& i need help

Well, obviously. But this isn’t about that.

I’m not looking for parenting help, either. Not at the moment anyway. We’ll wait till my kid’s mobile before I go begging for that.

No, I need YOUR help, fellow denizen of the Bloggy-verse. With blogging. Specifically, with my students’ blogging.

I promise I have an actual class. They are not imaginary.

I promise I have an actual class. They are not imaginary.

See, I’m teaching a composition class that is all about “Writing as Engagement.” And little ol’ me thought, “What better way to have my students engage with writing than creating their very own blog?” So I did that. They each have their own blog, centered around a specific topic (family, sports, crafts, etc.), and three times a week, I give them a blog prompt. I try to make it something that can help spur some ideas in their heads while still being adaptable to a wide range of topics.

For instance, their first prompt was “Confidence.” I gave them “Ambition,” and “Failure,” and this picture. This week I’m giving them a few Super Bowl commercials as prompts. The idea is that they can use the prompt in whatever way they see fit to help them relate to their blog’s central topic. They can straight-up address the prompt itself or use it in a way that makes them think of something only tangentially related to the prompt. It’s just there to get them content to fill three days a week during the semester.

So where do you come in?

Well, Bloggites, I need some ideas for prompts. I’m pretty sure I’ll run dry quickly. As you can tell by this space, I have a little trouble getting my own content up sometimes (though that’s usually more of a time problem than anything else).

But you’re creative. I’ve read your sites. You’re the best people I know at this writing-on-the-internet thing. I figured, “Why should I drive my own damn self nuts when I have droves of loyal followers a few random, lonely nutjobs a wonderful community of creative individuals to draw from?” Give me stuff. Give me lots of stuff. Make it adaptable to a broad range of topics. What can my minions students write about that would be good? Tell me, tell me, TELL ME!




16 thoughts on “& i need help

  1. Making them think is always a good way to go–it’s hard for me to find an exact topic because my youngest is in their 20’s (just wait, the time flies by), and, when they were the age you’re talking about, life was different.

    Touch on violence in schools, or should cell phones be banned from schools. Um, is college necessary? Success…what is it?

    Hope that helps a wee bit.

    • I like these ideas. The “is college necessary” is a good one. You could also go for topics about body image, gun control, the role social media plays, privacy online, whether or not young kids can handle the responsibility of social media, popular music, which movies do they think will be considered classics when they’re older, etc. I’ll think of more and come back.

      • Definitely. I’ve got my own opinions on the necessity of college myself. Go figure, right?

        I think I can certainly something with this list.

    • Yeah, I think these could work. Life might have been different, but I think the basics are still the same for these guys.

  2. Open internet. Digital piracy. Social media at work. Politics/religion among family/friends. Steroids in sports. Airbrushing on magazine covers. 2nd Ammendment interpretation. Whether or not it was a blown holding call on that last posession.

    • There was. There totally was.

      You know, a conspiracy theorist might say the NFL had a little too much tied up in the “Ray Lewis wins it all in his last game” storyline and encouraged its referees to call the game likewise. That’s what a consipiracy theorist might say about the complete lack of calls in San Francisco’s favor.

      But I’m not a conspiracy theorist, so I won’t say that.

    • I think I’ve broken out a little “Cwahfee Twahlk” reference in the past with these guys. About a mile-and-a-half over their heads. Kids these days…

  3. OHEMGEE I have a lot. C is running around right now so I need to catch her, but when she takes a nap I will be back to provide you with enough blog topics to last until 2067.

    • OK. I’m back. Since you need them all to relate to a topic across all sorts of lenses, I thought I’d throw a few out there that are pretty wide open and not really specific or topical. The whole idea behind blogging – at least for me – is that you’re not writing about something that you are indifferent to, so if for instance someone told me to blog about that guy at Notre Dame who had the fake girlfriend, the whole post would be forced because I really don’t care at all about that whole situation. So here are my general topics: charity, shopping, travel, mornings, death, voting, green, the contents of your bag, creativity, your favorite word, siblings, Facebook, fear, cancelled TV shows, the environment.

  4. Identity as presented on social media, privacy in an increasingly public world, the quest for fame/making it big/ vs working your ass off for success, celebrity gossip, what you spend/waste your time on while trolling the intertron, feminism vs objectification of women in the media, making a brand out of yourself, smoking cigarettes – why would anyone still do it – and they DO, brestfeeding in public (I’m assuming college kids have some opinion about it), and the importance of love.


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