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Learning Targets

Students will:

  • Write from their own perspective as a student at home with no school or ability to visit friends because of a spreading virus
  • Prepare a few short talking points from that point of view
  • Share their point of view with peers, teachers, or family members



  • Use Google Translate to translate the prompt into the languages that are represented in your students’ homes.
  • Encourage students to share their monologue with a family member and set a goal:  What Is one thing they can control, and want to do, before their next online class interaction?
  • During these times of high stress and uncertainty, student writing may reflect fears that need to be addressed. Keep in communication with family members  in order to provide the assistance they need as soon as it is safe to do so.

How To

Before Activity:

  • Prepare necessary linguistic supports for students.
  • Prepare or preview samples to share with students.
  • Prepare a few options for how students may share their monologues, such as: Flipgrid, Padlet, or Google Forms.
  • Follow district guidance to check to be sure students have the necessary devices, access, and tools to effectively participate.


During Activity:

  • Explain that the objective is to describe themselves and their experiences as someone at home during a global virus pandemic.

  • Model for students and show empathy. Share an example from your own experience and/or from the attached examples.

  • Share (email or post) the prompt and supporting materials, and model expectations.

  • As students begin this activity, ask for updates and encourage students to collaborate with you virtually via chat, video interaction, or other online communication.

  • When students share, praise their effort, highlighting any details.
  • Encourage students to build connections and empathy with each other by commenting on each other’s work. This can be facilitated during an online class, or as comments or messages in any online environment.

Quick Tips

  • Any mode of sharing is acceptable. Chat, verbal output via video conferences, visual representations, writing on paper and sending a picture, or simply speaking to the topic are all welcomed forms of output at this time.
  • Extend writing by having students write based on their own current experience and then write an alternate version stepping into the shoes of a different person. This might be a person of a different age, in a different country, their teacher, a family member, etc. If time and technology tools permit, have peers discuss alternatives with a partner before starting their second monologue writing activity.

Evidence of Success

  • Students have ideas and details to share about their experiences.
  • Students stay on topic  and produce a cohesive monologue.
  • Students use the language that they are most comfortable with  to the best of their ability.
  • All students are able to participate in some way, whether via live video connection, text message, or a photo or video essay.

Watch Out!

  • This may be a high-anxiety task for some students. Be supportive and celebrate students’ output rather than focusing on areas of needed growth.
  • Some students will have very challenging home environments. Listen if they share, but do not push for more details if they do not. Affirm you care about them, miss them, and will continue to be in contact during this time.

Support Suggestions


  • Encourage students to write and share their monologue with someone at home or a separated family member they can reach via phone or other communication medium.
  • Native language should be encouraged and celebrated as they prepare their monologues.


  • Provide sentence stems for students to use as they write their monologues. Adapt stems or word banks to address any unique housing, health, or family situations.
  • Use cognates to encourage more complex vocabulary. For example:
    • Spanish: anxious/ansioso, energy/energía, frustration/frustrado
    • Haitian Creole: energy/enèji, frustrated/fristre


  • Alternatively, drive higher-level language learners to practice reading aloud with expression. Model flat speaking an expressive speaking. Point out that expressive speaking uses pace, tone, inflection, pauses, and other attributes. If time and technology tools permit, invite peers to practice their expressive speaking with peers from varied language levels and have listeners share feedback