Like all skills, writing improves with practice. But often one's idea engine needs a quick jump start. Whether for classroom journaling exercises, or to combat the terrifying blank page that stares back at you defiantly, these clever writing prompts are sure to inspire.
"What is something you do well?" "What would happen if you could fly whenever you wanted?" "How do you feel when it's your birthday?" "I wish everyone loved ..." These fun questions and fill-in-the-blank statements make great writing prompts for all ages. They are organized by question type (what is, what if, which, when, why) and followed by a miscellaneous category. "Does it bother you to be around someone who has bad manners?"
346 writing prompts on a single page! Simply hover your mouse over a number to view the prompt. "Write from the point of view of the only tree left standing in the forest." "The best thing in life is ...." Although these prompts are specifically for grown-ups, many of them will be usable for high-school and middle-school classrooms. Publisher and author Sherry Russ has several other writing sites, whose links you'll find at the very bottom of the page.
Education World calls their printable prompts for elementary and middle-school "writing bugs" and lists them by month. What a great idea! In October, there are three, each with a Halloween theme. Click on any of the titles to view the entire prompt and to access the printable PDF. The printable includes lines for the student's writing, along with instructions to continue on the back if he runs out of room. "I was in the middle of reading a ghost story, when the lights flickered and went out. Then I heard a noise!"
"501 Writing Prompts" is a 181 page ebook, published by LearningExpress in 2003. This copy (on Scribd.com) is available for reading online and as a PDF download. The prompts are organized by writing type: persuasive, expository, narrative, and literary. In addition to the prompts, each section includes model essays. "Many people believe that television violence has a negative effect on society because it promotes violence. Do you agree or disagree?" "In order to save money, your principal is thinking about canceling all field trips for the remainder of the year. Write an essay persuading him or her to allow students to continue attending field trips."
The Teacher's Corner brings us an entire year of writing prompts, one (or sometimes two or three!) for each day of the year. Each prompt is also available as an illustrated PDF. The prompts are based on holidays, interesting anniversaries, famous birthdays, and special commemorative days such as National Chocolate Milkshake Day (September 12) or National Nut Day (October 22). At the bottom of each monthly archive, are links to related lesson plans, activities and coloring pages.