What child (or adult) has not had trouble making up his or her mind? Dr. Seuss in his posthumously published book What Pet Should I Get? delightfully captures this common dilemma in trademark Seuss rhyme and illustrations. This picture book would be a perfect read aloud and prompt for a personal narrative writing exercise.
· Can you describe a time when you had trouble making up your mind?
· Did you ever end up with nothing because you couldn’t choose just one thing?
· What factors made your decision difficult?
· Did you make your final decision alone or with the help of someone else?
· How did you feel when you finally chose?
· Did you regret your decision later?
Students can brainstorm as a class with the questions above before writing individual essays. Encourage students to write about situations beyond choosing a pet. Make lists of all the things people make decisions about on a daily basis. ie: clothes, food, television shows. Discuss times when students have made a decision to please someone else, like buying a gift or planning a party. Name important decisions people make during their lives. ie: choosing a school, a house, a car, a job, a spouse. Decision making is an integral part of our lives and something we do on a daily, even hourly basis.
And trouble making up your mind is an experience students from all backgrounds can relate to, making it a slam dunk prompt for writing personal narratives.