Important Suggestion to my fellow Journalers

If these posts are too long for you to complete, I suggest that you print off the prompt that is of current interest to you and then tape it into your journal for future reference. The prompts are such that you can do it in one sitting or you can break each idea down and use them as separate prompts. There is no set rule on how to use these prompts. They can be used as lessons for your auxiliaries too. Hope you enjoy them and may they glorify the Lord in all the ways you use them. God bless your writing experiences.

Important Note:

Most of these prompts will come from my own thoughts, but there may some that I have found from other people and want to share with you. Some of the prompts may be repeats to some of you who are members of the same online groups I am in, but I will include them for the new journalers out there reading this blog. And sometimes prompts are so good they are worth repeating. You may use a prompt over and over again and reply to it differently each time. I will give credit to prompts I find when I know the person who submitted the prompt or gave it to me by other means. If I find a journaling site that has prompts I will include them too. Thank you for your understanding.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Just One More Minute

If you are a mother, grandmother, caretaker of children, or someone who has a child in their life, then you will understand the title of this post.  Have you ever thought how many times you have made that statement to a child?  Give me a minute, one minute please, I will be there in a minute, just one more minute...

You are busy and that is when they want something.
You are trying to rest and that is when they want something.
You are talking to an adult and that is when they want something.

Just give me one more minute...

I am reminded of a time when I said that statement and it turned out to be the most profound moment of my life at the time.  That moment changed how I responded to children when I am busy.

I was doing the dishes and my son was playing in his room.  I heard him in a not so excited voice "mommy I need you."  He did not sound as if it were important so I told him I would be there in a minute.  He again said, "mommy I need you."  Well, the tone of his voice did not sound as if he was hurt or anything so I told him I would be there in a minute after I finished the dishes.  He didn't say anything else so I went ahead and did the dishes then I went to his bedroom and asked him what he wanted.  He was sitting in the floor and looked up at me and said, "Forget it mommy.  I kissed my boo boo myself." 

He really did hurt his foot (stepped on a toy and bruised the bottom a little bit).  He did not cry out so I would know he hurt it.  I asked him why he didn't tell me he hurt his foot and he told me he knew I was busy in the kitchen and didn't want to bother me.  Oh, I felt so bad.  I hugged him and told him that no matter what I was doing he could always tell me if he was hurt and I would kiss his boo boos.

I told myself I would never tell my children "in a minute" again.  Well, occasionally I would slip and do it.  When they got bigger they would be smart alec and start counting "one mississippi, two mississippi" and I would realize I told them "in a minute" again. 

So, children have things to say when we are busy.  We need to determine which is more important - what we are doing or seeing what they want us to do.  But that minute may turn into longer, that minute may pass and the moment is gone.  I would like to share a saying with you that fits with this topic...

The dishes will wait, but the rainbow won't.

Has this prompt brought to mind times you stated that to your children and you missed out on a memory maker? 

Now let's take this prompt a different way.  What if the Lord told us "in a minute" when we were trying to get His attention and tell Him something?  What if he were too busy to stop what He was doing and kept telling us "just give me one more minute?"  Praise the Lord and let Him know how grateful you are that He is there for us anytime we call on Him.

Now, when the Lord is calling you, are you too busy to listen to Him?  Are you too busy to go to Him?  Are you telling Him "in a minute Lord?"  Record ways you have done this and discuss it with the Lord and pray for ways to hear His call and not ignore or neglect Him.

Do you not have time for the Lord some days?  Do you have a list of things to do and time with the Lord is not on that list?  The Lord gives us 24 hours a day.  Aren't we lucky that He does not demand us to give Him 10 percent of the day?  That would be too much for many of us.  It is difficult to give Him even an hour most days.  Let's give Him that minute we keep saying.  In a minute Lord should be turned into "Every minute of the day I will praise thee O Lord."

Got a minute?  Journal how this prompt has inspired you to write.  Thanks Marshel

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My granddaughter the prompter

My daughter said her daughter is a mini grandma.  She has several journal books she uses and she has several different colors of bags and totes for her books and journals.  Just like her grandma.  Hey, at least I am not guilty of setting a bad example.  Anyway...

My granddaughter is only four years old, but she is well on her way to becoming a lifetime journaler.  She expects to learn a new word each day.  Besides the new words they discuss in her preschool class, she wants her grandma to give her a new word of the day too.  Now they are not just your ordinary words most preschoolers want to know.  They have to be big and interesting sounding words.  They must catch her attention.  Words we have been discussing are "extraordinary", "outstanding", "possibilities", and so on.  We did "blizzard" since we had a blizzard with a snowfall of almost 6 feet overnite.  Occasionally I will give her a word that her teacher used in class.  She will say "I already know that word grandma."  She will use the word of the day somehow in a sentence with everyone she talks to that day.  Oh, Reader's Digest Word Power is going to become my favorite tool with her.  We will be learning how to spell soon and then I will work on definitions and dictionary drills with her too.  For now she learns the meaning and how to write it.  Afterall she is only four you know.  Well, there are times I forget that.  She tends to include herself in our adult conversations.  She gets bored playing with children her own age.  Okay, I know.  Grandma is bragging, but she really is pretty smart and as a preschool teacher myself, I adore her and her love for learning.  Everything we do is a learning experience with her.  She questions everything.  And she has some pretty intelligent opinions about things, especially things she has just learned and wants others to know that "she is smart" as she will tell us.  Our times together are constantly new and "exceptional" as she learned the meaning of and loves to use all the time.

During one of the days I got to spend time with her (my husband and I babysit the grandchildren after school on the weeks they are at home with their mother - our daughter.)  we were watching one of the programs she enjoys (I Carly is her favorite right now) and I told her I wanted to color instead.  She asked why because she enjoys coloring too but she was interested in her show and was deciding which to do.  So, I told her because I did not want to watch the show and that I love coloring.  She put her hands on her hips and told me you should love people not things grandma.  So, that led to some very lengthy conversations about things you can love and things we can love or people we love etc.  And then we talked about things we don't like.  In our household we don't use the word hate very often so we discussed things we "strongly dislike".  Then our conversations led to Jesus loves us and hates sin.  We are to love everyone but not like the sin they do.  We never got to the coloring until much later in the day.  And I learned a lot from a four year old that day.

When I got home I started listing all of the things we had discussed for my journal and low and behold I realized she was not only a journaler like her grandma, she is also a prompter.  She made me think of so many new things I could journal about.  She is "amazing" (one of her favorite words).  So, I will share the different prompts I was able to get from my day with a little person...

Things I love...
People I love...
Things I love to do...
Things I would love to do...
Things I love about my husband, other family members...
Things I love about my friends and other relatives...
Books I love to read...
Creative art projects I love to do; would love to do...
Crafts I love to do; would love to learn...
Ways I love to journal...
Things I love to eat...
TV shows I love to watch...
What I love about my job...
What I love about my town...
My favorite places I love to go to...
The time of day I love the most...
The season I love the most...
Writing utensils I love to use...
Moments in my life I love to recall...
Things I love about myself
And then you can use the same ideas and substitute the words "don't love", "don't like", or "dislike".

For a more extensive activity you can do a word study in the Bible using the words "love" and "hate".
You can write the verses that relate to those words.  You can find poems/sayings that involve those words too.

You can do a study on how Jesus loves us and you can journal the different ways that Jesus has shown His love for you.  You can journal the different ways you show Jesus you love Him.  Or the ways you would like to show Him you love Him. 

You can write in journals assigned to your different family members and write them love letters.

And for the scrapbooker/journaler you can include pictures of people and things you love.

Hope this long post was helpful.  I love sharing prompts with you and I truly love talking about my granddaughter.  I will share more of her prompts with us again.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Just One a Day

This particular prompt came to me when I was taking my vitamins.  I was singing a little jingle to remind me to take my pills.  So I started singing take one pill  a day and you will keep the visits to the doctor away and well out of that came this journaling idea.

For the following prompts I dedicated one journal for it.

You can do just one of them a day or as I plan on doing one answer to each one of them each day.

Just One A Day...

* One story that touched my day.
* One word that came from the Lord.
* One thing that I am grateful for.
* One person I felt God's love through.
* One thought I had about God.
* One way I knew Jesus was with me.
* One prayer I prayed today.
* One verse I was inspired by today.
* One analogy I thought about from my day's happening, etc.

I am sure you could come up with more things you could record just one thing a day about it.  I just decided on those because it is areas I want to work on in my life.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Journaling Jars

These are the neatest things!  It would be easy enough to give someone a book on memoir-writing, and tell them to just start writing.  And that might be motivation enough.  However, a whole book can be overwhelming to some people, or they may just not take the time to read the whole thing.  Another way to get someone (including yourself!) writing about his or her life is to give them a "journal jar". 
Make a list of questions you would want to know about that person's life.  Consider all the things you want to know about your great-grandparents, for instance, the questions you never got answered.  Write these questions down on paper, and cut the paper into little strips, one question per strip.  Place the strips in an empty jar, either pretty glass or even a cleaned-out empty peanut butter jar.  The theory behind a journal jar is that the recipient will remove a slip of paper each day/week/month, and respond to the question.  Each question is meant to evoke a memory, hopefully encouraging the person to WRITE THAT STORY DOWN (or at least share it verbally).  You can make the jar pretty by covering the lid with fabric and a ribbon. What a wonderful gift!
Don't hesitate to make one for yourself too!  Any way you can encourage YOURSELF to save your stories is wonderful!  And remember, each of these journal jar prompts can be the subject of a scrapbook page!  You will never lack a subject for a page again! 

Some sites to help with your journal jars...
This site offers what seemed like hundreds of questions for your jar.  They would be good questions just to use as writing prompts.

Adult Journal in a Jar By Cynthia Ewer

Looking for an easy, interesting holiday gift? It's a journal in a jar!
Jumpstart journal writers with a quart-sized canning jar filled with folded strips of paper. Each one contains a single thought provoking journal prompt. Paired with a pretty blank book, a Journal Jar makes a great gift.
We've made it easy to craft your Journal Jar. Free printable journal prompts have colorful legends and graphics to make a pretty gift. Add a free printable gift tag for a professional touch.
To assemble your Journal Jar, print the colorful journal prompts pages. Cut apart each printed strip, and fold it so that the colored graphics are folded to the outside, with the journal assignment on the inside.
Fill the jar with journal slips, and attach the free printable gift tag.

type "journaling jars" in your search engine and there are several more sites listed.

Are you in a rut in your prayer life?

This can be applied to writing out your prayers also.  Adapt it to fit your style of praying and journaling. 

1) Change Your  Environment - If you pray in the light of morning, try praying in the dark of night. If you pray in your living room, try praying in your kitchen. If you pray indoors, try praying under the open sky or the graceful boughs of a tree. Changing your prayer environment can give you a new perspective on your life and spirit.
2) Change Your Routine - If your prayer time is sandwiched between dinner and bedtime or homework and hobbies, rearrange your schedule so that prayer is the priority. The more important prayer is to us, the more attention we give it, and the deeper we can go into our relationship with God.
3) Sing - Instead of whispering, praying silently, or intoning your prayerful words, try singing loudly and joyfully or softly and plaintively. Music can be freeing for the spirit--and your prayers will take on a whole new sound.
 4) Exercise - Walk, run, stretch, or cycle while you pray, feeling the rhythm of your spirit with the movement of your body. Use exercise with prayer as a way to reflect upon the gift of your life and self, inside and out.
5) Refocus - If you have a long list of prayer requests, you might be too tired by the end of the list to devote much attention to your own inner spirit. Try to refocus your prayer time so that it is balanced between the needs of others and yourself. Taking time for you will build your own strength so you can be of help to others.
6) Listen - Sometimes we are too busy praying to hear what God has to say. If prayer becomes one-sided, boredom can easily follow. Set aside time each day to clear your mind of all distractions, sit in God's presence, and listen. God's voice is anything but dull!
7) Study - Faith is not just in the moment. There is a rich faith and prayer tradition that has gone before us. Reading and studying the great believers and writings of years, even centuries, gone by can have a profound effect upon prayer today and tomorrow
8) Team up - Are you bored going off by yourself to pray? Team up with a prayer partner. Whether in person, on the telephone, or online, the power of prayer can be multiplied when people come together.
9) Be A Child - Remember when you were a child? What questions did you ask of God, then? They were probably very different from the ones you ask now. Whether you came to believe as an adult or were brought up in faith, if your prayer life feels stuck now, approach it as a child - with wonder, simple questions, trust, and humor (yes, at times, God has a wonderful sense of humor!). Enjoy.
10) Visualize - Imagine that everything around you is infused with the presence of God - including yourself. God all around, up and down, inside and out. God is listening to you, every word you utter and every need you have. More than any other, God loves you. Unconditionally. Visualize that love and renew your energy with it.

Words to Inspire from IDEALS - Peace

Words of Peace

Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.  Matthew 5:9

Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us. 
Samuel Smiles

Sad soul, take comfort nor forget, the sunrise never failed us yet.  Celia Thaxter

Peace by Mildred Spires Jacobs

Peace is looking at a child
With eyelids closed in sleep
And knowing that the love of God
Is constant, true, and deep.

Peace is gazing into depths
Of water, cool and clear,
And knowing fast within your heart
That God is ever near.

Peace is hearing birds that sing
In harmony of voice
And knowing that you too can live
With God's own way your choice.

Peace is living day by day
With His own company,
So you will have within your soul
Divine tranquility.

Words to Inspire from IDEALS - Thanksgiving

Words of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving...invites God to bestow a second benefit.  Robert Herrick

We mistake the gratuitous blessings of heaven for the fruits of our industry.  Roger L'Estrange

Each day comes bearing its gifts.  Untie the ribbons.  Ann Ruth Schabacker

One act of thanksgiving when things go wrong with us is worth a thousand thanks when things are agreeable to our inclination.  St. John of Avila

May silent thanks, at least to God, be given with a full heart; our thoughts are heard in heaven.
William Wordsworth

The Lord is Good - Psalm 100

Without Thankfulness by John Henry Jowett

Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion.
Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception.
Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude.
Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.

Words to Inspire from IDEALS - Kindness

Words of Kindness

Do all the good you can by all the means you can.  John Wesley

I never knew how to worship until I knew how to love.  Henry Ward Beecher

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  James 2:17

The heart is the happiest when it beats for others.  Author unknown

And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.  Colossians 3:14

Charity chapter in the Bible - I Corinthians 13:1-13

Evening Prayer by Bess Kine Baker

If I have done an unkind act today,
If I have caused a falt'ring step to stray,
If I have walked far from Thy chosen way,
Dear Lord, forgive, forgive.

If I have spoken cruel words of wrong,
Or made a discord in some grand, sweet song,
If I have wandered aimlessly along,
Dear Lord, forgive, forgive.

And when my life has hastened to its end,
O Thou, my soul's true, tried and faithful friend,
Be with me, and Thy peace and mercy send,
And, Lord, forgive, forgive.

Words to Inspire from IDEALS - Faith

Words of Faith

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  Hebrews 11:1

And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.  For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, ad be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.  Mark 11:22-23

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.  Mark 11:24

Joy is peace dancing, and peace is joy at rest.  F.B. Meyer

And Jesus said unto them,... If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.  Matthew 17:20

A song will outlive all sermons in the memory.  Henry Giles

In God's family there is to be one great body of people: servants.  In fact, that's the way to the top in His kingdom.  Charles R. Swindoll

Words to Inspire from IDEALS - Joy

Words of Joy

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.  Psalm 100:1

The joy that you give to others is the joy that comes back to you.  John Greenleaf Whittier

Enthusiasm makes ordinary people extraordinary.  Norman Vincent Peale

Man cannot find true essential joyo anywhere but in his relationship to God.  Oswald Chambers

God is the organist; we are His instruments.  His Spirit sounds each pipe and gives the tone its strength.  Angelus Slesius

This is the secret of you.  We shall no longer strive for our own way but commit ourselves, easily and simply, to God's way, acquiesce in His will , and in so doing find our peace.  Evelyn Underhill

Joy is that deep settled confidence that God is in control in every area of my life.  Paul Sailhamer

We are all strings in the concert of God's Joy.  Jakob Boheme

Music exalts each joy, allays each grief...softens every pain.  John Armstrong

28 Heart-filled Quips

Here is 28 one sentence sayings that you can use to jump start your day.  They refer one way or another to the heart.  Use one or as many as you want for your day's recordings.  How does it make you feel?  What does it "say" to your heart?  Record what the saying means when you read it...

1. What the church needs today is more calloused hands and fewer calloused hearts.
2.  Forgiveness is a funny thing.  It warms the heart and cools the sting.
3.  A man can have no better epitaph than that which is inscribed in the hearts of his friends.
4.  A small gift will do if your heart is big enough.
5.  A lasting gift to a child is the gift of a parent's listening ear and heart.
6.  When God measures a man, He puts the tape around his heart instead of his head.
7.  Happiness is a healthy mental attitude, a grateful spirit, a clear conscience, and a heart full of love.
8.  The heart is happiest when it beats for others.
9.  Happiness is not something you have in your hands, it is something you carry in your heart.
10. You will be happier if you will give people a bit of your heart rather than a piece of your mind.
11. If it were not for hope, the beart would break.
12. In judging others it's always wise to see with the heart as well as with the eyes.
13. Kindness is the insigna of a loving heart.
14. Our trouble today is that we have our heads filled with knowledge, but our hearts are empty.
15. The most lonely place in the world is the human heart when love is absent.
16. We do not need more money in our pockets as much as we need more grace in our hearts.
17. A man cannot touch his neighbor's heart with anything less than his own.
18. Peace is not made in documents, but in the hearts of men.
19. It's not the body's posture, but the hearts attitude, that counts when we pray.
20. A smile is the lighting system of the face and the heating system of the heart.
21. What is in the well of your heart will show up in the bucket of your speech.
22. Sympathy is two hearts tugging at the same load.
23. Sympathy is the golden key that unlocks the hearts of others.
24. There are many tears in the heart that never reach the eye.
25. Tolerance is seeing things with your heart instead of your eyes.
26. Truth is something which must be known with the mind, accepted with the heart, and enacted in life.
27. Hardening of the heart ages people more quickly than hardening of the arteries.
28. Give not from the top of your purse, but from the bottom of your heart.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Colorful Event prompt...

As part of my preschool lessons I introduce "colors" to the children.  I do not do a color of the day or discuss more than one color at a time.  I teach "color of the week".  I start with the primary colors, then go on to the secondary and so on.  Each color is discussed in detail in all of the academic areas.  We also wear the color of the week on Friday.  And each day the children are encouraged to bring something with that color from home.  Well, I thought the subject of colors would make some great prompts.  I hope these prompts will add some "color" to your journaling experience!

Some traditional prompts (relating to color ) that have been used by many are:
What is your favorite color?
If you were a color, which one would you be and why?
What is your favorite NEW Crayola brand crayon color?
Describe the colors in your house, such as your living room decor, bedroom, etc.
What is the color of your hair and eyes?

But let's take this color prompt a little deeper.  Let's begin with the primary colors...
What "emotion(s)" do you feel when you see the color RED?  BLUE?  YELLOW?
How does the colors mentioned cause you to react?  For instance, ADhD children are overstimulated by the color red.
Red is a hot color, Blue is a cold color, and Yellow is a bright color.  When you see these colors how do you respond to them?  (Sometimes I write with the color red when I am angry; the color blue when I am sad, and the color pink when I am "tickled pink" about something.)

Now substitute the other colors and answer the prompts with them.

When I discuss the secondary colors I also show the children what primary colors are needed to make them.  As a creative art activity we draw with the color(s) we have been discussing.  I also encourage them to use the color in their journals somehow, such as writing letters in those colors etc.  Here is some creative art activities for you to enjoy as you journal:

Decide to do use one color of ink in your journal that day.  (You can even change the font color if you journal on the computer.) 
Design a border with that color.
Create a bookmarker with the color you have chosen.
Draw pictures inspired by that color.
Use the color as a background to your page. 
Color/write lightly when you are in a playful mood or color/write pressing down hard with a crayon to show anger.
Use the color of the day and draw shapes to represent your mood on your page (black circles could represent being in the black hole of depression; red hearts could represent being in love, etc.)

This will be a good way to celebrate colors beyond your journaling...
Wear the color of the day.  Record how you felt at the day's end wearing that color.  (Yellow colors would make me feel happy.)

Observe your surroundings, your environment, your world and take note of all the things you noticed that had the color of the day. 
List the many items that is in your house that has the color of the day. 
Think about that color and how it effects you during the morning, during midday, and at the evening?  Does it effect you the same no matter what your attitude/mood is?

Discuss hue, tint, shade, and color scheme in your writing and how it can relate to what you are recording that day.  Use them as descriptive words to your posts.  Such as, there was a tint of pink in the horizon as I sat on my deck drinking hot tea...

Now to further your imagination...
Think about the color of the day and imagine that color in the different areas of your house.  How does it change your perspective of things?  Such as, if your kitchen is now a shade of green and you imagined it to be yellow, how would it change things for you?  Do this activity each day and see how it effects your feelings, your moods, your attitudes, etc.

Most of us have one special area that is set aside for our journaling moments.  Imagine that your table is painted the color of the day.  Would it effect how or what you write?  Would it inspire you differently if your table was a new color each day or would it restrict your writing?

My students learn songs that relate to the color of the week.  One special song we sing each week is Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, Red and yellow, black and white, Jesus loves the little children of the world.  We discuss how people are the same and different.  We all have eyes, hair, etc. but our eye and hair color is different than a friend's, etc.  The different ways we are unique.  And how we all do not have the same skin tone.  We discuss nationality, ethnic groups, and prejudism.

As a prompt, you could research different songs that mention colors.  You could read books about different colors and write what you learned from the story. (An example for my lesson plan would be Little Red Hen and then we discuss sharing and teamwork and selfishness, etc.)

The order I introduce the colors is red, blue, yellow, purple, green, orange, black, brown, gray, white, and pink. Can you believe that my students get upset when I quit adding color to our lessons of the week?  So, then we discuss the rainbow.  This adds many more weeks to our learning experiences.  You could do so many more prompts just discussing things relating to the rainbow.  Examples:  God uses the rainbow as a symbol of promise.  What are some of God's promises you can claim today?  If you could find the end of the rainbow, what would you expect to be there?  And so on...

This is some of the ways that you, too, can use "color" to prompt your writing.  May you never find "dullness" to your writing.  May color add life to your journaling experience.

Playing on the prompt See/Saw

As I approach my house, I see...
As I approach my parent's house, I see...
As I approach my child's house, I see...

Looking out of my bedroom/kitchen/living room window, I see...

Standing at my front door, I looked inside and saw...
Standing at my front door, I looked outside and saw...

Driving on the road to my house in the winter/spring/summer/fall, I can see...

Look at your neighbor's house in front of you. List five things that catch your eye. Now look at your neighbor's house behind you, on the left of you, the right of you and list five things that catches your eye.

Look at your favorite photograph or portrait or picture - list five things you have observed in it that you had not noticed before.

What unusual things have you seen lately?

I would not have believed it if I had not see it with my own eyes. Let me tell you about it...

I looked outside to see what I could see and all that I saw was...

Seeing it as if I were a child for the first time, let me describe it to you...

As I walked into my friend's house, I noticed...
As I walked into my church, I noticed...

Now can you think of other ways you can use the see/saw prompt?

50 Prompts relating to the Five Senses

1. When I close my eyes, I can envision...
2. The color of my eyes are _____, but my mother's are _______ and my father's are _______.
3. I saw _______ while...
4. I wear corrective lenses or contact lenses. My eyesight...
5. Seeing things from a whole new perspective, I...
6. If I were to go blind...
7. I see things differently than...
8. I look...
9. When I watch...
10. The sight of _______ was...

1. I like/don't like my ears because...
2. I hear/don't hear as well as when I was...
3. Listening to ______, I...
4. I was listening, but...
5. What I heard _______ say, it meant to me _______.
6. I heard a _________.
7. If I lost my hearing, I ________.
8. The sound of _________ was like ________.
9. I met someone without ears or using hearing aids and _________.
10. The sound of _______ hurt my ears because ________.

1. Using my hands, I ______.
2. I know ________ like the back of my hand.
3. Her/His skin felt like _______.
4. Touching ________, I...
5. The texture of ________ felt like...
6. If I lost the ability to use my hands...
7. While holding _______'s hands, I...
8. When I touched ______, it made me...
9. When _______ touched me...
10. I don't like to touch _______ because...

1. My nose is sensitive to ______.
2. If I smell ________, it causes me to _________.
3. The smell of ______ reminds me of...
4. I like/don't like my nose because...
5. I have my mother's/my father's nose.
6. My favorite fragrance is ________, because...
7. The worst smell I have ever smelled was...
8. My favorite scent of candle is...
9. Smelling her perfume/his cologne...
10. Sniffing the _______, I...

1. _____ causes me to lick my lips.
2. I like the taste of _______ because...
3. I tried _____ and I like/don't like the taste of it.
4. I watched her/his mouth/lips move and _____.
5. I wear the shade of lipstick called ______. I don't wear lipstick because...
6. I have never tasted...
7. I will not eat...
8. I can't believe I ate ____.
9. If I closed my eyes, I could still tell you the ingredients of anything I eat. or I could not tell you the ingredients.
10. The words I speak...

Walking through the woods prompt and more...

Walking through the woods, I...
Walking on the beach, I...
Walking in the countryside, I...
Walking in the desert, I...
Walking in the park, I...
Walking on the farm, I...
Walking on the concrete jungle, I...

Choose one or more of the prompts that you can relate to and share with me your descriptive paragraph. Describe your walking experience from a recent adventure or from past memory. Or, if you want you can even describe what you would expect if you walked in any of those areas. Never been to the woods, or the beach, or the desert? Never walked on a farm? Don't live in the country? Do some researching and see what you can come up with. Share your findings.

Now let's go on a different kind of walk. Here is a different twist for the walking prompts.

While I was walking with my -
husband, child, grandchild, parent, friend, coworker, I...

Walking into the local retail store, I noticed...
Walking into my favorite restaurant, I noticed...
Walking through the aisles of the library, I noticed...
Walking with my dog, I noticed...
Walking up the stairs, I noticed...

While walking into the convenient store, I was aware of...
While walking through the doors of my favorite coffee shop or my favorite book store, I was prompted to write about...

And now has any of those prompts I listed encouraged you to write? Have they got you thinking of other prompts using the word WALK or any form of it?

Has anyone walked in a marathon? Walked in a walk-a-thon? Walked for a cause, such as breast cancer, down syndrome, or autism? If so, desribe your experience and your drive for doing it.

A prompt from years ago...

When I was in sixth grade my teacher had a writing assignment for us. She wanted us to write a descriptive paragraph. She gave us the beginning of the paragraph and we were to finish it. She gave us "I was walking through the woods". Well, I got an F on my paragraph. Yes, an F. Now why would I fail such an easy assignment? Because this is what I turned in...I was walking through the woods when I fell in a hole and died.

Oh, how the teacher did not appreciate my creativity. I am not sure why I did that. I loved to write. I was writing in diaries (that is what we called journals back in the day) and I was already writing poetry good enough to be entered in contests. I guess I just thought that was cute to respond that way. (My father did not think it was cute one bit).

But that assignment has remained in my memory all these years (I am 51, so it was 40 years ago). She was using prompts before we called them prompts. As a teacher they are called suggestions or motivators. Well, I have been thinking of ways that teacher could have gotten me more involved in the assignment. I mean I must have lacked motivation. Back in those days teachers taught in what we now call "teacher-directed". The students were not involved in any hands on learning. We were given the material and expected to "get it" without much encouragement from the teachers. Well, that is not how I teach. I believe in "teachable moments",hands-on activities, and student-directed activities. I believe the students should be involved in their learning experiences. Make the assignment more real to them and they remember and learn better.

So, what would I do if I were to give my students that same writing assignment?
First, I would take the children on a field trip. If it were possible that is. We would actually go to the woods. We would explore our surroundings and our classroom that day would be in the woods. Then we would go home that day and consider what we would write in our descriptive paragraph.

If we lived in a school district that would not allow us to take a field trip to the woods or if there was no woods to be found, we could go to the library and research "the woods" via through actual books. (No online research for this assignment allowed.) And then after learning what we could and observing pictures in the books, we would go home and finish our descriptive paragraph.

I would also extend this assignment and have the students get into groups. One group would be assigned researching "animals that live in the woods." Another group would research "the environment in the woods, such as trees, moss, etc.)
Another group would research the different states that have "woods". And so on. We would probably discuss these topics over the course of a month. Take as long as we needed to. They could even bring in twigs and insects and leaves and such that is found in the woods and put in our science center. Oh, the many ways I could present "I was walking through the woods" assignment.

Why I just wrote that I fell in a hole and died I really do not know. But if I had a student today who did that same thing I would not give him/her an F. I would allow the student to explain the reason for the response. Then I would give that person a second chance to write a full paragraph. Students do need to respect the assignment and complete it even if they do not agree with it. So, if the student had a legitimate reason for responding that way, I would consider the grade appropriately.

I am thinking how my teacher, back in 1971, would have presented that assignment in the first place. She would have said, here is your assignment. We would have probably been told to write a descriptive paragraph, but no more direction than that. So, I bet I was just not encouraged or motivated enough. I was ADhD back then before the disorder/syndrome was ever identified. Now we would recognize the characteristics of a child with ADhD and accommodate that child with assignments that would allow her/him to do the best job possible. We teach to the different learning styles nowadays also. I know that I learn as an adult with a hand-on approach (kinesthetic learning style)as well as visual learning. If that is how I learn now it stands to reason I would have learned that way in grade school. All I got in sixth grade was written assignments on the chalk board. The teacher said here is your assignment and now do it. Not much else in ways of teaching to the child's learning style. So, I probably was bored and that was my way of finishing such a silly assignment (silly in a sixth grader's opinion silly).

But the more I think about it I believe I just had no idea what I would see in a woods and had no idea how to finish the paragraph. I lived in a navy town in California. Right outside of my house was a four lane highway and right passed the highway was the naval shipyard. I saw hundreds of battle ships, hospital ships, submarines and navy personnel. But I had never been to a woods. I went to a school where we never had long time friends because every one moved so often. No one stayed the night with anyone that lived in the woods. This made no sense to me then. We moved to Oklahoma the summer between sixth and seventh grade. Then I learned what the woods was. But when the assignment was given this student had no idea what to write about so I just fell in a hole and died.

What would I write now? Oh, I could write so much. If I were in sixth grade and lived in Oklahoma I could write the colors of the leaves in the woods. I could write about the animals I saw while playing in the woods. My first experiences in the woods was with my new friends and we would explore for hours. No two days are the same in the woods. Walk to the same area you were in the day before and there would be so many changes. It was also those days of discovery in the woods that we realized I had environmental allergies and my days of asthma began. (Never had any breathing problems until we moved to Oklahoma.) So my experiences in the woods are definitely more successful since I actually moved to an area that had "a woods" to relate to.

Has the ways we teach and the philosophies of teaching changed that much over the years? I am glad I am a teacher now. Technology allows for so many ways to teach a child. But I also am a firm believer that students still need to experience what they can hands-on. And children need to be exposed to books more now than ever. Today they just put the information in a search engine and click there is the answer. Children still need to know how to open a book and find the wonders of the written word and pictures first hand. I am a lover of technology, but if you want your child to be a successful student introduce them to the library, to books, and teach them how to use a dictionary and research books. Need help with your child using their imaginations? Get them away from the computer, from the television, and from entertainment games. That is a wonderful way to help encourage imagination. And the children will learn how to use descriptive words if they experience it for themselves and not rely on wikipedia, google, yahoo, dogpile, bing, and other search engines for the answers. Get them involved and when something is worth learning and they did it themselves it will be the best learning experience. Taking pride in work they do themselves, ownership, is the what deserves an A. Don' let your child fall into the black hole of internet and die academically. Get involved in their learning experience and you will find each day you are learning too.

That particular writing assignment has caused me to think of many more prompts. See the posts of all the prompts I got just from my sixth grades teacher's prompt from years ago. Don't know why I even thought of that today, but it was worth sharing. Tell me what happened when you walked through the woods or on a beach or in a mall, depending on the area you live....