A Year of Challenges and Change: Writing Prompts to Help You Think About 2020

As part of the suite of resources we’re creating to help students document their lives during this amazing year, we’ve put together a list that we hope can provide instant inspiration. Here are all of the relevant student opinion questions we asked on our site this spring, along with a continuing list of everything we’re asking for this fall.

Each question is inspired by a related The Times article and links to a related Times article, and invites teens to reflect on some aspect of ordinary life that has been affected by the pandemic, the fight for racial justice, the elections. of 2020 and more. The questions invite reflection on the present, memories of the past and predictions for the future. They ask students to tell personal stories, take positions on important issues, consider new ideas and use their imaginations.

We hope that teens find potential here for their own work in any genre – work that they are welcome to submit to our “Coming of Age in 2020” competition. For example, a student might take a photo essay in response to a question such as “How do animals bring comfort to your life?” “- or film a video that addresses the question” What is your reaction to the days of protest following the death of George Floyd? Or create a cartoon or graphic in response to “Has your school made distance learning?” How are you doing so far? “

All of these questions are always open for comment from anyone 13 years of age or older – and many of them already have hundreds of answers. In fact, just reading what other teens had to say might be enough to inspire your own memories and ideas. For example, here’s how students responded on April 17 when we asked how the pandemic was affecting their family relationships – and here’s what they wrote on May 28 about what they learned about themselves during quarantine. On June 1, the last day we posted a question for the 2019-20 school year, we asked for feedback on the protests following the death of George Floyd, and over 800 students responded.


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