Harry Wong
Dec 2017
Vol 14 No 4

Irresistible Writing Prompts for November

By James Wayne


November 1:
The Model T Ford went out of production, replaced by the Model A, in 1927. The Model T was inexpensive, rugged, easy to repair, but also slow, uncomfortable, and hard to start. The Model A was prettier, more comfortable and easy to drive, but cost a lost more. Some people loved the change, but others didn’t. Have you ever had a product you like that was changed? How did the changes improve it? Were there parts of the changes that you did not like? Describe your reaction.

Nicholas II, last czar of Russia, was born in 1894. He was not very smart, and did not work very hard at ruling. Russia suffered many disasters, leading eventually to a revolution that led to his overthrow and death. Which do you think is more important to being a success in what you do: working hard, or being smart? What combination of the two is best?

Noted golfer Gary Player was born in 1935. He was one of the first famous golfers from South Africa. He once said, “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” What do you think he meant by that?

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Diabetes can be brought on by overweight, and can have serious effects on a person’s health. What are some things you can do to prevent yourself from becoming overweight, or improve your health if you are overweight already?

November 2:
Daniel Boone was born in 1734. Daniel once said he was never lost, but once had been bewildered for three days. If you were lost, what would you do? Think of three things and tell why those are important.

President Warren G. Harding was born in 1865. Although an honest man himself, he discovered that several of his friends, whom he had trusted to help him run the government, were crooks. He died of a stroke that many believed was brought on by worry and disappointment. Have you ever had a friend that let you down when you trusted him or her? How did it make you feel? What did you learn from your experience?

Rose Elizabeth Bird was born in 1936. She was the first woman to be Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court. She once said, “It is easy to be popular. It is not easy to be just.” What do you think she meant by that?

In 1948, President Harry S Truman was reelected, despite the polls which showed that his opponent, Governor Thomas E. Dewey, was ahead. The Chicago Daily News even printed an edition with the headline, “Dewey Defeats Truman.” Have you, or a team you were on or rooted for, ever won a game or contest where everyone thought you would lose? How did you feel? What did you do to celebrate your victory?

November 3:
In 1900, the first American car show was held in New York City. The earliest cars were simple but rather uncomfortable, loud, and unreliable. Since then, many improvements have been made. What are three things currently not available in most cars that you think would make it more comfortable, safer, or more fun to ride in them?

Today is the Feast of St. Hubert, protector of dogs (as well as several other things). There are many breeds of dogs, and they are very different in appearance. Describe the most interesting or unusual dog you have ever seen or read about.

(Refer to the event above) What is your favorite story about dogs or other pets? Why do you like it?

November 4:
Will Rogers was born in 1879. He was a comedian and actor, who is famous for saying, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” Who is the friendliest person you know? How does that person show his or her friendliness?

Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd in 1842. Although they had many problems and very different personalities, they were always loyal to each other. Many people find that they are good friends with people who are very different from themselves. There is even a saying, “Opposites attract,” that is often used to mean that people tend to like others who are different from themselves. Think about one of your friends. List 4 ways you are alike, and 4 ways you are different.

November 5:
In 1930, Sinclair Lewis became the first American to win a Nobel Prize in Literature for his novels, such as Babbitt, Elmer Gantry, and Arrowsmith, about life in the American midwest. If you were going to be a writer of novels, what would you like to write about? Why do you think that topic is interesting?

In 1895, George B. Selden got the first patent for an automobile. His design wasn’t as good as some others, like Henry Ford, so no one drives a Selden today. Suppose you were going to make something to sell with your name on it. What would you make? Describe it, and how it would be different from other things of the same kind.

November 6:
Cesare Lombroso was born in 1836. He studied crime and criminals, and was convinced becoming a criminal was hereditary. Others say it is a result of what happens to a person in his life, not his ancestors. What is your opinion? Give reasons for your answer.

James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, was born in 1861. Although many Americans like basketball better, soccer is more popular world-wide. Which of these sports do you prefer? Why do you like that one better?

November 7:
In 1869, the first city-to-city bicycle race was held from Paris to Rouen, France. An Englishman named James Moore won the 84-mile race with a speed of 8 miles per hour. Although bicycles are not as fast or powerful as cars, they do not pollute, so many people think we would be better off if more people used them. Write a paragraph about something your community could do to encourage more people to use bicycles.

Two famous singers were born on this day: opera star Joan Sutherland in 1926 and folk singer Joni Mitchell in 1943. How do you think the life of an opera singer would be different from the life of a folk singer? List three ways you think their lives would be different.

P.L Spencer, the inventor of modern cursive handwriting, was born in 1800. He greatly simplified the cursive way of writing so it would be easier to learn, although it has been made even simpler since he lived. Some people like cursive writing because it is faster than manuscript (printing), others dislike it because it is harder to read. Here’s your chance to give your opinion: how do you feel about cursive handwriting? Explain your opinion.

November 8:
In 1307, the Swiss began fighting for their independence from Austria. One of their early leaders was William Tell, who was forced by an Austrian tyrant to shoot an apple off his son’s head with his bow. How would you feel if a member of your family was in danger? What would you do?

Election Day in the United States is the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Many people who are eligible to vote do not do so, leaving the choice of the leaders for our nation, state, or community up to others. Prepare an advertising slogan or radio ad to encourage people to vote.

In 1960, John F. Kennedy became the youngest man ever elected President. He once said, “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.” What do you think he meant by that?

November 9:
Inventor Gail Borden was born 1801. He invented a way to make and preserve evaporated milk, which is sold in a can and does not have to be kept in a refrigerator until the can is open. Since people did not have refrigerators, he sold his invention in very small cans, so that people could use it all and not waste. How would your life be different if there were no refrigerators? List 5 ways.

In 1862, President Lincoln appointed Gen. Ambrose Burnside as commander of the Union’s largest army in the Civil War. Although Burnside had been a successful general with smaller units, he was doubtful that he could command such a huge army, and asked Lincoln not to appoint him. Lincoln persuaded him to try the job anyway. If you think a person would be good in a job, but that person is reluctant to try it, should you try to persuade them? Why or why not? (Teachers: Burnside was right: he led the army to one of its worst defeats in the war at Fredricksburg, VA. After the students have finished their writing, give them this information and ask them if they would change their opinions.)

In 1989, the Berlin Wall, which symbolized the division of Germany into separate free and communist areas, was opened. Police no longer attempted to prevent free travel through it. The next day, people from all over Berlin, without any announcement, went to the wall and began to tear it down with whatever tools they could find. Families which had been separated by the wall for more than 20 years got together again. Imagine that you have been separated for many years from members of your family and were suddenly allowed to see them again. Write a paragraph about how you would feel or what you would do.

(Refer to the event above.) Imagine that your community was divided in half by a wall right down the middle. How would your life change?

Writing prompts for Nov. 10 – 16

Writing prompts for Nov. 17 – 23

Writing prompts for Nov. 24 – 30



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This entry was posted on Friday, November 1st, 2013 and is filed under *ISSUES, James Wayne, November 2013. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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