After reading this post about memes, I thought that this could be a great writing prompt.

You could show your students a meme reflecting a particular emotion and they could write a paragraph:

  • Describing the emotion
  • Describing a time when they felt that emotion
  • Predicting what happened next
  • Suggesting what happened before
  • ….

I would recommend limiting the writing to one very well constructed paragraph. Once your students have written the first draft, have them work in pairs to improve the writing. It would be useful to provide students with an ‘Editing Sheet to give them direction in this process.You could begin by asking them to highlight all the verbs in green, the nouns in red and descriptors in yellow. Using the thesaurus on the computer, have the students change ‘boring’ verbs to make them more ‘powerful’. For example, ‘ate’ could be changed to ‘crunched’ or ‘slurped’ or ‘savoured’. Demonstrate how to add in figurative language (adjectives, adverbs, metaphors, similes, etc.) to add interest and depth. Change one sentence so the paragraph includes direct speech. It would be useful to model this process.

Prior to doing the activity, brainstorm ideas and also related words. Perhaps have students construct word webs or a graffiti word wall.

As an extension to this activity, have students develop their own mean and write a relevant paragraph. Provide the class with all the memes on one sheet and the descriptions on separate sheets. See if students can match the memes with the descriptions as a test of ‘clarity’ of writing.

Another activity is for students to give students a collection of memes and challenge them to find idioms for those memes.

For more ideas for developing students’ writing skills check out the Writing Creatively book.

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