The 2018 Monthly Writing Challenge for TeachWriting.org

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Join TeachWriting.org this year on a writing journey through various topics to inspire different types of essays from personal narrative to persuasive.  This year's writing challenge is themed around contemporary topics that are sure to interest secondary students.  For each month, students will consider what they think about selected topics and then organize their opinions into written responses.  At the end of the year, students can compile their writings into an anthology or publish them online by creating an online portfolio. 

The Options

These writing topics are fantastic to do along with your students during writing workshop!  It's always a great idea to write with your students and share your writing with them.  This writing challenge is sure to help you create a writing community in your classroom.  If you'd like for your students to write about all 12 topics by the end of the school year, consider having students write about two topics per month all the way until May/June.  Alternatively, you could give this list of topics to your students and allow them to choose a topic that interests them.  The options are endless! 

The Task

For each topic, students should think about their attitude towards the topic.  How did this attitude come about?  What inspired them to think this way about the topic?  Students should then either take a side on the topic and write a persuasive/argumentative essay in response, OR students can tell a story from their own lives that reveals their attitude towards the topic.  Some students may even wish to respond to the topic in creative form by writing a story or a poem that reveals their attitude and perspective on the topic.  These prompts are open-ended to allow students to truly express themselves and take ownership of their writing!  

Let's take a closer look at the topics!

 Image courtesy of  Reading & Writing Haven .

Image courtesy of Reading & Writing Haven.

January:  School Dances

February:  Planking

Planking is a new, potentially dangerous (but oftentimes silly) "stunt" that "kids these days" like to do.  Essentially, planking involves putting one's body into a plank position in various settings, photographing it, and then posting it online.  A young person might "plank" on a football field or on the railing of a balcony!  Nonetheless, it is an activity that has captured media attention for the inherent dangers involved.

March:  College Education

April:  Photo Filters

May:  Killing a Spider

June:  Women in Combat

July:  Troll Farming

A troll farm is an organization whose employees or members attempt to create conflict and disruption in an online community by posting deliberately inflammatory or provocative comments.  They are used to spread propaganda for specific purposes such as political elections.

August:  I-Dosing

I-dosing is a new craze in which children, teenagers, and young adults listen to specific audio content that is supposed to simulate the mental states of recreational drugs.  It's a way to get "digitally high."

September:  Double-Stuffed Oreos

October:  Facebook Creeping

Facebook creeping refers to "stalking" someone on social media, which means checking them out or following what's going on in their life.

November:  Keeping Secrets

December:  Harry Potter

Use the infographic to guide your students through the 2018 TeachWriting.org Monthly Writing Challenge!  Post pics of your students writing, and tag TeachWriting on Instagram or Facebook.  We'd love to hear from you to see how you are integrating the writing challenge into your classes this year!


About the Author

Meredith is the founder and creator of TeachWriting.org and Bespoke ELA.  She has taught high school English for 10+ years in Dallas, Chicago, and New York City and holds a M.A. in Literature from Northwestern University.  She has always had a connection to the written word-- through songwriting, screenplay writing, and essay writing-- and she enjoys the process of teaching students how to express their ideas.  Meredith enjoys life with her husband, daughter, and sweet pups.


The Bespoke ELA 2018 Writing Challenge

If you love writing challenges, be sure also to check out the 2018 writing challenge from Bespoke ELA

Use the TeachWriting challenge alongside the Bespoke ELA writing challenge to flesh out your writing curriculum for the rest of the school year!

This year, the Bespoke ELA writing challenge is to write about your favorite things all year long!  These favorites are sure to inspire various pieces of new writing from personal narrative to persuasive!

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