One of my major teaching shifts this semester has been to shift my daily writing prompts to outside class. I tend to mix more personal prompts—ones that take a key formal or thematic element from the work we’re reading and ask students to apply that concept to their own lives—or more “get your hands dirty” analysis exercise. Here are the five different prompts I used for our five classes on King Lear. Continue reading “Daily Writing Prompts: King Lear”
Essay 1: Says who?
Choose a famous quotation (http://www.brainyquote.com/) and make an argument about whether the quotation is true or false. Should we believe the quotation’s author? Why?
Essay 2: Who will testify?
Send a letter to a friend asking them to stop/start a specific behavior. Cite at least three witnesses/representatives to support case. Answer the objections of at least one opposing witness.
Essay 3: What are the rules?
Choose one of the listed scenarios where students have been accused of violating the university’s honor code. Write a short brief that argues how the university code should best be applied to the accused’s case.
Essay 4: What effects do the rules have?
Choose an existing rule in the university student code. Make an argument for the rule’s positive or negative effects.
Essay 5: What will happen?
Make a prediction about something important that will happen at the university in the next six months. Support your argument by appealing to expert testimony, principles/laws, and cause/effect. The best essays will offer responses to major objections.
My Early English Lit course is starting off the semester by reading CS Lewis’s The Discarded Image. I’ve thought that my students would get the most out of the book if they could work through a parallel project for our contemporary world. One problem? The Medieval artist’s relationship to the world is very different from ours. It’s right there in the title! We DISCARDED the image the medieval writers used to help order the world.
But yesterday, I read Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age and James K. A. Smith’s wonderful book-length commentary on Taylor’s book How (Not) To Be Secular and finally figured out the coordinates I’m going to have students use to diagnose our contemporary world.
Let me explain…