As part of the suite of resources we’re creating to help students document and reflect on their lives, we’ve rounded up a list we hope can provide instant inspiration. Here is a selection of Student Opinion questions we’ve posed on our site since the pandemic first began to shut down schools in early 2020. We will continue to update this list through October, 2021.
Each question is inspired by, and links back to, a related Times article, and invites teenagers to reflect on some aspect of ordinary life that has been affected by the pandemic, the struggle for racial justice, 2020-21 politics, and more. The questions invite reflection on the present, memories of the past and predictions for the future. They ask students to tell personal stories, take stands on important issues, consider new ideas and use their imaginations.
We hope teenagers will find potential here for their own work in any genre — work they’re invited to submit to our Coming of Age in 2021 Contest. All of these questions are still open to comment by anyone 13 or over — and many of them already have hundreds of responses. In fact, simply reading what other teenagers had to say might be enough to inspire your own memories and ideas.
You can find links to all the materials that support this unit in this overview. As we remind students in the introduction to our contest … no matter what format you choose, trust us: Even if you don’t think you have something to say, you do. There are stories only you can tell.