I really like this post from Two Writing Teachers about Writing to a Prompt. As we continue our discussions about what the workshop format looks likes, we often communicate that students should not be writing to a prompt because it is teacher-driven and, therefore, compromises the authenticity of the writing and element of student choice. While this can be true, the reality remains that this type of writing is the expectation in testing situations so students need instruction and application opportunities with it. This blog post gives some great practical advice on how to implement the teaching and application of prompt writing into our daily workshop.
Additionally, we can make this writing style more authentic if we are intentional in the content of the prompt. I have provided two links to resources below that provide engaging prompt opportunities for kids.
1) Do your kids love to argue? Try some of these argumentative writing prompts from the NY Times: http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/learning/2015/02/05/301-prompts-for-argumentative-writing/?referrer
2) Do you want to show kids how their writing can build from their initial response? Use this resource to not only find good prompts, but it also provides varying levels of student work that you can use as mentor texts to show kids. This gives them opportunity to have students identify how the piece grew stronger with each increased score. This is a resource that helps give students that explicit anchor to name what an author is doing and think about how to apply those same skills to their own writing.