Yes, I'll just chime in with EKS -- you might suggest to the mom running the class to give the students several prompts to choose from. That's a super-abstract topic, and self-reflective question that wold be difficult for adults to answer, much less write an essay on it.
Perhaps they could brainstorm and come up with an outline for that prompt all together in class, with everyone contributing ideas and the teacher putting them up on the whiteboard, which would also model the process of thinking of and structuring an argument.
Then she could send them home with a choice of 3-5 prompts that are on topics that are MUCH more concrete, accessible, and age-appropriate to students. Ideas for sources for FREE prompts:
501 Writing Prompts -- wide variety, not just persuasive/argumentative essay prompts
100 prompts from Just Write website
Online Math Learning: SAT Test Prep -- scroll about 2/3 down the page to find the past SAT essay prompts
Of course, I get that this might not be how the teacher wants to run the class. However, from what I see of gr. 7-12 level writing in my own co-op classes, they really need concrete and specific, relatable prompts. I just think that there is a very big risk of her getting a lot of very short and very vague essays because the kids don't really understand the subject, much less how to write an argument about the subject.
As a teacher, I would MUCH rather let students change the assigned subject to something they click with in order to get a solid essay -- rather than to have to read and grade essays where the students were lost or disliked the subject. To me the point is helping students learn how to develop a solid argument and how to write their argument in proper essay format, rather than conform to an essay subject that will stymie actual learning and practice of composition...
Good luck! Warmest regards, Lori D.
Edited by Lori D., 20 October 2017 - 07:27 PM.