Nonstandardized Quests by David E Lecount. 500+ Writing Prompts That
Nonstandardized Quests
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Nonstandardized Quests

500+ Writing Prompts That Matter

By David E Lecount
Foreword by Susan Ohanian

    Anyone who dares to teach creatively needs this book. It is a delight and a treasure for creative teaching.
    —Herbert Kohl, author of The Discipline of Hope
    Nonstandardized Quests reminds us of the wonder and danger that drive all good writing. Even [the] title reminds us that writing is a "quest," one that usually begins with a question, to discover. I can’t wait to smuggle David LeCount’s ideas into my classroom; there’s food for all kinds of minds in this book.
    —Jim Burke, author of The English Teacher’s Companion

Over the last thirty years, English teacher David LeCount has seen the...

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Full Description

    Anyone who dares to teach creatively needs this book. It is a delight and a treasure for creative teaching.
    —Herbert Kohl, author of The Discipline of Hope
    Nonstandardized Quests reminds us of the wonder and danger that drive all good writing. Even [the] title reminds us that writing is a "quest," one that usually begins with a question, to discover. I can’t wait to smuggle David LeCount’s ideas into my classroom; there’s food for all kinds of minds in this book.
    —Jim Burke, author of The English Teacher’s Companion

Over the last thirty years, English teacher David LeCount has seen the frustration of teachers—frustration with the erosion of choice that they have had in creating their own curriculum, and frustration that students have had little choice in topics for writing. Now, he offers a way to turn that frustration into liberation and inspiration with this collection of quirky, provocative writing prompts designed to release students from standardized writing assignments and encourage student research, reflection, and exploration.

David knows kids and he knows writing. He sees creative and expository writing for English, and other subjects, as multidisciplinary opportunities for self-expression. Thus, his prompts unify diverse fields of knowledge and offer new meaning to them. They also encourage word play, inspire both teachers and students to enjoy their own choices, and discourage the fruitless search for "the right answer" or the drudgery of working for grades at the expense of discovering meaning and experiencing true delight. Think of the results if you should ask your students to write the following:

  • an encyclopedia entry that describes the fall of the Alamo from the Mexican point of view
  • a transcript of your testimony as a witness of a serious crime
  • a short history of aviation from a pelican's point of view.

Much more than a list of topics, Nonstandardized Quests also includes student writing samples woven throughout the prompts. These student responses make the book read like a narrative, a portrait of adolescence in which students find their own voices. It is this kind of "writing to discover" that allows students to free their imaginations and grow as writers too. Use the prompts and discover—or rediscover—the thrill of writing, just for the fun of it.

Contents

Contents:
Foreword by Susan Ohanian
Introduction
500+ Writing Prompts
Conclusion
Appendix: Companion Websites

Samples