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Dec 2017
Vol 14 No 4
BACK ISSUES


April Writing Prompts – Fun and Interesting!

By James Wayne
 

April 16:

  • In 1966, the ancient Egyptian temple at Abu Simbel was taken apart and moved to a new location to save it from being flooded by a dam. Many historic structures have been moved from their original location. Some people think this is a good thing, others disagree. What reasons to move an historical building do you think are good enough? List them.
  • In 1503, Columbus gave up trying to find China while on his fourth voyage to the New World, although he remained convinced that the land he had found was part of Asia. He made a mistake in thinking he had found a quick route to Asia, but something good came from it. Have you, or someone you know, ever made a mistake that turned out to be a good thing? Tell what mistake you made, and how it turned out to be good.
  • Wilbur Wright was born in 1867. He and his brother Orville flew the first successful airplane in 1903, one hundred years ago. If you could interview Wilbur Wright, what are some questions you would ask him?
  • In 1789, George Washington left Mount Vernon to be inaugurated as the first President of the United States. Martha Washington came later, after he had found them a place to live in New York City, which was the capital at that time. Suppose you were asked to start a new country. Make a list of the most serious problems you think you would have.
  • April 17:
  • J.P. Morgan was born in 1837. He was a banker and investor, and for many years the richest man in the world. He gave lots of money to various museums, especially those in New York City, including museums of art, of science, and of history. What kind of museum do you like to visit? What exhibits do you most enjoy?
  • April is National Poetry Month. What is your favorite poem? Tell why you like it.
  • April is National Humor Month. What is the funniest joke you have heard recently? (You can list several if you have time.) Share your jokes with your friends.
  • In 1707, the colonies of East Jersey and West Jersey were combined to form New Jersey. Should North Carolina and South Carolina be combined to form one larger state? Give reasons for your opinion.
  • April 18:
  • Virginia Dare was born on Roanoke Island, NC, in 1587. She disappeared with the rest of the Lost Colony. What do you think happened to her? Write a story about her later life.
  • In 1858, it began raining in Chicago, IL. It continued to rain for 60 consecutive days. Several people reportedly went crazy from fear that the entire world would be flooded. If you had to stay in the house for 60 days because of bad weather, what are 5 problems you might have?
  • Tonight is the anniversary of Paul Revere’s ride in 1775. He was captured by the British before he could finish his ride, but his friend William Dawes was not, and successfully spread the alarm. Because there are more words that rhyme with Revere than with Dawes, Longfellow wrote his famous poem about Revere. How do you think William Dawes felt when Paul became famous for the ride, but he did not?
  • Today is the annual Clam Gulping Championship in Port Townsend, WA. If you were going to compete in a food‑eating contest, what food would you prefer? List reasons your food is best.
  • April 19:

  • Ole Evinrude, the inventor of the outboard motor for boats, was born in 2007. If you could travel on any kind of boat, what kind would you like to travel on? Where would you like to go, or what would you like to do?
  • The Alfred P. Murrah federal building was destroyed by a homemade bomb in 1994. It was set off by Timothy McVeigh, an American citizen. This was the worst terrorist act on American soil until Sept. 11, 2001. What can students and other citizens do to help prevent terrorism? How many ways can you think of?
  • Today is the annual running of the Boston Marathon, the world’s most famous 26 mile race. If you were going to run in an important and famous race, how would you train?
  • Today is National Aviation Day. Orville Wright was born in Ohio in 1871. Imagine that airplanes had never been invented. What are four ways our lives would be different?
  • Today is Emergency Planning Day, when people are encouraged to think about what they would do in case of emergencies. What are five emergencies you think families should have a plan for?
  • April 20:
  • The National Park Service was begun in 1916. Which national parks would you like to visit? Make a list of them, and then list the things you would like to see on your visit.
  • In 1841, Edgar Allan Poe published his short story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” which is considered the first detective story in history. Who is your favorite author? Tell which stories by that author you like, and why you like them.
  • In 1988, 57-year-old Helen Thayer became the first woman to reach the North Pole on a solo expedition. Her only companion was her husky Charlie, who warned her of polar bears. If you had to choose an animal for a long and difficult task, what animal would you choose, and why?
  • In 1926, a practical method of adding sound to movies was invented. Before that, all films were silent, and cards were displayed on the screen to show what people said. Think of the very old movies you may have seen, such as the Little Rascals or very old cartoons. What differences did you notice between them and more modern movies?
  • April 21:
  • The first giant panda born in captivity was born at the San Diego Zoo in 1999. Pandas eat only one thing: bamboo. If you could eat only one kind of food, what would you choose? Why do you like that food best?
  • In 1994, astronomer Alexander Wolszczan announced that he had detected three planets orbiting a star in the constellation Virgo. They were the first planets outside the solar system to be discovered. If you were asked to write a short message to be sent to a planet around another star, what would you say?
  • Today is the city of Rome’s 2757th birthday. Prepare a birthday card for this ancient, historical, and beautiful city.
  • Today is Queen Elizabeth’s real birthday. She was born in 1926. She has an official birthday in June, which is a national holiday in Britain, and she rides in a big parade on that day. Today, she and her family celebrate privately. How would you like to have both a private and a public birthday? What would you do on each day?

    April 22:

  • In 1902, Theodore Roosevelt became the first President to drive a car. Most Presidents do not drive themselves today for safety reasons. What are some other restrictions Presidents may endure for safety?
  • Henry L. Stimson, American leader during World War II, once said, “The only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him.” What do you think he meant by that?
  • In 1500, Pedro Alverez de Cabral claimed Brazil for Portugal. Imagine that you are taking a voyage on the Amazon River in Brazil. What are some of the things you might do or see?
  • In 1969, Robin Know-Johnston completed the first non-stop sailing voyage around the world in his boat the Dove. It took him 312 days. Suppose you were going to have to spend almost a year alone in a boat. What would you take with you for amusement and fun?
  • April 23:
  • Today is the beginning of week-long fairs in many English towns. Most American communities have their fairs in the fall, but the English tradition is to have them in the spring. Which season is better for a fair? Defend your answer.
  • Happy birthday, William Shakespeare! He was born in 1564. Considered the greatest English writer of all times, his plays have been translated into more than 100 languages and are performed all over the world. Shakespeare is known for both his interesting plots and his fascinating characters. When you see a play, TV show, or movie, which is most interesting to you: the plot (action of the story) or the people in it? What are some stories or characters that really interest you?
  • (Based on the prompt above.) He was actually baptized on the 26th, which is what people celebrated in his time. He wrote Romeo and Juliet and many other plays. It is remarkable that people still enjoy his plays, although the English language has changed a great deal since his time. What programs on TV today do you think will still be enjoyed many years from now? Why those programs?
  • Marie Taglioni, the first ballet dancer to dance on her toes, was born in 1804. She was also the first ballet dancer to wear a tutu. Some people love ballet, but others don’t. How do you feel about it? Tell why you feel the way you do.
  • Shirley Temple, the first world‑famous child movie star, was born on 1928. Imagine that you were a famous movie or television star. What are 3 ways your life would be different from the way it is now?
  • April 24:
  • Actress Shirley MacLaine was born in 1934. She said, “Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power.” What do you think she meant by that?
  • In 1800, President John Adams approved legislation to establish the Library of Congress, which is now the largest library in the world, and has books on every subject. Most libraries cannot afford to get books on every subject. The librarians must try to figure out which books will be most useful or popular for the library users. What are two kinds of non-fiction books you like? What are two kinds of fiction books you like? Beside your choices, tell about some book of that kind you have particularly enjoyed.
  • The world’s biggest library, the Library of Congress, was started in 1800 in Washington, DC. What is your favorite part of the library? What kind of books are your favorites?
  • Amerigo Vespucci was born in 1505. He was the first explorer to realize that the America was a new world, not a part of Asia. America was named for him. Some people think North and South America should be renamed for Columbus instead. Do you agree? Why or why not?
  • April 25:
  • Summer is a time for outdoor activities. List 5 things you like to do best outdoors in the summer.
  • Today is National Arbor Day, which is set aside to plant trees. Why do you think that the United States (and several other countries) have set aside special days to plant trees? Why are trees important?
  • Heavyweight world champion boxer Rocky Marciano retired undefeated in 1956, the only world boxing champion to ever do so. Boxing is one of the oldest of the martial arts. Do you like watching or participating in one of the martial arts? Tell why you feel as you do.
  • Today is the birthday of the Hubble Space Telescope, which was launched in 1990. If you go to http://hubble.nasa.gov/ you can learn about this fascinating telescope and the wonderful pictures it has taken. What space objects would you like the Hubble telescope to take a picture of? Why those things?
  • Today in ancient Rome, the people celebrated a feast in honor of Robigus, god of mildew. Why do you think they would do that?
  • April 26:

  • The world’s largest explosion, the eruption of the volcano Krakatoa, was heard over 100 miles away. Volcanoes are often beautiful and interesting, but dangerous. What beautiful but dangerous things (like volcanoes) can you think of? List them, and tell why they are dangerous.
  • In 1777, 16-year-old American Patriot Sybil Ludington rode through the night warning her neighbors of a planned British attack on Danbury, CT, during the American Revolution. She never became as famous as Paul Revere, at least in part because it is so hard to find words that rhyme with Ludington. If you were asked to design a memorial to her, what would you plan? Describe or draw your memorial design.
  • The first broadcast weather report was made by radio station WEW in St. Louis, MO, in 1921. Before that, daily or weekly weather reports printed in newspapers were the only ones available. How important is accurate news about the weather for you? What are some ways your activities or plans are affected by weather?
  • April 27:
  • The first radio commercials were played in 1922. Commercials are often annoying, but some of them can be funny or interesting. Which commercial do you like? Describe it and tell why you like it.
  • In 1995, the Global Positioning System (GPS) started working when the last of the satellites that make it possible was launched. What are some ways the GPS system has helped to make our world safer?
  • Today is the feast of St. Zita, the patron saint of cleaners, housekeepers, and custodians. Write a thank-you note to your classroom’ s custodian or housekeeper. Deliver it to him or her.
  • The first computer with a mouse and point-and-click interface was put on the market in 1981 by Xerox. Some people like mice with one button, and some prefer the kind with two buttons. Which kind do you prefer? Why do you like that kind?
  • April 28:
  • Count Leo Tolstoy was born in 1828. He wrote War and Peace, an exciting novel about the invasion of Russia by Napoleon. What modern day events do you think would make an exciting novel?
  • Explorer and naturalist Thor Heyerdahl set out to sail from South America across the Pacific to Polynesia, to show that ancient people could have traded that way. He traveled in a raft made of balsa wood, which he named Kon Tiki. 101 days later, he landed on a Polynesian island. Sailing on a raft can be fun. Where would you like to sail on a raft? Why there?
  • Today is the first day of the ancient Roman six-day festival of the flowers. What is your favorite flower? Write a poem or a paragraph, or make a poster, about your favorite flower.
  • President James Monroe was born in 1758. At 5’2″, he was our shortest President, and was known as “Little Jemmy.” He is also known as the Father of the Constitution for his many good ideas at the Constitutional Convention. Can you think of another person who people put down because of their physical appearance, who it turned out did valuable and important work? Tell about them.

    April 29:

  • The month of Toth in the ancient Egyptian calendar begins. The ancient Egyptians named their months for gods who had the bodies of men and women and the heads of animals. If you had to rename the months of the year, what would you call them?
  • In 1928, histologist Florence Rena Sabin became the first woman to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences. A histologist studies cells and how they work together to form tissues. Which branch of science do you find the most interesting? List 3 interesting facts from that branch of science.
  • Being dependable is an important quality. List reasons that dependability is important.
  • Today is Foscani, the national annual fair of Romania. All over the country, Romanians hold fairs in every village and town. What is your favorite part of a fair? Tell why you like it.
  • In 1792, Matthew Vassar was born. He was a successful merchant who was proud of his intelligent and talented daughter. When Harvard refused to accept her as a student because she was a girl, he started Vassar College for Women. (Vassar is now part of Harvard University) Some people prefer single‑sex schools because there are fewer distractions for the students. How do you feel about this?
  • April 30:
  • The first clipper ship, the fastest and most beautiful of all sailing ships, was launched in 1853. Some people like to sail, others to fly, to travel by railroad, or to go by car. What is your favorite way to travel? Why do you like that way?
  • In 1897, British scientist Joseph Thompson announces his lab has discovered the electron, one of the particles making up an atom. At that time, everyone thought that atoms were the smallest possible particles and could not be divided into smaller parts, so no one believed him until other scientists duplicated his results. How would you feel if you had discovered something important, but no one would believe you? What would you do to try to convince them?
  • In 1789, George Washington was sworn in as the first President of the United States. He was the first person in modern times to be elected as the leader of a large country, and he made many decisions that affect the way our government works today. Suppose you were the first person to get an important job. What kind of problems do you think you might face that those who came after you would not have to worry about?
  • In 1803, the US bought the Louisiana Territory from France. This territory included all or parts of fifteen states, and cost $15 million, a huge amount in that time. Some people thought we paid too much, since most of the land was thought to be desert. In fact, it was a tremendous bargain which doubled the size of our country. Have you or someone you know ever bought something you thought was too expensive but turned out to be very valuable? Tell about it.
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