#SOL19 Day 19 Spark! Quote Me

Screen Shot 2019-03-02 at 5.28.56 PMFor the month of March I will be participating in the Slice of Life Challenge sponsored by The Two Writing Teachers Blog. Each day I will be sharing a Quick Write as my way of slicing. The idea is to offer a SPARK that will kindle thinking and then write as quickly as you can for 5-10 minutes. No filters, no revisions. I’ve been curating a collection of Sparks and will share some with you all month. It’s a great way to ignite your writing life.


Quote Me Spark!

We often share quotes as inspirational messages or to provoke thinking. But do we give students lots of opportunity to respond without the filter of someone else’s interpretation, either through discussion or teacher talk? A quick write offers everyone an equal opportunity to make their own meaning initially. Then when/if we share our thinking responses it gives students an opportunity to reflect or revise their thinking with greater perspective and diversity of opinions.  With our life experience we sometimes find a quote doesn’t have the same meaning to a 9 or 10 year old than we ascribe to it. It’s fascinating to read or hear what they think.

Here’s my quick write:


On another day I may look at this same quote and have an entirely different response. Context is everything in how we process information. Give your students lots of opportunities to ‘think through their fingers’ and process information (such as quotes) and maybe even share the same information after some time has passed so they can see if their thinking has changed, grown, or otherwise evolved. Our thinking is never static if we are constantly striving to learn more. 

Let me know how it goes!

17 thoughts on “#SOL19 Day 19 Spark! Quote Me

  1. Great advice. I like to call this Silent Sustained Writing (instead of Silent Sustained Reading). It’s fun to see what they come up with.

  2. Oh, Paula, I love the idea of posting quotes, perhaps a new one each week (without discussing them), and giving students an opportunity to respond to them in their writer’s notebook. I have made this suggestion at numerous professional development sessions. Thanks for sharing this example. This is what I did not do – I need to write one or several as a model and perhaps collect some student samples (with their permission) as well. The revision will come – you are absolutely right – after their pieces are shared. A valuable post and something we all can try!

  3. Another fabulous idea! Are all of these in your book, Paula? I have GOT to buy it. What I love about your sparks is how versatile they are. I could use every single one of these myself–AND use them with my college students–and they, in turn, could use them in their future K-12 classrooms.

    1. Hey Elisabeth, yes I am pulling sparks from the book, writing my own, and offering some commentary this month. You can preview it on Stenhouse and see if it meets your needs. I’d love any feedback.

  4. I’ve been using quotes every time we do notebook writing but they don’t always respond to the quote. I did a lesson recently in which the students chose a famous person and chose their own quotes and wrote about it. I’ll definitely use quotes again and again.

    1. And you’ve touched on one of my key considerations with quick writes-writers can respond in any way (even if it is ‘off topic’). The spark is just to stimulate thinking-the STUDENT’S thinking in whatever form it may take. Thanks for being such an awesome teacher, Margaret!

  5. I’m with Elisabeth – I *need* this book. Just used yesterday’s spark – sketching what we read – with great success. As we move into various ways to express our opinion, I think this will also be intriguing. My students and I are having so much fun!

  6. I know how I am affected by quotes, but I have yet to instill that inquiry in my students. Maybe it’s a middle school thing…or I just haven’t found the right ones yet! I love the idea of thinking with their fingers!

  7. His sounds like it could be a fun learning experience. I could see quotes ranging from the deep thought provoking ones to quotes that make us chuckle. I think I’ll try this at a PD session as an icebreaker.

    1. Yes, they don’t always have to be deep and contemplative. Humor is funny because it resonates a truth in a way we don’t normally frame things so they make for great quotes!

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