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How to Register a Student for School
Historically, school registration has involved visiting the school to access forms, then filling them out and returning them either by mail or in person. The Internet has streamlined this process, making it possible to register a student for school online in many cases.
Overview of School Registration
School registration varies for each school and depending on the grade level, but generally this process will involve providing proof of the student’s identity and birth date, proof of residency, information about any special needs and details about custody (if applicable).
You’ll have registration forms to complete, which will include details about vaccinations, health exams and family information.
Registration generally involves paying a fee to the school as well.
Registering for Various Grades
Primary, middle and high school registrations tend to differ from college registrations due to the difference in learning institutions. Parents will be involved with registration, possibly discussing class placement, athletics, special needs, dietary restrictions and more. If you don’t provide all the necessary documents at the time of registration, the process won’t be finalized.
College registration often occurs fully online with students completing online forms and submitting fees via the Internet.
The Online School Register Process
To proceed through an online school registration process, navigate to your child’s school website and find the link that leads to the online school forms. The school may separate registration links for new and returning students, in which case you’ll choose the link that’s appropriate for your child.
If your child is a new student, you will probably need to create an account by entering an email address, choosing a password, entering your contact information and choosing a couple of security questions. From there, you’ll be able to log in to access, complete and submit the online registration forms. The process may also involve entering payment information to pay a registration fee.
If you have questions about registration, look on your school’s website for contact information for school administrators. You may find a phone number to the registration office or an email to use to reach out with your questions.
Learn about the enrollment and registration process in advance to ensure that you complete the process in a timely manner. Schools may offer open enrollment and preregistration options for students, which can enable you to complete the process in advance. This can be ideal, especially if you want to enroll your student in accelerated learning or sports.
Expect the school to withhold scheduling ability and issuing of materials or equipment until you fully complete the registration paperwork and pay the fees.
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20 Creative Writing Activities for Elementary Students
- November 23, 2021
Did you know that November is National Novel Writing Month? While your young learners are probably not ready to write an entire book, this month is a great time to practice creative writing skills with your students. Not only can creative writing be helpful for teaching vocabulary and sentence structure, but it can also encourage students to use imaginative thinkin g —and even find a genuine love of writing!
All of these 20 creative writing activities can be used with elementary school students to practice reading and writing skills. We’ve included options for both early elementary students, who may still be learning to write, and elementary students in upper grades who are ready to work on projects of their choosing.
1. Join the NaNoWriMo organization’s Young Writers Program (YWP) ! Together, your students can work on all sorts of age-appropriate writing challenges and activities throughout the year—including a project of their choice in November!
2. To practice pre-writing skills and collaborating on a project, try these shared writing project activities .
3. If you have any budding cartoonists in your class, this Finish the Comic activity from author Jarrett Lerner can be a great way for younger students to practice writing dialogue.
4. Teach your students about adjectives and writing descriptions with this Popcorn Adjectives activity .
5. Students can learn about creative writing by studying imagery and poetry by established authors. Using this writing worksheet , kids can write out their thoughts about a poem and draw images that stand out to them.
6. To teach creative thinking skills with kindergarteners and early elementary students, try this Mystery Seed writing activity .
7. Get families involved, too! Share these fun home writing activities with your student’s families to help them practice at home.
8. Print out and put together a Writing Jar with tons of creative writing prompts to inspire your students.
9. Check out this resource for even more writing prompts focused on imaginative thinking.
10. Try blackout poetry , an activity that encourages students to make their own beautiful art from a work that already exists.
11. Creative writing isn’t limited to fiction. This narrative writing activity can teach students to write events clearly and in sequence from their real life.
12. For a creative writing project that’s just plain fun, try this Roll a Story activity.
13. This nonfiction project helps children learn to write a letter as they write to a loved one of their choice.
14. If you want to give your students some freedom in choosing a writing assignment, hang up this Writing Prompt Choice Board in your classroom and let them answer whichever prompt they’d like!
15. Encourage students to keep their own journal throughout the year. You could even give them time each morning to respond to a journal prompt .
16. Use this journal page template to help students structure and compile journal entries.
17. These printable Mad Libs can teach children different parts of a sentence while they use their imaginations to create a story.
18. Use this What? So What? Now What? exercise (#6 at the link) to help students structure their creative writing projects.
19. To teach children how to create descriptive sentences, play this Show, Don’t Tell writing activity .
20. If you’d like to hold a month-long creative writing activity, try this 30-Day Writing Challenge for kids .
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Students may feel reluctant and threatened by a blank piece of paper and a request to write a story about a given topic.
However, with some inspiration and fun activities , reluctant writers gain confidence and eager writers gain the skills to create higher quality writing.
How to teach creative writing?
Use these activities as building blocks to improving student writing and as tools to help you teach creative writing skills.
Once learned, the activities serve as tools that your students can keep using as they write in the future.
Show students how to use graphic organizers
Show students how to use graphic organizers such as story maps to think through their writing before they start.
A story map is a tool, often used in both reading and writing instruction, that helps students to understand the important elements of a story.
Before beginning a story, have kids plan out story elements such as character , plot, setting, theme, problem and solution on a story map so they have it to refer to as they write the story.
Fill in the graphic organizer together with your students the first few times to help them through the thinking process of coming up with the story elements that should be in the organizer.
Read to your students
Read to your students, no matter how old they are, so that they know what high quality writing sounds like.
Use a list such as the one linked below to find books that focus on one or two characteristics of quality writing. Before reading the book, introduce a characteristic of writing , such as unique word choice, and then ask students to listen for samples of it in the book as you read.
Later, have them mimic the characteristic of the book you read in a creative writing piece of their own , focusing on improving it in their writing.
Choose some familiar fairy tales, stories or nursery rhymes.
Choose some familiar fairy tales, stories or nursery rhymes. Write a list and ask students to tell you from whose point of view the story is written.
Discuss which story elements tell you who is telling the story. Discuss that character’s voice or personality characteristic s and identify those in the story.
Have students pick a story 5 and retell all or part of it from a different character’s point of view using that character’s voice and personality in their writing.
Use circle-writing activities
Use circle-writing activities from time to time for a quick, fun and non-threatening creative writing exercise.
Place students in groups of four to six people . Each group needs one pencil and one piece of paper. Give students a strange topic or story starter such as “Yesterday, on the way home from school I saw the strangest creature. It had…” Each group chooses one person to start the story.
The student begins to write the story when the teacher says, “Go!” and continues to write until the signal to stop is given.
At that point, students pass the paper to the next person in the circle who reads aloud the story so far to his group.
The activity continues for a given time period or number of rotations around the circle. Always give the signal to the group when the last rotation arrives so they begin to end their stories.
Writing a story together with their group gives hesitant writers some peer assistance and a less threatening environment for creating a story.
How to introduce creative writing activities to children?
Start with the six traits of writing.
Ideas, Organization, Voice, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency and Conventions. These six traits provide a way to assess students’ writing.
When students understand the traits, they know what is expected of their writing.
Using and teaching the traits gives you a way to provide specific feedback about each student’s skills and needs.
Begin each class with an engaging prompt
These prompts could be used for short stories, journaling or oral stories. Vary the types of prompts.
You could use famous quotes, paintings, photographs, comic strips, passages from novels , poems, story starters or anything else students might relate to.
Teach students how to hold peer conferences with each other
During these evaluations, students read each other’s writing and give feedback. Model or script an effective, valuable conference for the class to see.
Vary how the partners or groups are organized; choose a friend, teacher’s choice, student to the left, etc. Give students a sheet of questions to ask each other and turn in for a grade or credit.
Questions could include: What is your favorite part of this story? Is there anything that is confusing to you, if so what?
Demonstrate how to do a story or character graphic organizer
Students use these to plan out their ideas, characters, plot, main idea and direction of the story before writing.
These graphic organizers take brainstorming a step further. They begin to take their ideas and develop them.
Show students how valuable the writing process is by giving multiple opportunities to edit and revise their work.
According to Alice L. Trupe , author of “Revising Practices,” “As he [the student] internalizes the feedback, he becomes a better critic of his own writing and progressively incorporates those critical insights into his own drafting and revising processes when writing outside of the classroom.”
Teach mini-lessons at the beginning of each lesson.
Focus the lessons on a small topic like using adjectives to replace the word “good.”
Teach other mini-lessons about strong verbs , fragments and run-on sentences , figurative language and good leads and conclusions.
Start a writing club to join together students who already enjoy writing.
Don’t limit it to “good” writers, open it up to anyone who wants to join. Let students choose their topics on some assignments.
Some students may be discouraged or frustrated if they are always told what to write.
Here are some possible topics for young learners:
- Imagine that you can become invisible whenever you wanted to? What are some of the things you would do.
- I am very proud because…
- If I were President I would…
- If I were a turtle living in a pond, I would …
- I am afraid to________ becaus,K
- Name on thing you do really well? Give lots of details telling why.
- What is your favorite room in your home and why?
- Describe what it means to be a good neighbor?
- What is your favorite time of day? Why?
- Describe your best day ever?
- How do you deal with people who bug you?
- What excites you?
- Describe your favorite hobby.
- What is your favorite quote by a famous person? Why?
- What is your favorite song and why?
- Climbing trees is…
- I wish trees could ___________ because….
- I want to be a ________ when I grow up. Then I will….
- I wish there were a law that said…..
- I wish I could forget the time I ___________ because….
- I wish I could do ___________ because…..
- Older people are…
EAL Coordinator: Responsible for helping students achieve better results academically. She is fond of English language learning and teaches across all levels of students. She uses a range of teaching strategies to accommodate to students different learning styles and their unique needs.
Ideas, Inspiration, and Giveaways for Teachers
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10 Creative Writing Activities That Help Students Tell Their Stories
Lower the stakes and help them get started.
“I don’t have a story. There’s nothing interesting about my life!” Sound familiar? I don’t know a teacher who hasn’t heard students say this. When we ask our students to write about themselves, they get stuck. We know how important it is for them to tell their own stories. It’s how we explore our identities and keep our histories and cultures alive. It can even be dangerous when we don’t tell our stories (check out this Ted Talk given by novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and share it with your students for more on that). Storytelling is essential for every subject, not just English Language Arts; students dive deeper and engage when they practice thinking about how their own stories intersect with historical events, civic engagement, and the real-world implications of STEM. These 10 creative writing activities can work in every subject you teach:
Here are 10 of our favorite story telling activities that inspire students:
1. write an “i am from” poem.
Students read the poem “I am From” by George Ella Lyon. Then, they draft a poem about their own identity in the same format Lyon used. Finally, students create a video to publish their poems. We love this one because the mentor text gives a clear structure and example that students can follow. But the end result is truly unique, just like their story.
2. Design a social media post to share an important memory
How can you use your unique perspective to tell a story? We want our students to learn that they are truly unique and have stories that only they can tell that other people want to hear or could relate to or learn from. In this activity, students watch two Pixar-in-a-Box videos on Khan Academy to learn about storytelling and perspective. Then, they identify an interesting or poignant memory and design a social media post.
3. Create an image using a line to chart an emotional journey
How do you show emotion using a single line? In this activity, students watch a Pixar in a Box video on Khan Academy to learn about how lines communicate character, emotion, and tension. Then they experiment with these aspects as they write their story. We love using this for pre-writing and to help students explore their story arc. Also, for students who love to draw or learn visually, this can help them get started telling their story and show them that there are many different ways to tell a story.
4. Tell the story behind your name
Sharing the story behind our name is a way to tell a story about ourselves, our culture, and our family history. And if there isn’t a story behind it, we can talk about how we feel about it and describe what it sounds like. In this activity, students use video to introduce themselves to their classmates by discussing the origin of their name. This project asks students to connect their names (and identities) to their personal and familial histories and to larger historical forces. If you’re looking for a mentor text that pairs well with this one, try “My Name” by Sandra Cisneros .
5. Develop a visual character sketch
Give students the time to create a character sketch of themselves. This will help them see how they fit into their story. In this lesson, students create a visual character sketch. They’ll treat themselves like a character and learn to see themselves objectively.
6. Create a webpage to outline the story of your movie
Building a story spine is a great way to show students how to put the parts of their story in an order that makes sense. It’s an exercise in making choices about structure. We like this activity because it gives students a chance to see different examples of structure in storytelling. Then, they consider the question: how can you use structure to set your story up for success? Finally, they design and illustrate an outline for their story.
7. Respond to a variety of writing prompts
Sometimes our students get stuck because they aren’t inspired or need a different entry point into telling their story. Give them a lot of writing prompts that they can choose from. Pass out paper and pencils. Set a timer for fifteen minutes. Then, write 3-4 writing prompts on the board. Encourage students to free-write and not worry about whether their ideas are good or right. Some of our favorite prompts to encourage students to tell their story are:
- I don’t know why I remember…
- What’s your favorite place and why?
- What objects tell the story of your life?
- What might surprise someone to learn about you?
8. Create a self-portrait exploring identity and self-expression
Part of what makes writing your own story so difficult for students is that they are just building their identity. In this activity, students explore how they and others define their identity. What role does identity play in determining how they are perceived and treated by others? What remains hidden and what is shown publicly?
9. Film a video to share an important story from your life
Encourage students to think about how to tell the story of a day they faced their fears. Students consider the question: How can you use different shot types to tell your story? They watch a video from Pixar in a Box on Khan Academy to learn about different camera shots and their use in storytelling. Then, they use Adobe Spark Post or Photoshop and choose three moments from their story to make into shots. We love using this to help students think about pace and perspective. Sometimes what we leave out of our story is just as important as what we include.
10. Try wild writing
Laurie Powers created a process where you read a poem and then select two lines from it. Students start their own writing with one of those lines. Anytime that they get stuck, they repeat their jump-off line again. This is a standalone activity or a daily writing warm-up, and it works with any poem. We love how it lowers the stakes. Can’t think of anything to write? Repeat the jump-off line and start again. Here are some of our favorite jump-off lines:
- The truth is…
- Some people say…
- Here’s what I forgot to tell you…
- Some questions have no answers…
- Here’s what I’m afraid to write about…
Julie Mason is a Senior Editor at WeAreTeachers. She taught middle and high school English, and is a blended and personalized learning instructional coach. She loves reading a book in one sitting, good coffee, and spending time with her husband and sons.
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20 Creative Writing Activities for Middle School
June 10, 2022 // by Stephanie Ledford
Some students are prolific writers, needing no help putting pen to paper and telling their stories. However, there are other students who need a little more direction in order to get their stories out. Whatever the case may be, these 20 creative writing activities for middle school will have all of your students showing their creative prowess.
1. I Am From
After reading the poem "Where I'm From" by George Ella Lyon, have students write their own "I Am From" poems. Using a template, all students will be able to create wonderful poems illustrating their own unique backgrounds.
Learn more: Regents of the University of Minnesota
2. Found Poems
Using the words of others, students create their own "found poems." By taking a snippet here and a line there, they can arrange them in their own creative ways to create new, interesting poems. Reading a book as a class? Have them use the book to create a found poem!
Learn more: Read, Write, Think
After reading "My Name" by Sandra Cisneros , have students create their own name poems. This assignment asks students to connect themselves to something bigger--their families, their cultural, and their historical background. All students will feel like poets after this assignment.
Learn more: Ojanpa
4. Chain Stories
This assignment has each student start with a blank piece of paper. After giving them a writing prompt , every student begins writing a story. After your chosen time limit is up, they stop writing and pass their story to the next person in their group who then has to continue telling the story. When each story returns to its original author, the activity is complete.
Learn more: Creativities ESL
5. Visual Character Sketch
Being able to add depth to a character can be difficult for many students. By allowing a student to create a visual sketch, you are allowing them a different approach to writing a character description.
Learn more: Adobe Education Exchange
6. What If...
"What if" writing prompts are a great way to get students' creative juices flowing. By posing a question, students are given a starting point, and it is up to them what twists and turns their stories will take. Will they write a sad, action-packed, or scary story? The possibilities are endless.
Learn more: The Wolfe's Writing Den
7. Descriptive Writing Prompts
Descriptive writing activities are another way for middle school students to practice their creative writing skills. They can give their descriptions their own unique twists by using their different writing styles to describe common objects. And hey, they might have a different appreciation for the things in their everyday worlds after this assignment!
Learn more: Academic Writing Success
8. Scary Stories
Go through the entire writing process and teach your students how to write scary stories! Before you begin writing, though, read them some (age-appropriate) scary stories to give them the chills and an idea of what is expected in a scary story.
Learn more: Keep 'em Thinking
9. Daily Journal Writing
There is no better way to improve students' writing abilities than to do daily writing. Each day, give students a different prompt and allow them to write for fifteen minutes. After, allow them the opportunity to share their story with their peers or the class.
Learn more: Daily Teaching Tools
10. So Much Depends Upon...
" The Red Wheel Barrow "--such a simple yet eloquent poem. Following this lesson plan, your students will be able to write their own simple yet eloquent poems and feel like accomplished writers.
Learn more: NYLearns
11. An Ode to...
Reluctant writers are often intimidated by complicated writing ideas. By using a template like the one pictured above, your students will all be able to feel like poets as they create their own odes about a person, place, or thing.
Learn more: Crafting Connections
12. Story Starters
Story starters are a great way to help students begin their stories. If you have a digital classroom, the Scholastic story starter page is great because it can formulate much different writing prompts, helping engage all students.
Learn more: Scholastic
13. My Time Machine Trip
What is everyday life like in 1902? How about in 2122? Have students write stories about their experiences traveling through time using the attached worksheet. For those that need a little extra help, allow them to research time periods so they have an idea of what life was like then.
Learn more: K12 Reader
14. Writing and Math
This is a great assignment for a math class! Using the provided instructions, students are to write a story that explains to their boss the math they used while delivering packages. Since this assignment asks them to cover specific math concepts, make sure you cover them in class first (or hand this assignment to a math teacher and let them have at it!).
Learn more: Dr. Hamblin
15. How to Bake Cookies for Santa
Seasonal writing activities are a great way to get kids excited around the holidays! One way to get descriptive paragraphs out of your students is through these instructions on how to bake cookies for Santa. The great thing about this assignment is all levels of writers can participate. Those that are more advanced can provide more details and struggling writers can still feel accomplished by explaining the cookie-making process!
Learn more: Teachers Pay Teachers
16. Diary Entry of a Literary Character
Another favorite among creative writing ideas is having students write diary entries in the voice of a character from literature. This can be a character from a book you read as a class or from a book they read on their own. Either way, it will showcase their creative writing skills and their knowledge of the character!
Learn more: Banana Magic
17. Write a Rant
Writing a rant is a good assignment to use when you are trying to teach about the different voices we use when writing. When writing a rant, you are going to use an angrier, more aggressive voice than if you were writing a children's story. This is a great warm-up to get students ready to write persuasive essays.
Learn more: Teachers and Writers Magazine
18. Write a Newspaper Story
After reading through some newspapers to get ideas on how newspaper articles are formatted, have each of your students write their own article. When they are all done, you can compile a classroom newspaper!
Learn more: Nie Online
19. Coat of Arms
Studying Shakespeare? Maybe European countries where it was common to have a Coat of Arms? If so, this assignment is perfect for your class. Have students create a coat of arms and then write a few paragraphs explaining their choices.
20. A Letter to Yourself
Have students write letters to their future selves. Give them specific questions to answer like "where do you see yourself in five years? Are you happy with your life? Is there anything you would change?" And then in five years, mail the letters to their parents!
Learn more: Ms. Carota
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How to Teach Creative Writing to High School Students
Creative Writing was forced onto my schedule; I didn’t ask for it. But it ended up becoming my favorite class period of the day. While academic English courses can feel high-stakes and always short on time, Creative Writing can be a refreshingly relaxed elective class. In many districts with loose curriculums, Creative Writing is what you make of it. In this post, I outline six steps to show you how to teach creative writing to high school students.
Why Teach Creative Writing
Before we get into the how , let’s first address the why . Why bother teaching Creative Writing in the first place? Students’ basic skills are lower than ever; is now really the time to encourage them to break the rules?
If you want to get really deep into why you should teach Creative Writing, I have a whole post about it here.
But think about why you love reading. Is it because you were made to annotate or close read a bunch of classic novels? Probably not. You probably fell in love with reading while you were reading something that was fun. And because it was fun, you read more, and your skills as a reader grew.
The same principle applies to writing. If we can make it fun for our students, perhaps we can foster a love for it. And passion is what leads, eventually, to mastery.
Giving our students the opportunity to fall in love with writing is a gift that might help them grow in their academic writing later.
Teach Creative Writing to High School Students Step #1: Decide on Your Standards or Goals
Your school or district may have a mandated syllabus or curriculum. Mine did not.
Whether you’re given student goals or have to create them, you must have an overall vision for what your Creative Writing class will accomplish.
Is this a laid-back, engaging course designed to help students discover the fun in writing? Or is it a supplement to rigorous academics for college-bound high school students?
If you know your school’s student population well, I encourage you to think about their needs. Some students just need to write more–more of anything, but lots more. Some students are high achieving and ready to write their first novels! If possible, design your course around the needs and interests of the general student population in your school or district.
Regardless of how rigorous your Creative Writing course will be, deciding on these goals first will help you in backwards planning.
Teach Creative Writing to High School Students Step #2: Choose Your Final Assessments and Big Projects
Before we can start planning our lessons, we have to decide what skills or knowledge our students will need. And to know what they need, we have to decide on their summative assessments.
Will your final assessment be a short story? A collection of poetry? Are you required to offer a final exam?
Once you know what students will need to do, you can make a list of the skill they’ll need. This list will become a list of lessons you’ll need to teach.
Fairy Tale Retelling Project
My Fairy Tale Retelling Project is a great Creative Writing assessment. For this project, students had to first choose a fairy tale. Then, they rewrote the story from the perspective of the villain.
This project works really well because students have structure. They can pick any fairy tale they want, but they can’t write about just anything.
Secondly, students already know the story, so they don’t have to worry about a beginning, middle, and end. The open-endedness of writing a story completely from scratch has paralyzed my students before. Structure allows students lots of creative freedom without the excuse of “I don’t know what to write.”
Author Study Project
If you’d like your Creative Writing class to help beginner writers have fun and just get some practice with fiction writing, a Fairy Tale Retelling Project would probably be perfect for your class.
Another project I’ve done with my students is an Author Study . In this project, students choose one author to study in-depth. Then, they attempt to replicate that author’s style in an original work.
If you’d like your class to also include lots of exposure to other writers or classic literature, then this might be a great assessment for your class.
Learn more about doing an author study in this step-by-step post.
Test or Final Exam
I also gave my students a final exam focused on literary terms.
This Literary Terms Test allowed me to test students on the academic knowledge they gained throughout class instead of their writing ability. This test also helped me fulfill my district’s requirement of having a final exam at the end of each course.
Once you’ve decided on your class’s major projects and assessments, you can begin designing the rest of your class.
Teach Creative Writing to High School Students Step #3: Backwards Plan
Now that you know what your students will need to do at the end of this class, you can list out everything you need to teach them in order for them to be successful.
For example, if you opt for an author study as a final project, you know what you will need to cover. You will need to teach students some literary terms so that they can describe an author’s style. You’ll need to show them how to analyze a poem.
During the course of your class, you’ll also want to expose students to a variety of authors and mentor texts. Students will need to practice basic writing techniques in order to replicate those of their chosen authors.
If you need some inspiration for what kinds of lessons to teach, check out this post on essential Creative Writing lessons.
Teach Creative Writing to High School Students Step #4: Decide on Your Class Structure
Once you’ve decided on the end goals for your Creative Writing class, you can use them to help create day-to-day plans.
What will your class look like? Will it be full of lots of quiet and independent work time? Will it be full of frenetic energy with students working in collaborative groups? Are students writing in notebooks or on laptops?
Of course, a successful class will most likely include a mixture of all of the above. But it’s up to you to decide on your ratio.
Again, I encourage you to think about your school’s population. If you’re on ninety-minute blocks, is it realistic for students to be quietly writing that whole time? If you have high-achieving students, might they benefit from working independently at home and then getting and giving peer feedback during class time?
Use your goals to help decide on a general class structure.
Warm-ups for Creative Writing
You’ll need a consistent way to begin each class.
When I initially began teaching Creative Writing, I just wanted to provide my students with more time to write. We began every class period with free writing. I gave students a couple of prompts to choose from each day, and then we’d write for about ten minutes.
( Those journal prompts are right here . Every day includes two prompts plus a third option of freewriting.)
Students were given the option to share part of their writing if they wanted to. Every couple of weeks I’d flip through their notebooks to make sure they were keeping up, but I only read the entries they starred for me in advance.
Later, I wanted to add some rigor to my Creative Writing class and leverage more mentor texts. I created a Poem of the Week activity for each week of the course.
This gave students the opportunity to study professional writing before using it as a mentor text for a new, original piece.
(You can read more about using these Poem of the Week activities here.)
As my goals for the class and my students change, so did the way we began class.
How can you begin your class in a way that supports the end goals or teaches the desired standards? How often will peers work together?
Teach Creative Writing to High School Students Step #5: Focus on Engagement Strategies
Now you can actually start planning lessons and projects!
But as you do so, focus on creating engaging ones–especially if your class is meant to be a fun elective.
Need more tips? Check out this post full of Creative Writing teaching tips!
Use Mentor Texts and Lots of Examples
Have you ever tried putting a puzzle together without knowing what the image was going to look like? It would be pretty difficult! Similarly, students need lots of examples of strong writing to aspire to.
Without clear models or mentor texts , students will happily turn in unread drafts. They’ll choose the first word that comes to their mind instead of searching for a better one.
But if you surround students with great writing, highlight strong technique when discussing the writing of others, and challenge them to notice the details in their own writing, they’ll naturally become better at self-editing.
I don’t believe that you can provide students with too many mentor texts or examples of strong writing. As you teach Creative Writing, keep or take pictures of strong writing samples from students to use as examples later.
Nearly all of my lessons and projects include an example along with instruction.
Model and Create with Your Students
You can even use your own writing as an example. When I had students free write to creative writing prompts, I always wrote with them. Sometimes I would then put my notebook under the document camera and model reading my own work.
I would cross out words and replace them or underline phrases I thought were strong enough to keep. Model for students not just great writing, but the process of strengthening writing.
And then give them plenty of time to edit theirs. This is when having students engage in peer feedback is a game-changer.
Without great writing to aspire to, however, students easily become lazy and turn in work that is “good enough” in their eyes. Don’t let them get lazy in their writing. Keep throwing greater and greater work in front of them and challenge them to push themselves.
(This is another reason I love using Poem of the Week warm-ups –they expose students to a new writer every week!)
Set Clear Expectations
Creative writing causes a lot of students anxiety. There’s no “right” answer, so how will they know if they creatively wrote “correctly?”
Help them out by setting clear expectations. Offering a rubric for every project is great for this. If you can, give them specifics to include. “At least 500 words” or “three or more similes” are nice, concrete guidelines that students can follow.
Give Students Choice
Offering students choice always boosts engagement. It lets students take charge of their learning and pursue something that interests them.
For example, when I teach odes , students are given the opportunity to write about something they love.
With an author study , students can study a writer whose style and work they admire.
Teach Creative Writing to High School Students Step #6: Use Clear and Structured Expectations
While showing students excellent prose or perfect poetry should help inspire students, your writers will still need some hard parameters to follow.
Academic writing is often easier for students than creative writing. Usually, academic writing follows a structure or certain formula. The rubric dictates exactly how many quotes need to be included or how long an essay needs to be. MLA or APA formats tell students how to punctuate quotes and citations.
These rules don’t apply to creative writing. And while that’s exactly what makes creative writing awesome, it’s often overwhelming.
So do your students a favor and give them some clear expectations (without, of course, entirely dictating what they need to write about).
The project also includes a rubric, so young writers know what should be included in their stories.
Don’t give your students so much creative freedom that it paralyzes them! Your writers are still students; give them the same level of structure and organization that you would in any other class.
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Teach Creative Writing to High School Students Step #7: Give Students Choices
So how do you give students frameworks, requirements, and uphold high expectations without stifling their creativity?
Give students choices. You can write about A, B, or C, as long as you meet requirements 1, 2, and 3.
Offering choices works with small one-day assignments or lessons as well as bigger, longer-term projects.
The previously mentioned Fairy Tale Retelling Project is a great example of offering a narrow selection of choices that uphold expectations without dictating what students write.
Another one of my favorite examples of offering students choices is my “Show. Don’t Tell” Mini-lesson . This lesson touches on everything students need to successfully learn creative writing.
First I teach them the concept of showing vs. telling in writing through direct instruction. I show them lots of examples of expanding a “telling sentence” into a “showing paragraph.”
Then I model for students how I would write a paragraph that shows crucial information, rather than telling it.
Lastly, I have students pick a strip of paper from a hat or a bag. Each strip of paper contains a “telling sentence” that they must then write as a “showing paragraph.” Students are limited by the sentences I provide, but they still have complete freedom over how they achieve that detailed paragraph.
If you wanted to give students even more freedom, you could let them pick their sentences or trade with a peer rather than blindly choosing.
Any time you can give students a choice, you give them permission to use their creativity and allow them to take some of the initiative in their own learning.
Teach Creative Writing to High School Students Step #8: Encourage Peer Collaboration and Feedback
We can tell students something a hundred times, but they won’t listen until a peer says the same thing. Us educators know the value of positive peer interaction, so don’t limit it in a creative writing class!
There are a ton of ways to implement peer interaction in a creative writing class. I often do this on the first day of class with a writing game. You’ve probably heard of it: everyone writes a sentence on a piece of paper, then everyone passes the paper and adds a sentence, and so on.
I highly encourage you to use peer feedback throughout the class. I usually start having students share their work from day one with my free “I Am” Poem Lesson so that they can start getting used to having their work read by others immediately.
Make getting feedback so routine in your room that students don’t even question it.
It’s really tempting to let students get away without sharing their work. We don’t want to make shy or anxious students uncomfortable. I mean, what better way to completely ruin creative writing for a student than to make them feel embarrassed all the time, right?
But keep trying to encourage shy students to share. Even if that means you share it anonymously or read it aloud for them.
I recommend including some kind of peer feedback with every writing assignment . Yes, even short practice assignments. This will work as a kind of “immersion therapy” for receiving feedback on more involved work.
After some time, you might find that your students even begin to share their work without your prompting!
I like to organize the desks in my Creative Writing class so that students are in little groups. I’ve found that at least half of my classes will begin talking and sharing with one another in their little groups while working on projects.
They’ll ask each other questions or to remind them of a word. They’ll read sentences aloud and ask if they sound right. Personally, I would much rather hear this kind of chatter in my class than have a dead silent room of boring writers!
However you decide to allow students to work together, be sure to provide the opportunity. Reading and getting feedback from peers could possibly teach students more about writing than any of your instruction (sorry!).
One of the truly great things about teaching creative writing to high school students is that there often isn’t a rigid curriculum. Of course, this is also sometimes one of the worst things about teaching creative writing to high school students!
You have total freedom over the assignments you give, the standards you teach, and how you organize and structure your classroom. After a few years of teaching Creative Writing, however, I’ve found that sticking to these six steps is a great way to have a successful semester.
If you’re excited about teaching your Creative Writing class, but are running low on prep time, check out my complete 9-week Creative Writing course ! Included are two different types of warm-ups, poetry analysis activities from well-known authors, mini-lesson, projects, and more!
37 Creative Writing Prompts for High School
Michele is a mom and aunt that has 15 years experience coordinating daily activities, swim programs, and lesson planning for teens.
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Creative writing prompts for high school students can be a good way to coax reluctant writers into getting their thoughts down on paper. Writing prompts can be silly or serious and work for fiction, nonfiction, and any other type of writing project. A writing prompt is simply meant to spark an idea and get you brainstorming ideas for writing.
Creative High School Poetry Writing Prompts
One type of creative writing is poetry. You can use poetry prompts for high school for language arts class assignments or to create your own personal poems at home.
- Choose a song lyric that best describes your personality and expand it into a poem.
- Use the name of your favorite band or music group to start an acrostic poem.
- Write a haiku about the first class you have at school each day.
- Use your school name, mascot, and colors to write a rhyming school spirit chant.
- Write an ode to your favorite outfit or piece of clothing.
- Write down the first 10 words you think of and then use each word in one line of your poem.
- Write one verse about each year of high school.
- Turn your favorite meme or any viral meme into a poem using the line on the meme as the opening line of your poem.
- Use the name of a video game as your title and write a poem about whatever the opposite of that title would be.
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Fun Writing Prompts for Creative Fiction in High School
Creative fiction writing prompts can help you get started on any piece of creative writing. You can use real life to inspire the fantasy world you'll create in your work of fiction.
Writing Prompts for Short Works of Creative Fiction
Whether you need to write a short story, flash fiction, or a letter, these prompts will help you get a short work of fiction going.
- What magical thing might happen to you when you turn 16 or 18?
- Your parents have decided to move you to the first human colony in space. What's it like?
- You're all trapped in your high school and may be the last teens who can save the world.
- Write a letter to yourself at 60 years old.
- Choose a book or movie that eerily parallels your life. How did they get your story?
- Social media is now the only way people can communicate, so what does this world look like?
- A monster you've imagined is now terrorizing the world. What does it look like? What motivates it to grow? How can you stop it?
Writing Prompts for Long Works of Creative Fiction
If you want to pen your first novel, screenplay, or skit, these prompts can give your storyline a heavy dose of originality.
- Two weather phenomena combine to create a super storm.
- The entire world reaches an epic peace agreement where there are no longer separate countries, but instead one country.
- Each of your closest friends exists in a parallel universe that only you can access.
- People create a world where kids are never allowed to grow up.
- Your high school is taken over by scientists.
- Whenever you hear a song, it opens up a door to another place.
Creative Nonfiction Writing Prompts for Teenagers
From persuasive essays to high school journal topics , nonfiction writing prompts can be just as creative as fiction writing prompts. Take inspiration from journal writing prompts for high school or current news headlines.
- Global warming has hit its worst point; now what does the world look like?
- No one cares about actors, singers, and athletes anymore, so who becomes the new celebrities?
- You are 45 years old and the parent of a teenage daughter who has just told you that she is pregnant. Describe how you would handle this difficult situation.
- You find a time machine that allows you to travel back into the past. What things would you tell your younger self based on the knowledge you have now?
- A Hollywood executive sees your Instagram and wants to make a movie of your life.
- What would happen if you swapped places with the person you most admire for one day?
- What would happen if you swapped places with your worst enemy for the same amount of time?
- Teenagers in your town stage a protest at your school.
- Your town hires a teenager as the new mayor.
Visual Writing Prompts for High School Creative Writing
Using photographs as writing prompts or other forms of visual writing prompts is a great alternative to wordy writing prompts, especially for visual learners. Everything from memes to movie stills can help inspire your creative writing.
High School Creative Writing Games Using Prompts
Using creative writing games in high school doesn't have to feel immature and can help teens get their creative juices flowing.
- Play a drawing board game like Pictionary, only have players write poems or flash fiction about the prompts instead of drawing pictures.
- Host a story starter bee where each student is shown an image, instead of being given a word, and they have 30 seconds to shout out a writing prompt based on the image. The last answer given by the last student standing is the prompt everyone has to use.
- Have each student write a prompt on a piece of paper and crumple it up. Let the teens have a mini paper war, but when you say "Stop!" they each have to pick up the closest crumpled prompt to use for their assignment.
Spark an Idea With Writing Prompts
When you need good writing topics for creative writing assignments or journaling, writing prompts for kids and teens can help spark an idea. If you're teaching writing skills to high school students , creative writing prompts, and even high school journal prompts , geared toward this age group will get them excited about your lesson.
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How creative writing can increase students’ resilience, students can find strength and community in sharing their stories through writing..
Many of my seventh-grade students do not arrive at school ready to learn. Their families often face financial hardship and live in cramped quarters, which makes it difficult to focus on homework. The responsibility for cooking and taking care of younger siblings while parents work often falls on these twelve year olds’ small shoulders. Domestic violence and abuse are also not uncommon.
To help traumatized students overcome their personal and academic challenges, one of our first jobs as teachers is to build a sense of community. We need to communicate that we care and that we welcome them into the classroom just as they are. One of the best ways I’ve found to connect with my students, while also nurturing their reading and writing skills, is through creative writing.
For the past three years, I’ve invited students in my English Language Development (ELD) classes to observe their thoughts, sit with their emotions, and offer themselves and each other compassion through writing and sharing about their struggles. Creating a safe, respectful environment in which students’ stories matter invites the disengaged, the hopeless, and the numb to open up. Students realize that nobody is perfect and nobody’s life is perfect. In this kind of classroom community, they can take the necessary risks in order to learn, and they become more resilient when they stumble.
Fostering a growth mindset
One of the ways students can boost their academic performance and develop resilience is by building a growth mindset. Carol Dweck, Stanford University professor of psychology and author of the book Mindset , explains that people with a growth mindset focus on learning from mistakes and welcoming challenges rather than thinking they’re doomed to be dumb or unskillful. A growth mindset goes hand in hand with self-compassion: recognizing that everyone struggles and treating ourselves with kindness when we trip up.
One exercise I find very useful is to have students write a story about a time when they persevered when faced with a challenge—in class, sports, or a relationship. Some of the themes students explore include finally solving math problems, learning how to defend themselves, or having difficult conversations with parents.
I primed the pump by telling my students about something I struggled with—feeling left behind in staff meetings as my colleagues clicked their way through various computer applications. I confided that PowerPoint and Google Slides—tools (one might assume) that any teacher worth a paperweight has mastered—still eluded me. By admitting my deficiency to my students, asking for their help, and choosing to see the opportunity to remedy it every day in the classroom, I aimed to level the playing field with them. They may have been reading three or four grade levels behind, but they could slap a PowerPoint presentation together in their sleep.
For students, sharing their own stories of bravery, resilience, and determination brings these qualities to the forefront of their minds and helps solidify the belief that underlies a growth mindset: I can improve and grow . We know from research in neuroplasticity that when students take baby steps to achieve a goal and take pride in their accomplishments, they change their brains, growing new neural networks and fortifying existing ones. Neurons in the brain release the feel-good chemical dopamine, which plays a major role in motivating behavior toward rewards.
After writing about a few different personal topics, students choose one they want to publish on the bulletin boards at the back of the classroom. They learn to include the juicy details of their stories (who, what, when, where, why, and how), and they get help from their peers, who ask follow-up questions to prompt them to include more information. This peer editing builds their resilience in more ways than one—they make connections with each other by learning about each other’s lives, and they feel empowered by lending a hand.
In my experience, students are motivated to do this assignment because it helps them feel that their personal stories and emotions truly matter, despite how their other academics are going. One student named Alejandro chose to reflect on basketball and the persistence and time it took him to learn:
Hoops By Alejandro Gonzalez Being good takes time. One time my sister took me to a park and I saw people playing basketball. I noticed how good they were and decided I wanted to be like them. Still I told my sister that basketball looked hard and that I thought I couldn’t do it. She said,“You could do it if you tried. You’ll get the hang of it.” My dad bought me a backboard and hoop to play with. I was really happy, but the ball wasn’t making it in. Every time I got home from school, I would go straight to the backyard to play. I did that almost every day until little by little I was getting the hang of it. I also played with my friends. Every day after lunch we would meet at the basketball court to have a game. … I learned that you need to be patient and to practice a lot to get the hang of things. With a little bit of practice, patience, and hard work, anything is possible.
Originally, Alejandro wasn’t sure why he was in school and often lacked the motivation to learn. But writing about something he was passionate about and recalling the steps that led to his success reminded him of the determination and perseverance he had demonstrated in the past, nurturing a positive view of himself. It gave him a renewed sense of investment in learning English and eventually helped him succeed in his ELD class, as well.
Maintaining a hopeful outlook
Another way to build resilience in the face of external challenges is to shore up our inner reserves of hope —and I’ve found that poetry can serve as inspiration for this.
For the writing portion of the lesson, I invite students to “get inside” poems by replicating the underlying structure and trying their hand at writing their own verses. I create poem templates, where students fill in relevant blanks with their own ideas.
One poem I like to share is “So Much Happiness” by Naomi Shihab Nye. Its lines “Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house / and now live over a quarry of noise and dust / cannot make you unhappy” remind us that, despite the unpleasant events that occur in our lives, it’s our choice whether to allow them to interfere with our happiness. The speaker, who “love[s] even the floor which needs to be swept, the soiled linens, and scratched records,” has a persistently sunny outlook.
It’s unrealistic for students who hear gunshots at night to be bubbling over with happiness the next morning. Still, the routine of the school day and the sense of community—jokes with friends, a shared bag of hot chips for breakfast, and a creative outlet—do bolster these kids. They have an unmistakable drive to keep going, a life force that may even burn brighter because they take nothing for granted—not even the breath in their bodies, life itself.
Itzayana was one of those students who, due to the adversity in her life, seemed too old for her years. She rarely smiled and started the school year with a defiant approach to me and school in general, cursing frequently in the classroom. Itzayana’s version of “So Much Happiness” hinted at some of the challenges I had suspected she had in her home life:
It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness. Even the fact that you once heard your family laughing and now hear them yelling at each other cannot make you unhappy. Everything has a life of its own, it too could wake up filled with possibilities of tamales and horchata and love even scrubbing the floor, washing dishes, and cleaning your room. Since there is no place large enough to contain so much happiness, help people in need, help your family, and take care of yourself. —Itzayana C.
Her ending lines, “Since there is no place large enough to contain so much happiness, / help people in need, help your family, and take care of yourself,” showed her growing awareness of the need for self-care as she continued to support her family and others around her. This is a clear sign of her developing resilience.
Poetry is packed with emotion, and writing their own poems allows students to grapple with their own often-turbulent inner lives. One student commented on the process, saying, “By writing poems, I’ve learned to be calm and patient, especially when I get mad about something dumb.” Another student showed pride in having her writing published; she reflected, “I feel good because other kids can use it for calming down when they’re angry.”
To ease students into the creative process, sometimes we also write poems together as a class. We brainstorm lines to include, inviting the silly as well as the poignant and creating something that represents our community.
Besides offering my students new ways of thinking about themselves, I also invite them to take kind actions toward themselves and others.
In the music video for “Give a Little Love” by Noah and the Whale, one young African American boy—who witnesses bullying at school and neglect in his neighborhood —decides to take positive action and whitewash a wall of graffiti. Throughout the video, people witness others’ random acts of kindness, and then go on to do their own bit.
“My love is my whole being / And I’ve shared what I could,” the lyrics say—a reminder that our actions speak louder than our words and do have an incredible impact. The final refrain in the song—“Well if you are (what you love) / And you do (what you love) /...What you share with the world is what it keeps of you”—urges the students to contribute in a positive way to the classroom, the school campus, and their larger community.
After watching the video, I ask students to reflect upon what kind of community they would like to be part of and what makes them feel safe at school. They write their answers—for example, not being laughed at by their peers and being listened to—on Post-it notes. These notes are used to create classroom rules. This activity sends a message early on that we are co-creating our communal experience together. Students also write their own versions of the lyrics, reflecting on different things you can give and receive—like kindness, peace, love, and ice cream.
Reaping the benefits
To see how creative writing impacts students, I invite them to rate their resilience through a self-compassion survey at the start of the school year and again in the spring. Last year, two-thirds of students surveyed increased in self-compassion; Alejandro grew his self-compassion by 20 percent. The program seems to work at developing their reading and writing skills, as well: At the middle of the school year, 40 percent of my students moved up to the next level of ELD, compared to 20 percent the previous year.
As a teacher, my goal is to meet students where they’re at and learn about their whole lives. Through creative writing activities, we create a community of compassionate and expressive learners who bear witness to the impact of trauma in each others’ experiences and together build resilience.
As a symbol of community and strength, I had a poster in my classroom of a boat at sea with hundreds of refugees standing shoulder to shoulder looking skyward. It’s a hauntingly beautiful image of our ability to risk it all for a better life, as many of my ELD students do. Recognizing our common humanity and being able to share about our struggles not only leads to some beautiful writing, but also some brave hearts.
About the Author
Laura Bean, M.F.A. , executive director of Mindful Literacy, consults with school communities to implement mindfulness and creative writing programs. She has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and presented a mindful writing workshop at Bridging the Hearts and Minds of Youth Conference in San Diego in 2016.
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The best writing prompts for high school
Ah, high school. The birthplace of future geniuses, the setting of a million Young Adult books — and the cutting ground of many a brilliant young author. Writing in the classroom is often the best outlet of creativity for kids, and what better way to get your students excited about it than through creative writing prompts for high school students?
Whether you use journal prompts or story ideas to kickstart your high school student’s imagination, writing prompts are sure to help broaden their thinking, sharpen their writing skills, record their thoughts, and get them to engage with the world around them.
If you're looking to cut to the chase, here's a top ten list of writing prompts for high school students:
- In the form of diary/ journal entries, write about someone who's just experienced a big "first."
- Just then, your phone rings. It's your friend and they have some interesting news...
- Write a short story where the protagonist has a doppelgänger.
- Write a story about a misunderstanding.
- Write a story about a strange family tradition, with at least two characters from the family narrating in the course of the story.
- Write a story about someone who would be described, above all else, as: kind.
- Write a story that centers on an Instagram post.
- Write a story that spans a month during which everything changes.
- Write about a group of people determined to win an award for making the biggest cookie ever.
- Write about someone going to extreme lengths to return an overdue library book.
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225 Fun & Free Creative Writing Prompts for Kids in All Grade Levels
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- Teacher Resources
- Elementary school writing prompts
Middle school writing prompts
High school writing prompts.
- Social emotional learning jounal prompts
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Writing prompts are meant to unlock creativity. They’re story starters designed to inspire creative thinking. They can take you to places you’ve been or recall an important time in your life.
But mostly, they’re useful tools for teachers to inspire writing growth in students from grade school to high school.
“Once upon a time, in a land far, far away…”
It’s amazing how one simple sentence can send you on a journey to places you’ve never been, filled with untold possibilities.
Reading is great, but you know what’s even better? Giving your students the power to write stories for themselves.
Writing prompts for kids help students:
- Express themselves and their creativity
- Grasp lifelong literacy skills and concepts
- Tell their own stories and build self-confidence
- Develop a growth mindset when it comes to their writing skills
Writing is like a muscle — it takes practice to build up skills. Luckily, we put together a list of over 200 writing prompts to help your students get started. We’ve also organized them by middle school, high school and elementary school to help teachers decide whether these prompts are age-appropriate for their students.
Grade school writing prompts
Grade schoolers can definitely begin to address complex ideas when it comes to story writing — but you should seek to keep the prompts simple and straightforward.
Reluctant writers might be intimidated by complicated writing ideas — and this is an age where we should be encouraging creativity.
Creative writing prompts for elementary schoolers
Whether it’s exploring the furthest reaches of outer space, traveling across the Sahara desert or sticking a little closer to home, these creative writing prompts will have students imagining endless possibilities for their writing.
- Write about what your life would be like if you turned into a squirrel. What would you do every day?
- A strange spaceship just crashed and landed in your backyard. What happens next?
- Make up a story about where thunder comes from.
- You find an old notebook hidden in an attic. What does it say? Who did it belong to?
- You have a magic garden. What magical plants do you grow? How do you take care of them?
- Write a story about running away with the circus when it comes to town.
- Rewrite “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” from the perspective of one of the dwarfs (Happy, Sleepy, Dopey, Doc, Grumpy, Sneezy and Bashful).
- There once was a little boy who ate nothing but oranges. What happened to him?
- Write a story about a magical hat. Where is it from? What does it do? What does it look like?
- You’re exploring the rainforest and come across a flower that no one’s ever seen before. Describe it!
- Tell me a story about a dinosaur living a long, long time ago.
- Tell me a story about an astronaut visiting another planet. Where are they going? How do they get there? What do they take with them?
- You discover a magic portal in the park. Where does it lead to?
- Pick a partner and write a story together! Start by writing the first sentence, then pass it to your partner to write the second sentence.
- You find buried treasure in the park, hidden in a big wooden chest. What kind of treasure is it? Who left it there?
- Write a story about a family that can travel in time.
- Write a story without using the letter “E”.
- Write the funniest story you can think of.
- There’s a kangaroo in your classroom. How did it get there? What happens when you find it?
- Write a story about an explorer who keeps getting lost. Where are they trying to go? What do they find along the way?
- Write a story about a wooden door, a can of soda and a blue shoe.
- If there was a magical portal in the back of your closet, where would it lead to?
- Finish this story: There was a knock on the door. I opened it to find a dog sitting there, and…
- You come home and find that everything in your house is upside down. What happened?
- Describe the color “red” without using the word “red”.
- There’s an old, abandoned house at the end of your street that’s been empty for years. One day, someone moves in.
- Rewrite the story of Cinderella from the perspective of the stepsisters.
- Write a backstory for Ed, the orange Prodigy mascot.
- You wake up one morning and find a mermaid in your bathtub. How did they get there? What do you do?
- Write a story about a monster looking for some friends.
- Oh no — your balloon blew away! Write about what happens from the balloon’s perspective.
- You and your friends are out for a walk when, out of nowhere, your friends start disappearing! What’s going on?
- Once upon a time, an old inventor built a weather machine. It sat undiscovered for years — until you found it. What happens next?
- You just ate a cookie that turned you 15 feet tall. What do you do next?
Fun writing prompts for grade schoolers
Everyday life is full of great inspiration for writing! Get students thinking with these easy and fun writing prompts.Write about something you are good at.
- If you could write a book about anything, what would you write about?
- If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be and why?
- Do you have a favorite animal? Tell me all about it! Why do you like it?
- What would you do if you woke up one morning and everything was pink — including you?
- What food can you not live without? Why?
- If you could add any class to your school schedule, what would it be?
- Invent a new day of the week. What is it called? When is it? What do people usually do on that day of the week?
- If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
- If you could spend a Saturday doing anything you wanted, what adventures would you get up to?
- If you could have any wild animal as a pet, what would you choose? Why?
- What's your favorite, wacky food?
- Where is your favorite place to read? Why?
- What was the coolest day of school for you? What made it exciting?
- Which of your toys do you wish could talk? What would they say?
- If you could only wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it look like?
- Invent a machine to do a chore for you. What does the machine do? What does it look like?
- What's your favorite season? What makes it the best?
- What is your favorite math game and why?
- Describe your real-life superpower.
- Finish the story: When I'm older I want to be an expert in…
- If pets could talk to each other, what would they say?
- If you were the captain of a ship, what would you call your ship? What would it look like? Where would you go?
- If your pet could talk to you, what do you think it would say?
- If you were the only person on earth for one day, what would you do?
- Plan the perfect birthday party for yourself.
- What is your favorite thing to do over summer break?
- Describe your ideal birthday cake.
- If you could add any type of room to your house, what would it be?
- What’s your favorite movie and why?
Persuasive writing prompts for elementary school
Are your students’ opinions up for debate? Ask them to flex their critical thinking skills with these persuasive writing prompts. Once they’re done, get class discussion flowing with a spirited debate!
- Write a letter convincing your parents to let you get a pet dog. What arguments do you use to persuade them?
- Convince your teacher that you should be allowed an extra 15 minutes of recess.
- Convince your best friend to read your favorite book.
- How would you convince someone to do your chores for you?
- Write a commercial for your favorite breakfast food. What would convince someone else to try it?
- What flavor of chips is the best? Why?
- What would make a better pet — a monkey or a peacock?
- Do you think children should be allowed to stay up as late as they want?
- What’s your favorite holiday and why should it be everyone’s favorite?
- Convince us that your favorite food should be a staple in everyone’s diet.
As students enter middle school, they’re starting to feel like bigger, older kids. They can start writing original short stories and abstract persuasive essays.
It’s best to inspire creativity at this age and encourage them to explore their own voice and different writing styles. These prompts will definitely go a long way in inspiring that.
Creative Writing Prompts for Middle Schoolers
- Invent a new type of transportation for the future. Who uses it? Where does it go?
- If you had a time machine, where would you visit first — the past or the future? Why?
- You get on the bus and find a four-piece jazz band giving a concert. What do you do?
- Design and name your own Prodigy pet . What element are they? What’s their special power?
- Finish this story: “Something just touched my foot,” they shouted, swimming frantically towards the shore.
- Write a silly or scary story to tell around a campfire.
- Finish this story: Everything was going so well today — until I tripped and fell, right in front of…
- Throughout your adventures as a pirate on the high seas, you’ve seen lots of strange and magical creatures. Which one was the most interesting?
- Deep in the heart of a dark and mysterious cave, there lies a magic stone. Write about your quest to find it.
- Write an acrostic poem using the word “strawberry.”
- There was an old woman who lived in a shoe. She knit and she baked, but what else did she do?
- Finish this story: “One thing I’ll never do again,” she said, “Is go on vacation with an alpaca.”
- Make up a new planet and describe it.
- Write a story about a family of penguins living on an iceberg.
- Write a story about a girl who can walk through walls.
- You’ve been invited to a ball at the Queen’s palace! What is it like?
- Imagine you’re exploring the Amazon jungle. Write a diary entry about your day.
- If you could invent a TV show, what would it be about?
- You discovered an underwater kingdom! What is it like there?
- A lonely trumpet player makes friends with the dancer who lives next door. What happens next?
- You go to the park to fly a kite, but get carried away by the wind! What happens next?
- Write a story about a volcano that’s about to erupt.
- Write a story about visiting an old lady who lives deep in the woods.
- Boom, you’re a superhero! Give yourself an origin story, describe your superpowers and plan what you’ll do to make the world a better place.
- Write a story using these six words: calendar, headphones, lipstick, mug, bear.
- You wake up to find you’re invisible. How did it happen? What do you do?
- There’s been a robbery at the bank, and you’re in charge of finding the culprit. How do you solve the case?
- Finish the story: Once upon a time, there was a dragon...
- You just joined a super-secret spy organization. What’s your first mission?
- Write a story about being cold without using the word “cold.”
- You’re a scientist and you’ve just discovered a new type of bug. Describe what it looks like, where it’s from and what you’re going to call it.
- Imagine a world where all the birds can talk. What would they say?
- Write about what happens after the end of your favorite book or movie.
- Finish the story: She sprinted down the driveway to the mailbox. The package was here!
- You’re on a hike and a bird starts talking to you. What do you do? What does it say?
- Write a story using these five words: bubblegum, stapler, spoon, lightbulb, strawberry.
- You ate a magical carrot and your skin turned orange! What happens next?
- Write about what it would be like if you had an elephant for a pet.
Fun Writing Prompts for Middle Schoolers
- If you were in charge of the classroom for a day, what would your class do?
- Tell me about the last dream you had.
- You’re trapped on a desert island. What three things did you bring with you and why?
- What mythical creature would you like to have as a pet? Why?
- Invent a new type of pasta. What does it look like? What does it taste like?
- If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go? Make a plan and tell the story of your dream vacation.
- Plan the perfect picnic. Where would it be? What food would you have?
- If you could decorate your bedroom any way you wanted, what would it look like?
- Write a story that sounds loud, using onomatopoeia (words that sound like their meaning, like crash, snort, bang and boom.)
- Invent a new type of cookie. What does it taste like?
- Invent a new sport. What is it called? What are the rules?
- How would you disguise yourself to blend in with a forest?
- You just won a special award from the president. What did you do to earn that award?
- Do you collect anything? What is it and why? If not, what would you like to collect?
- You just found a genie in a bottle. What three things would you wish for? (Remember, no wishing for extra wishes!
- Explain how to play your favorite sport or do your favorite hobby. Make it as exciting as possible!
- Describe the most beautiful sunrise or sunset you’ve ever seen.
- If you could live in any book or movie, which one would you choose and why?
- Imagine that you’re going on a camping trip. What do you pack to make sure the trip is fun?
- If you could invent a robot to do any chore, what chore would it be? How would the robot do it?
- Would you rather it was always raining, or always snowing?
- Imagine you’re a toy inventor. What will you create?
- Would you rather climb to the top of a mountain or go scuba diving?
- Interview a family member about their childhood, then write it as a story.
- What was your favorite toy growing up — why was it so special to you?
Persuasive Writing Prompts for Middle School
- If you could change one thing about your school, what would it be and why?
- Is it better to read the book before you watch the movie, or watch the movie before you read the book?
- Persuade someone to try out your favorite hobby or sport.
- What’s the best way to try and persuade a friend to do what you want to do?
- When is peer pressure good? When is peer pressure bad?
- Is it better to have lots of friends, or just a few really good friends?
- Should students be in charge of what they learn in school?
High school students can either be tasked with more complex writing prompts or breathe nuance into simple story ideas. Students can drive these prompts in a million different ways.
So while not necessarily more complicated than middle school, these prompts can be tweaked, either by the student or teacher, to encourage thought-provoking output.
Creative Writing Prompts for High Schoolers
- Write a story about someone your age who lives on the other side of the world.
- Pick up the nearest book and turn to page 7. Close your eyes and point to a random word on the page, then write a story about that word.
- Write a story in ten words or less.
- You fell asleep for 100 years. What does the world look like when you wake up?
- Finish the story: “This isn’t what I hoped would happen,” she said….
- You’re walking down the street when you see someone who looks exactly like you.
- Write a story where the main character learns something new about themselves.
- Write a story that takes place in the desert.
- Write a story about a day where everything seems to go wrong.
- Write a poem about the color blue.
- How would your life be different if you didn’t have access to a computer, video games or your phone?
Fun writing prompts for high schoolers
- You win a million dollars, but there’s a catch — you have to spend it all in 24 hours, or you lose all the money. What do you do?
- Write about something you or your family does from the perspective of someone from another country.
- If you could make up a new holiday, when would it be and what would it celebrate?
- Go out on a nature walk and find a tree. Write the story of that tree, from the time it was a seed until now.
- What’s the most boring superpower you can think of? How would it be useful?
- If you could pass any law, what would it be?
- You meet yourself in the future, as a grown-up at age 35 — what do you talk about?
- If you had to show aliens the most important/best things in the world, what would you show them?
- Who is your hero and why?
- Write about the best surprise you ever got.
- What are three good things you can do for the environment? How can you encourage the people around you to do good things for the environment?
- What is your earliest memory? Write down as many details as you can remember.
- If you could take two people – real or fictional – on a cross-country road trip, who would you take? Where would you go?
- If you could have any job in the world tomorrow, what would you do?
- What is the best thing about living in your city or neighbourhood?
- Write a letter to your 30-year-old self. What do you think you’ll accomplish by then?
- Teach me how to make your favorite recipe.
- Describe the sound of your favorite song using descriptive words.
Persuasive writing prompts for high school
- Should kids be allowed to use social media unsupervised? Why or why not?
- Persuade someone to start a healthy habit, or get rid of a bad one.
- Should all single-use plastics be outlawed? Why or why not?
- Should our school have a dress code? Why or why not?
- Is it more important to be right or to not hurt someone else’s feelings?
- What important historical figure do you think belongs on the ten-dollar bill?
- Do you think you’re born with your personality traits, or do you gain them as you grow up?
- Should mobile apps be responsible for protecting your privacy — why or why not?
Social emotional learning journal prompts
School is about more than just books and quizzes — it’s about preparing students for the rest of their lives. Social emotional learning teaches them how to build good relationships with peers, understand and control their emotions and make healthy life decisions.
Journaling is a great way for students to reflect on their feelings in a safe, private space. Use these journaling prompts as thought starters for more social emotional learning!
Check out our list of the 25 best social emotional learning activities for students here.
- Tell me about a tradition you have with your family or friends.
- What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
- Have you ever found something that you lost? How did you feel when you found it?
- What is something you haven’t learned this school year that you’re still wondering about?
- What do you do when you’re angry? Write about three ways you calm yourself down.
- Where do you feel the safest? Why do you feel safe there?
- Write a poem to make a friend happy.
- When was the last time you were kind to someone? How can you be kind to someone today?
- How are you feeling today? Are you happy, sad, excited or anxious?
- If you could give your best friend a present, what would it be?
- What are the qualities you look for in a friend? Why is it important to be a good friend?
- What does responsibility mean to you?
- Who do you talk to when you’re worried about something? How do they make you feel better?
- If you could make a card for anyone in your life, who would it be for and what would it say?
- What’s your favorite thing about yourself?
- Write about a time you had to make a hard decision. How did you make your decision?
- What do you do to make yourself happy when you’re sad?
- Write about a time you were disappointed.
- What are three things that make your best friend awesome?
- What do you think empathy means? Why is it important?
- How can you cheer up a friend who is sad?
- What makes you a good friend? How can you be a better friend?
- What’s the best piece of advice a friend, parent or teacher has ever given you?
- Write three goals for the rest of the school year. How are you going to accomplish them?
- What does responsibility mean to you? What are you responsible for at school and at home?
- What person in your life makes you feel confident?
- What scares you? How can you overcome your fears?
- Tell me about a time when you tried something new. How did it feel? Did you do it again?
Math writing prompts for kids
Whether it’s tackling word problems or explaining a new concept, writing is a surprisingly good tool for the math classroom.
A math journal can help you understand what students already know, while giving them space to work through tricky concepts on their own. Use these writing prompts to promote literacy in every subject — and help students avoid math anxiety .
- Tell me everything you know about ________.
- Explain, in words, how to solve this problem.
- What is and isn’t true about this situation?
- What is _______?
- Explain two different ways to solve this problem. Which one is better?
- What did you get correct in this problem?
- What mistakes did you make while solving this problem?
- What do you not understand about _____?
- Write a word problem using the concept we’re learning about.
- What did you learn today?
- How do you use math in your everyday life?
- What is the easiest/hardest part of math class?
- What discoveries did you make in math class today?
Final thoughts on writing prompts for kids
Writing prompts aren’t the end of the story — they’re just the beginning. Encourage your students to build a regular writing practice, and soon you’ll see the benefits in every class.
Where will your students’ imaginations take them?
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