Ben and I have been spending a lot of time over the past couple of months watching the Presidential primary debates. Recently, during one of the GOP debates, Ben noticed when one of the candidates made a comment about another candidate speaking in “sound bytes.”
This led to a discussion about what that meant exactly, and of course to some quotes from past presidents that might also be considered speaking in “sound bytes.” Because Ben really enjoyed using C.S. Lewis quotes for writing prompts, he asked if I would put together a list of presidential quotes for the same purpose. Well . . . how can I say no to that kind of request, right?
(be sure to read all the way through to find out how you can download your FREE set of creative writing prompts and notebooking pages from the quotes of U. S. Presidents)
How It Works
We use this style of writing prompts as creative freewriting, a way to break up our more intense writing program. I simply give Ben the quote with the assignment to write for 15 minutes whatever the quote inspires in him. He is free to interpret the meaning of the quote, explain what image it conjures up, or to give his opinion about whether or not he is in agreement with the quote. Grammar, punctuation, spelling, and neatness do not count.
To give him a place to begin, he is given a list of questions to help him sort through the exercise:
1. How does the quote make you feel?
2. What images come to mind?
3. What details do you feel it necessary to share?
4. Who is your audience?
5. How do these statements compare to the Truth of Scripture?
6. Do you agree or disagree with the statement? Why or why not?
Most bright middle school and all high school students will benefit from the critical thinking and self-evaluation that is likely to result from creative freewriting with these writing prompts.
“On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock.” ― Thomas Jefferson
“If tyranny and oppression come to this land it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” ― James Madison
“I am a slow walker, but I never walk backwards.” ― Abraham Lincoln
“It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” ― Harry S Truman
“I have opinions of my own – strong opinions – but I don’t always agree with them.” ― George H.W. Bush
“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” — John F. Kennedy
“If we ever forget we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” — Ronald Reagan
“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” — George Washington
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” — Theodore Roosevelt
“What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower
I have created a set of FREE notebooking pages that can be used for these writing prompts. Each quote is featured with plenty of room for your student to write. Be sure to check out my set of creative writing prompts and notebooking pages for quotes from C. S. Lewis as well.
To download your free set of writing prompt notebooking pages for U.S. Presidents and C.S. Lewis, enter your email below.