You Can Teach Writing

Bullying Begins as Words

There’s one good thing to be said for bullying: It offers interesting communications topics for English Language Arts students to write about.

The second, expanded edition of Bullying Begins as Words uses that fact to pull students into exploring both verbal and nonverbal aspects of communication.

Bullying ebook cover and summary of its contents

The 15 nonfiction writing prompts in Bullying Begins as Words allow teens in middle schools and high schools, traditional college students, and adult students in degree-granting programs to dispassionately examine communications issues inherent in bullying situations.

The objective of Bullying Begins as Words is not the elimination of bullying—that’s too much to expect—but the promotion of better expository writing, which ELA teachers should expect.

Bullying prompts align with ELA objectives

If you teach nonfiction writing instead of just assigning writing, you need writing prompts that align with your objectives. We've got you covered there.

Overview boxes tell you at a glance the:

  • Grade level of the of the students for whom the prompt is best suited
  • Writing level of the students for whom the prompt is best suited (novice, competent, or proficient writer)
  • Main purpose of the prompt (guided learning or assessment)
  • Keywords so you can easily spot ELA and communications topics (like metaphor, research skills)
  • Features of the writing prompt, such as required collaboration or an associated oral presentation.

Learning standards charts tells you where each individual prompt fits within two sets of standards:

  • The 2001 "revised Bloom's taxonomy" edited by Anderson and Krathwohl.
  • The Common Core State Standards.

Bullying prompts help you teach ELA content

The prompts in Bullying Begins as Words are more than excuses for writing. They are associated with topics other than writing that are probably part of your curriculum. English-communications topics addressed in the prompts include:

  • Metaphors
  • Connotation/denotation
  • Figurative language
  • Identifying, avoiding, and replacing offensive language
  • Character development in literature
  • Developing awareness of an audience's needs and preferences
  • Oral communication
  • Nonverbal communication 

The prompts also address topics that are probably implied by your school's mission statement, such as developing metacognitive skills for continued learning. 

Bullying ebook cover and note that purpose is providing writing topics

Bullying prompts get students started writing

The student materials provide everything students need to start their writing project without having to ask you for help. 

Just fill in the due date and the writing prompt is ready to use. 

Each prompt includes:

  • Context that tells students why the prompt is relevant.
  • Strategies for planning their writing. 
  • The clearly marked writing assignment.

Some of the writing prompts contain additional aids such as:

  • Resources students may consult.
  • Sample writing skeleton™ for their response.
  • Prompt-specific suggestions or alerts

Bullying prompts are for three writing levels

Bullying Begins as Words contains five writing prompts for students at each of three skill levels: not-yet-competent writers, competent writers, and proficient writers. 

Not-yet-competent writers ("noncoms") lack both the procedural and the metacognitive knowledge that expository writers need. The primary writing goal of prompts for noncoms to is have them learn a technique for planning expository writing.

Competent writers have mastered the skill of planning responses to I/E texts. They need more practice going through the entire writing process to increase the speed and self-confidence with which they plan and compose responses.

Proficient writers need opportunities to explore writing situations they are likely to encounter in workplace settings but which are not typically taught in an academic curriculum.

Writing levels are discussed in more detail in The PenPrompts Collections Handbook, which is part of the Bullying Begins as Words package.

Bullying Begins as Words is a package

Bullying Begins as Words, like other PenPrompts Collections, is a package of digital products. Here’s what the package includes:

  1. The Bullying Begins as Words book that puts all the student and teacher materials in one place
  2. The PenPrompts Collections Handbook to answer questions you may have about using the materials
  3. All 15 prompts in pdf and docx versions and giving you permission to use them with your students your entire teaching career.
  4. Rubrics for easy, helpful assessments.

Cover of Bullying Begins as Words

Bullying Begins as Words e-book helps you help writers

All 15 student prompts, each wrapped in a self-contained lesson, and all the teacher material for each writing prompt lesson are packaged together in one convenient e-book in pdf format.

Besides the overview boxes and learning standards charts, the teacher material includes a discussion about each writing prompt that alerts you to problems students may experience in attempting to respond to the prompt.

For example, some writing prompts are easy to organize in standard thesis-and-support fashion but deal with difficult concepts. Based on their organization, those prompts would be classified as suitable for novice writers, but they might be very difficult for younger students and those with narrower experiences. Other prompts may deal with easy-to-understand concepts, but may be much more difficult to organize.

The PenPrompts Collections Handbook

The Handbook explains how to get maximum value from writing prompts in any PenPrompts Collection. The Handbook, which is a .df file, is the place to look for an explanation of anything you don’t understand in the PenPrompts Collections themselves. 

Your personalized set of the student materials

After you purchase Bullying Begins as Words, you’ll receive a zipped package containing pdf and Word.docx versions of each of the 15 writing prompts in that collection with copyright owner Linda Aragoni's permission to use the prompts with your students for your entire teaching career. 

Bullying Begins as Words won't cure bullying

There’s no quick fix for bullying.

Don't expect the Bullying Begins as Words prompts to solve the bullying problems in your school. The prompts are: 

  • NOT therapy for victims of bullying 
  • NOT intervention into bullying situations
  • NOT a bullying prevention program

If the writing prompts reduce bullying in your school, they will do it by increasing students' awareness of what they communicate and how they can change what they communicate

Bullying Begins as Words tries not to make a situation worse

The Bullying Begins as Words collection prompts don't require students to share personal experiences that identify them as a victim, a perpetrator, or a bystander in a bullying situation. 

In cases where students may wish to use personal experience to support a point, the prompt's wording forces them to focus on facts instead of feelings. That factual emphasis prepares students for real life situations where they may be required to write factual reports about emotionally charged situations.

Order Bullying Begins as Words today

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