Writing Prompts for MarchBy James Wayne
|Why did the US Government buy a herd of camels? What did Dennis the Menace and Albert Einstein have in common? Whose brain set a record for the smallest brain ever measured for an adult man with a normal head?
The character trait for March is;
In 1469, William Caxton published the first book ever printed on the printing press in the English. If you were asked to write a book that would be published for everyone to read, what would you choose to write about? Briefly state what your book would be about.
In 1638, a group from Sweden set up a colony in what is now Delaware. They called it New Sweden. One permanent contribution they made to American culture was the building of houses out of whole logs, rather than cutting them into boards, making it much easier to build a shelter in the wilderness quickly. If you lived in the wilderness, far from stores, towns, or neighbors, what would be the thing you missed the most?
Today is Seuss Day! Theodore Geisel, who wrote under the name of Dr. Seuss, was born in 1904. Dr. Seuss once wrote, “You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.” What do you think he meant by that?
Two famous popular musicians were born today: Karen Carpenter in 1950 and Jon Bon Jovi in 1962. Although their styles of music were very different, there are many people who enjoy songs by both of them. Think of two singers, writers, actors, or other performers you know that are very different, but that you enjoy. Tell three ways they are different, and three ways they are alike.
Helen Keller, the deaf and blind woman who became a famous lecturer and author with the help of her teacher Anne Sullivan, once wrote, “We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world.” What do you think she meant by that?
In 1902, the American Automobile Association (AAA) was founded. Members may call the association if their car breaks down and the AAA will send out help for them. That idea could be used for other activities. Think of an activity where you think an organization like this might be helpful. Write a paragraph about what kind of organization that activity might need, and the kinds of help it could offer.
In 1845, the U.S. government bought a herd of camels for the army to use in the American desert. The camels didn’t work out; American deserts were too different from African deserts for the camels to be able to thrive. American deserts were too rocky and too cold for them. Can you think of another idea that seemed good, but did not work out as planned? What was it? Why didn’t it work out?
Lorin Maazel, violinist and conductor was born in 1930. A brilliant musician, he began conducting orchestras at the age of 8, and has conducted many famous American and foreign orchestras. Being a conductor means that a person must be able to work with many other highly talented musicians. What are some traits a person should have to work successfully with other people? List 4 traits, and tell why they are important.
In 1820, the Royal Astronomical Society was founded in Britain to encourage the study of the heavens. Today, there are men and women who have gone into space. What are 5 qualities a person who wants to be an astronaut must have? Give reasons for each of your answers.
The game of Monopoly was patented in 2005 by Charles Darrow. He lived in Atlantic City, and named the streets in his game for the streets of his home town. What is your favorite board game? Why do you like it?
Joseph Lee was born in 1862. A wealthy philanthropist, he started a movement to build public playgrounds for children in the middle of big cities, so they would have safe places to play. What are three things you think every playground should have? Why those things?
In 1822, Charles Graham patented a new way of making false teeth based on making molds of the patient’s gums. Although false teeth are useful, they are far more troublesome and uncomfortable than real teeth. List five things you can do to take care of your teeth.
“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.” This quote is based on the words of Edmund Burke. What do you think it means?
The first celebration of Mother’s Day is held in Grafton, West Virginia, in 1908. There are days for mothers, fathers, grandparents, and even for children. What group that does not already have a day needs one? Tell why you think that group needs a day of recognition, and some ways you think it should be celebrated.
In 1918, the Spanish Flu appeared in the US. Nearly 600,000 Americans, and many millions in other countries, died. Schools, businesses, stores, factories, public buildings, and churches were closed to encourage people to stay home. Suppose a disease like that happened today, and everyone was supposed to stay home, with everything shut down. What are 3 problems your family might have? What are 3 things you would do to pass the time?
The first bottles of Coca-Cola were sold in 1894. What are your 5 favorite soft drinks? List them in order and tell why you put them in that order.
(Based on the event above) Some people say that cola drinks are bad because they are so sugary and should not be sold to young people. Do you agree? Write your reasons for your opinion.
In 1938, the CBS radio network began its first news program to feature news from outside the United States. List all the places you can get news today, then decide which one you find the most reliable and complete. Defend your choice.
Hank Ketcham, the cartoonist who draws the Dennis the Menace cartoons, was born in 1920. What is your favorite comic strip character? Why do you like that one?
Famous scientist Albert Einstein was born in 1789. He once said, “If A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y plus Z. X is work; Y is play. Z is keeping your mouth shut.” Do you agree with him? If so, tell why. If not, tell your own formula for success.
In 1812, a group of Russian set up a settlement on the banks of the Russian River in California. Suppose the entire state of California had been settled by Russians. How do you think life there would be different from life today? List at least 3 ways. In 1812, a group of Russians set up a settlement on the banks of the Russian River in California. Suppose the state of California had been settled by Russians. How do you think life there would be different from life today? List at least 3 ways.
The US Military Academy was founded in 1802 at West Point, New York, to train officers for the army. What are four qualities a good officer must have? Explain your choices.
Today is St. Urho Day in Finland. St. Urho didn’t really exist, but was made up by a department store manager as an excuse to have a sale—and a party. It is said he chose today for his saint to get ahead of the Irish and St. Patrick’s Day. He made up a story about St. Urho’s holy chanting driving away the grasshoppers that threatened to ravage the wild grape vines of Finland. Since grapes have never grown wild in Finland, the story is way bogus. The Finns know it, but many of them celebrate the holiday anyway. A fake saint deserves some fake traditions to go with his holiday. Invent a tradition about how St. Urho’s Day should be celebrated.
Ferdinand Porsche produces the first Porsche car in 1949. Porsche cars are famous for being fast and agile, but also small and expensive. What are 2 qualities a good car must have, in your opinion? Why do you think those qualities are most important?
What signs of spring have you been able to observe so far? What natural event do you consider proves that winter is over?
Daylight Savings Time was first used in 1918 as a way to cut down the use of electricity during World War 1. Do you like Daylight Savings Time? Why or why not?
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe was published in 1852. This harrowing story of slave life was the first big international best seller published by an American. Its plot, based on real events, changed many people’s mind about slavery. Have you ever read a book that changed your mind, or the mind of someone you know, about something? What was the book, and what did it change your mind about?
French scientist Louis Pasteur began work on a vaccine against anthrax in 1877. Pasteur had already proved that microorganisms cause disease, and had invented a way to purify milk and other liquids that cannot be boiled. This process was named pasteurization, after him. If something was to be named after you, what would you like it to be, or to do?
In 1942, two American scientists describe element 94, which they named “plutonium,” after the newly discovered planet. If you discovered a new element, what would you name it? Describe what a new element might be like, and why you chose the name you did.
William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk on the original Star Trek programs, was born in 1931. If you could “boldly go” anywhere in outer space, where would you go? What would you hope to find, see, or do there?
In 1786, George Washington planted 4,000 chestnut trees on land that had been farmed too much and was worn out. This is considered one of the first examples of reforesting in the United States. Think of three other ways to use land that has been worn out. Write a paragraph about one of them.
G.F. Handel’s oratorio Messiah was first performed in London in 1743. One part of it, the “Hallelujah!” chorus was so beautiful and inspiring that the King, who was attending the performance, stood up as a mark of respect. Ever since then, audiences have stood during this part of this work. What is the most beautiful piece of music you have heard? Describe how that music makes you feel, and why you like it.
Harry Houdini, magician and escape artist, was born in 1874. He was famous for being able to escape from extremely complicated and difficult traps. He once said, “My brain is the key that sets me free.” What do you think he meant by that?
Today is Waffle Day in Sweden. Design the most delicious waffle that you can imagine.
Happy birthday, Florida! Ponce de Leon discovered Florida in 1513, while on an expedition to find the fountain of youth. If you were put in charge of planning a birthday party for Florida, what interesting things about that state would you want to celebrate? List 5 of them.
This is the time of the Monkey Festival in Singapore. What animal do you think most deserves a festival in the place you live?
In 1797, the United States patent office granted a patent for a clothes-washing machine that worked with a hand crank. Although cranking it was still a lot of work, it was better than having to scrub all the clothes by hand. How would your life be different if you still had to turn your washing machine by a hand crank? List 4 ways.
The first Spanish settlement in San Francisco Bay was begun in 1776 by Juan Bautista de Anza. Suppose you were selecting people to set up a new colony in a far-away place. What skills do you think such colonists should have? List 10 skills, then decide whether each skill is necessary for every colonist, or is only needed by a few of them.
In 1848, a prolonged cold snap caused ice to block the Niagara River, cutting off water from Niagara Falls for a day. When the falls stopped flowing, many people who lived near them couldn’t get to sleep because they were so used to the noise. Stop for a minute and listen very carefully to the sounds going on around you. Make a list of those sounds that you usually ignore.
Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, was born in 1918. Some people like big stores; others like small stores. Which do you like? Why?
“Beau” Brummel, the first man to become famous for the style of his clothes, died in 1840. In his time, many young men imitated his clothing, rather than that of the king (who was very fat and dumpy-looking). Who are some of the people today whose style in clothes you admire? Why do you admire them?
In 1867, Secretary of State William Seward signed the treaty with Russia that sold Alaska to the United States for 7 million dollars, or 2 cents an acre. If you were going to take a tour of Alaska, what are 7 things you would want to see? (If you are an Alaskan, what 7 things would you want to see if you were to take a tour of the Lower 48 states.)
(Based on event above) One of the most brilliant people who ever lived, Descartes also set a record for the smallest brain ever measured for an adult man with a normal head (after he died, he willed his brain to science for study). What lesson do you think we can learn from this?