Friday, April 20th, 2012

Writing Prompt – Lions and Tigers and Bears (Oh, My!)

Cover of Dr. Seuss's If I Ran the ZooI’m heading out today for some research at the Baltimore Zoo.

I LOVE the zoo. It’s been a long time since I’ve been, and I’m really looking forward to it.

My favorite: the snakes. But I also like the primates, too. And the giraffes, and the hippos. The lions, the tigers…

Oh, who am I kidding? I love it all, but especially, the snakes.

I’m sure you can imagine where today’s prompt is going? You guessed it: it’s about zoos and animals.

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • Imagine visiting a far off planet. [Class M, if you will.] and you find the most unusual animals. Write about which one is your favorite and why. How do you have to care for this animal? How does it live? What does it eat? Could you bring it back to earth? How would you manage that?
  • Me, Tarzan. You, Jane. (I really mean that the other way around. But if I’d written it that way, it wouldn’t have been half as effective!)
    Imagine you — or a character in one of your stories — has been raised by animals. Describe life with these animals from early infancy on. Caveat: you can’t choose apes. Bonus points if you don’t choose wolves.] 
  • If you’re journaling, write about the best (or worst) time you ever had at a zoo.
  • Another journaling prompt: write about an encounter with an animal that really sticks in your memory: have you ever been bitten by a dog? How about peed on by a toad? Tell us what happened.
  • If you’ve never had an encounter with an animal…pretend. What would it be like to be a veterinarian? A lion tamer in a circus? A scuba diver who investigates invertebrates?
  • Write about your encounter with an imaginary animal, such as a unicorn, a dragon, a werewolf or the phoenix.
  • Imagine you are the one locked up in a zoo. Someone cares for all your needs. People stare at you all day. How do you feel? What’s the best part? The worst? In an animal zoo, the animals are given toys and their special habitat to make it more palitable to them. What does the zoo provide for you?
  • What if you could understand the language of the animals? What would they say to you from behind their bars at the zoo? Do they like being there? Do they want to return to their natural habitats? What do they like or dislike about being in the zoo?
  • What if all the animals in the world were locked up in zoos? Keeping pets is forbidden. Only farm animals are “free.”
  • What if only all the “frightening” animals are collected and locked up? Which animals would those be? Why?
  • Pretend you are Dr. Seuss’ character Gerald McGrew. Like him, what would you do, if you ran the zoo?

Good Luck!