I’m hard on my books. Argue if you want, but a spine is meant to be cracked. Oh, yes, I dog-ear pages (the horror!), underline passages, scribble phrases in the margins that mean nothing to anyone but me.

You already know, books can be a tool to help us figure out this weird world, but I worry many of our teens don’t feel the same. To them, books are a drag, a literal weight in their backpacks offering nothing relevant to their lives except slightly stronger shoulder muscles.

Let’s try to change that.

I dug through my tattered favorites (and the archives of goodreads.com) to build something new, a free download of slides/handouts we can use as short writing assignments and conversation starters:


If these work for your classes and you want more, I have a budget-priced semester set of 18 additional writing prompts here:

Hope you’re doing well. Stay healthy and teach on, everyone!

Books image credit: Pixabay, Public domain

Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. Laura, I’ve used so many of your resources from your blog and your tpt store–thank you for being so generous and offering so many for free, too. I’m a better teacher, and my students are more engaged thanks to you. :o)


  2. Aw, thanks for your note, Regan! This means a lot. So glad you found me and the blog. 😀


  3. Dear Laura, I couldn’t agree more! Well I do ‘mess up’ my books too simply because I love it — it’s a personal thing for me and so, it should receive some special, personal treatment. And what’s better than leaving notes on it, right? :)) Also, you’re right. I’m afraid teens nowadays prefer learning through their iPads even if I notice they are unquestionably distracted by the lot of things going on in the gadget! I hope the love for ‘carrying’ books become the norm, again.


  4. Thanks, Camille, for being here with me! There is a ray of hope. When I last taught The Great Gatsby with my juniors, I gave them the option of a hard-copy book or an e-reader version. I was shocked that only 5 out of 100+ kids chose the e-reader. Everyone else grabbed a paper copy. Motivations varied, but it gave me confidence that print will survive. Hope you’re doing well and staying healthy. 🙂


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fun stuff, high school English, lesson plan, print and teach, Uncategorized, writing


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