Prompts for Winter Writing — For students and??? (more fun with AI)

The link below was shared by the people for whom I’m reading books. Based on my recent forays into AI, I’d say all of these prompts were written by an AI.

So I asked ChatGPT to give me 10 wintery prompts. They are better than the ones on the above site.

I’d have no hesitancy about giving these to a class, and a couple of them intrigue me. I wouldn’t probably give a class prompts that tell them what to feel — like “beauty and serenity of a winter evening” or “complete with snow-covered trees…etc.” And, personally, I hate the word “cozy.” Shudder… I’d want my students to do that kind of description on their own without me or something else prescribing a response. I like 3, 4, 5, 6, 8. Students would like 10.

But they all lead to happy stories. I don’t imagine Alferd Packer or the Donner Party coming out of them — so I asked for unhappy endings.

Still no cannibalism, but you can’t have everything… If you don’t know the story of Alferd Packer, the Colorado Cannibal, (that’s how he spelled his name), you can learn about him here. He was stranded in the mountains not all that far from where I live — up in the San Juans near Lake City which was on the stagecoach route I’ve written about here in the past. One of the restaurants at the University of Colorado in Boulder is named the Alferd Packer Grill. When I was a student there, my ex and I only ate there when (for some unknown reason) we happened to have money. Good burgers and onion rings.

I’m not even going to apologize anymore. Godnose when this will end. It makes me wish I were teaching again. Instead of fighting against some of the things I had to fight against when I retired, I’d probably be embracing some of them.

8 thoughts on “Prompts for Winter Writing — For students and??? (more fun with AI)

  1. Martha this whole AI thing has caught my interest. I’m going to give it a try… Anyway another blogger I follow is an English instructor at the college level . She wrote “Spring semester is about to begin, so I need all the unique lesson planning ideas I can gather. I’m teaching a few composition courses and an interpersonal communication course, and I like to keep things fresh and maybe a little weird. If you have any random intriguing writing-related (or conversation-related!) lesson prompts, feel free to drop them (or any other thoughts) in the comments.” I thought you might be just the person she needs to talk to… https://wordsandcoffeewriting.com/2023/01/21/innominate/

    • You can send her all the posts I’ve written about teaching English using AI. There are good comments from another teacher down in Texas about writing. This prompt idea is one I’d use.

  2. Unfortuinately chatGPT gives me the similar prompts if I ask it to suggest topics about winter, and our winters are rather different. That’s another drawback of being a grammar machine, there is no real world for the grammar to talk about, only permutations of the texts it already knows.

    • I don’t think originality is its strong suit (ha ha) It was fun to play with, though, and fun to imagine how I’d use it in a class sort of to defuse its mystique and to give my students a possibly useful tool.

      • It is not just about originality. The content is wrong more often than not. But since it is presented in very good language, it can be more persuasive than many politicians and advertisements. That is a problem.

        • I just gave it a challenge and it could not wrap its “head” around it. Apparently Microsoft is investing very big money in it now.

          I don’t know how many end users are going to ask it about its failings, but I did. It was direct about that (as is the opening page which says the information it has is from 2021, that it makes mistakes and may give completely wrong information and shouldn’t be relied upon.)

          I challenged it this afternoon in my own area and there it was. Unlike a person (and this interested me) it admitted it was over its head and said it hoped to continue to improve its algorithm. Entertaining (for me) but refreshing in a way.

          That doesn’t solve the problem, and I’m sure a lot of users won’t even think to push it.

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