Questions from a Hat – Turn STAAR Writing Prompts into Questions

Topic: STAAR Writing Prompts 
CLI Strategy: Questions from a Hat
Subject: ELA – Expository Writing 
Grade: Upper Elementary/Middle

Students will be able to: Rephrase STAAR example writing prompts into the form of a question and quickly generate topic sentences.


  • Write several examples of STAAR writing prompts on small slips of paper and place them into a hat or bucket. Ex. “Write an essay explaining whether it is important to laugh.”
  • Pass the hat around the classroom and have students quickly draw a paper. Student read prompt out loud and then rephrase the prompt in the form of a question. Ex. “Why is laughter an important part of life?”
  • Time students and see how quickly they can get the hat around to everyone in the group.

Round II (Extension to practice coming up with topic sentences.)

  • Students draw a paper, read the prompt, and then come up with an example topic sentence. Ex. “Laughter is important because it is beneficial to our physical health.”


  • What strategies did we use to rephrase the prompt into a question?
  • What topic sentences stuck out to you in round II? Why?
  • How does starting with a question help our writing process?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s