about yourself.

4/9 -We all know some one who could use a pep write one.

4/11 - Tell about the harshest, most difficult to hear, criticism you have gotten. What happened next?

4/17 - Write about the main character in your current SSR book. Describe them fully (inside and out!). If made into a movie, whou would you cast to play them? If you met them in real life, explain why you would or might not want to hang out with them.

4/22 - Imagine you are going to hire some one to take English IV for you next year and earn an A. What qualities would you look for? What questions could you ask to make sure you are getting the best candidate for the job?

4/24 - How we describe things depends greatly on who our audience is. Explain your biggest regret as though to a small child. (You can make the whole thing up).

4/28 - Write about your name. Any meaning? How it was chosen? What name would you choose for yourself, and why?

5/2 - Describe a hero. What traits do you hope they would have, and what are some deal-breakers? If you’ve ever rooted for the bad guy, describe and explain.


5/8 - List and explain (give examples) 10 good things about some one you know well. Then do it about yourself. Use specific, clear adjectives. (eg "nice" is too generic).

5/12 - Write a favorite quote from your current SSR book. Explain the context, and why you chose it.