Entries Tagged 'Writing & Journal Prompts' ↓
October 22nd, 2014 — High school, Writing & Journal Prompts
Expository writing explains, describes, or informs. Today, let your high school student choose one of these expository essay prompts to practice writing to explain.
1. Treasures to Keep
People love to collect and display items that have sentimental value or special appeal. Key chains, seashells, vintage tea cups, action figures, and sports memorabilia are just a few examples. Do you have a special collection? Tell the benefits of having a collection, and explain how someone can begin to grow a collection of his or her own.
2. Blown Away
A devastating tornado has leveled much of a nearby small town. Write an essay explaining what you would do to help these families recover from their loss.
3. It’s Off to Work I Go
Your parents have decided it’s time for you to get a part-time job. Write an essay explaining the steps you need to follow in order to apply for a job.
4. I’m College Smart
With the rising costs of tuition, many college-bound students are relying on loans to help them pay for their education. Sadly, this means college students owe an average of $33,000 when they graduate, which often takes 10 years or longer to repay. Research different options for how to go to college without debt. Then, write an essay explaining several ways you can avoid facing massive debt when you head off to school.
If you enjoyed these expository essay writing prompts for high school, be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays! Once a month, we feature topics especially suited for teens, including:
October 15th, 2014 — Writing & Journal Prompts
Do your children’s eyes light up when you pull out the art supplies, suggest a craft, or invite them to decorate cookies? If so, they’ll fall in love with this assortment of writing prompts for creative kids!
Whether they’re planning details for a dream bedroom or thinking of the perfect birthday cake, exciting prompts await! For added fun, each prompt also features an optional project.
1. Artist’s Hangout
As you enter the art studio, you are greeted by a sign that invites you to create a work of art.
For your medium, you may pick acrylic paint, finger paint, colored pencils, charcoal pencils, or pastels. For your surface, you can choose a blank wall, concrete sidewalk, drawing paper, large artist’s canvas, or a white T-shirt.
Which surface will you decorate? Which medium will you select? What colors will you use? Describe the images or designs you will draw or paint.
Want to do more? Create a real-life art project.
2. Dream Room
Sometimes, kids’ bedrooms are decorated according to a theme, such as Star Wars, horses, sports, rainbows, or pirates. If you could decorate your bedroom any way you want, what theme would you choose? What would be your three main colors? Describe the furniture, floor coverings, storage, and decorations you would use to help create your ideal living space.
Want to do more? Make a shoebox diorama of your ideal room.
3. Hats Off to You
You are entering a contest in which contestants will design hats that represents one of their parents’ jobs or occupations. Is your dad a builder, salesman, attorney, or farmer? Is your mom a teacher, nurse, restaurant owner, or artist? Make a list of 5-10 objects you could put on your hat that would tell different things about this job. Explain why you chose each one.
Want to do more? Design a real hat.
4. The Art of Cakes
Cake decorating has truly become an art! Elaborate cakes boast incredibly detailed themes like superheroes, Alice in Wonderland, or LEGO®. Cakes starring candy, chocolate, or fruit and cream are as tasty as they are beautiful. What would be your dream birthday cake? Describe your cake’s theme or flavor and explain how you would decorate it.
Want to do more? Have fun decorating cookies or cupcakes.
October 8th, 2014 — Writing & Journal Prompts
Proverbs are short phrases that provide godly wisdom for life. In the Bible, the Book of Proverbs was written mostly by King Solomon as a way to teach his son to fear the Lord and live according to God’s commands.
This week, encourage your children—and teens—to respond to Scripture and apply it to their own lives. These journal prompts from Proverbs will invite them to do so as they think about virtues such as wisdom, patience, and hard work.
1. A Foolish King
How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver! ~Proverbs 16:16
Write a story about a king who had piles of gold and silver, but no wisdom or understanding.
2. Watch Those Words
When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. ~Proverbs 10:19
Have you ever made someone angry or hurt their feelings because of something you said? Write about a time you wish you had been more careful with your words.
3. Patience Is a Virtue
A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. ~Proverbs 15:18
Write about a situation in which patient words could prevent or end an argument.
4. Talk Is Cheap
All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. ~Proverbs 14:23
Write a story about a hard-working young man who hardly ever speaks a word, and his loud but lazy older brother.
5. Take My Advice
The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice. ~Proverbs 12:15
Without using the words listen or listening, explain some of the things “listening” might mean in this verse. Include a personal example about a time you chose to listen to wise advice.
Looking for more writing prompts? Check out our extensive collection on Writing Prompt Wednesdays!
October 1st, 2014 — Writing & Journal Prompts
The cooler temperatures and changing leaves beckon you to take a hike in the woods. While on your stroll, you hear something—or someone—making quite a racket. Glancing toward the voice, you cannot believe your eyes: a chipmunk is standing on a rock, and it’s shouting a warning!
What is this chattering chipmunk saying? It’s up to you to finish this story using your imagination.
Click the image above to download the “The Furry Messenger” writing prompt. If you would like to share this free writing printable with others, please link to this post. Do not link directly to the PDF file.
Looking for more writing prompts? We have an extensive collection on Writing Prompt Wednesdays!
September 24th, 2014 — Writing & Journal Prompts
This article contains affiliate links for books we’re confident your family will love!
When children step into the world of books, the characters they encounter can seem as real as their own friends and family.
These writing prompts about fictional characters will help them use their imaginations to engage with literary friends who live inside the pages of their favorite novels!
1. What Would Frodo Do?
What fictional character do you most admire? Is it spunky Anne Shirley from the Anne of Green Gables series? Wise Aslan from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? Optimistic Sara Crewe from A Little Princess? Frodo, the selfless hobbit from The Lord of the Rings? How about Freckles, that young man of such high integrity?
When we face challenges, it often helps to seek advice from someone we look up to. Think of a book character who has earned your respect, and write a letter to him or her asking for advice.
2. You Were There
If you could be friends with a character in one of your favorite books, whose friend would you be? Choose an experience from the book and rewrite it in your own words as if the two of you had been there together.
3. Let’s Talk
Imagine a conversation between a fictional character and a member of your family, such as your mom or little brother. Write this conversation in dialog form.
4. Inquiring Minds Want to Know
You are a journalist for a newspaper. For a future article, your editor has assigned you to interview a fictional character from one of your favorite novels. Which character will you choose to interview? What would you like to learn about him or her? Come up with three questions to ask, and then write down this character’s answers.
Be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays!
September 22nd, 2014 — Reluctant Writers, Writing & Journal Prompts
This article contains affiliate links for products we think your family will enjoy.
Mom, I don’t know what to write about! Who among us hasn’t heard one of our kids make that complaint?
If you’re between writing lessons, need a pre-writing warm-up, hope to propel your children out of the doldrums, or simply want to mix things up a bit, look no further than this list of clever and creative writing ideas. Some offer topics that will coax stories or reports out of a reluctant writer. Several of our ideas encourage children to think outside the box, while others are simply vocabulary-building tools or lists that aren’t meant to become works of prose at all!
Do you have younger children, reluctant writers, or kids with special needs? Don’t hesitate to let them narrate their ideas if they’re not able to write independently. After all, writing is much more about the thinking process than about who actually puts pencil to paper!
26 Writing Ideas for Kids
1. Rewrite a familiar story. For example, change the setting or the create new characters.
2. Write a cento poem.
3. Copy a paragraph from either a fiction or nonfiction book. Replace weak or boring words with strong, more descriptive ones.
4. Use guided writing to draw out ideas.
5. Make a bucket list of places you want to see and things you want to do before you’re old.
6. Write about a time you needed stitches, broke your arm, crashed your bike, or experienced a similarly exciting or hair-raising event.
7. Write your own math word problems.
8. Write a letter to your mom explaining why writing is hard for you.
9. Write a 100-word story.
10. Pretend you are an animal and journal about some of your activities.
11. Make a comic strip. Write speech bubbles for the characters in the strip.
12. Make or build something and explain the steps you followed to make your creation.
13. Invent and write about new uses for familiar items such as pool noodles, buckets, duct tape, or popsicle sticks.
14. Play sentence-building games.
15. Become pen pals with Grandma. Everyone loves getting “real” letters in the mail!
16. Act out a story using a variety of plastic toys and figurines while someone writes it down.
17. Think of one aisle or section of the local grocery or department store, such as Electronics, Sporting Goods, Produce, Health Care, Toys, or Garden Center. Make a list of things you might find in that section. See how many items you can add to your list!
18. Create a short report or story and turn it into a PowerPoint presentation.
19. When pictures replace certain words in a story, it’s called a rebus. Write a story, but replace some of the words with pictures to make your own rebus. You can use stickers, clipart, or your own drawings. You can find rebus examples at ABC Teach.
20. Instead of a written nonfiction report, make a diagram, scrapbook, brochure, mobile, flap book, or display board about your topic.
21. Make lists of items in different categories, such as vegetables, toys, or things found at the park or zoo. The list should include 5-10 items, depending on the child’s age.
22. Tell a story about one of your baby pictures.
23. Write a summary of a short book.
24. Use a story-prompting activity such as Rory’s Story Cubes or WriteShop’s StoryBuilders.
25. Tell about a place you visited recently. Explain where you went and what happened while you were there.
26. Have fun inventing silly or serious stories using a magnetic story-making kit.
Which of these ideas will appeal to your restless writers?
September 17th, 2014 — Holiday & Seasonal Ideas, Writing & Journal Prompts
Each season brings the opportunity for fresh new writing experiences. These four creative writing prompts for autumn invite kids to imagine what it would be like to wake up in the future, write an autumn acrostic poem, create a fall wish list, or devise a plan to keep winter from coming!
1. A Long Nap
In the famous story by Washington Irving, Rip Van Winkle escapes to the mountains. While there, he has a strange encounter with a group of ancient, bearded men who are playing a game of ninepins (bowling). Rip falls asleep, but when he wakes up, he finds that 20 years have passed! Write a story in which you wake up in a pile of autumn leaves. How much time has gone by? What is your last memory? How has the world changed?
2. Autumn Wish List
A bucket list is a wish list of things you would like to experience in your lifetime. What parts of the country (or world) would be spectacular at this time of year? Where would you like to visit? What sorts of fall activities would you like to do? Make an autumn bucket list that includes 5-10 things you want to do in the fall at some point in your life.
3. No Winter for Me
Last winter was bitter and harsh across much of the United States, and many people are not at all looking forward to this coming winter. Write a funny story telling about three things your main character will do to try to keep winter from arriving.
4. A is for Autumn
Write an acrostic poem about autumn:
- Vertically on your paper, write the word “AUTUMN.” (Younger children can write “FALL.”) For an extra challenge, write “FALL SEASON” or “AUTUMN DAYS.”
- Next to each letter, write a word, phrase, or sentence related to the season. Think about weather, colors, holidays, and family activities. (For example, “A” could be Autumn, Apple picking, or Acorns drop from mighty oak trees.)
If your children have enjoyed these, be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays!
September 10th, 2014 — Writing & Journal Prompts
Writing isn’t always full sentences and paragraphs! This month’s free writing printable has students drawing their story and only using sound words. This might not be as easy as it seems! When done, we’d love if you shared your cat comic creation on our WriteShop Facebook page!
Click the image above to download the Cat Comic Strip free writing printable. If you would like to share this free writing prompt with others, link to this post. Do not link directly to the PDF file.
Check out our huge archive of prompts from Writing Prompt Wednesdays!
September 3rd, 2014 — Holiday & Seasonal Ideas, Writing & Journal Prompts
Did you know there’s a national holiday celebrating grandparents? Whether they’re called Grandma and Grandpa, Nana and Papa, Mamaw and Papaw, Moo-Moo and Dabbadoo, or any one of a hundred-plus nicknames kids have come up with for your folks, Grandparents Day is as good an excuse as any to reflect on the special place they hold in your hearts.
Grandparents Day always falls on the first Sunday after Labor Day. Make a point this year of helping your children count their “grandparently” blessings. These writing prompts for Grandparents Day are a great place to start!
1. Remember When
Think of a special memory you share with your grandparents. Take a mental snapshot of that memory so you can remember all the details. Now write a description of that time, making sure to use sensory words (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch) and emotion words that tell how you felt.
2. If I Were You
One day, you’ll probably be a grandparent! Make a list of 10 things you would do with your grandchild.
3. In My Heart
Write a letter to a grandparent telling them what you appreciate about them and why they’re special to you. Mail it so it arrives in time for Grandparents Day!
4. Uniquely You
Not all grandparents are the same. Some are active and on the go. They might golf, play Scrabble, go to concerts, or fix old cars. Other grandparents are more relaxed. They like to watch TV, read, or take lots of naps. Write a paragraph describing one of your grandparents and telling what they like to do.
5. Poem for Papa
Use this guide to write a cinquain poem about one or both of your grandparents. Next, make a greeting card for Grandparents Day. Copy your cinquain poem into the card and decorate it with stickers, markers, or glitter.
Did you enjoy these writing ideas? If so, be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays!
August 27th, 2014 — College Prep, Writing & Journal Prompts
These days, students applying to colleges of their choice face stiff competition. To help narrow the selection of applicants, some universities have come up with out-of-the-box college essay topics to see who stands out from the crowd.
From the student’s point of view, application essay prompts are often boring, but clever topics like these inspire creativity. So whether you’re brushing up your college essay skills or are simply on the lookout for fun or unusual writing topics, one of these quirky writing prompts has your name on it!
1. Seen Through Their Eyes
If any of these three inanimate objects could talk, how would your room, computer, or car describe you?
Source: Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley
2. Just As I Am
Describe one of your quirks and why it is part of who you are.
Source: University of Virginia
What sets your heart on fire?
Source: Villanova University
4. 140 Characters
Some say social media is superficial, with no room for expressing deep or complex ideas. We challenge you to defy these skeptics by describing yourself as fully and accurately as possible in the 140-character limit of a tweet.
Source: Wake Forest University
5. Back to the Future
You are required to spend the next year of your life in either the past or the future. What year would you travel to and why?
Source Brandeis University
6. The Man in the Red-Striped Shirt
So where is Waldo, really?
Source: University of Chicago
7. Just Say No
What invention would the world be better off without, and why?
Source: Kalamazoo College
8. Pot of Gold
What do you hope to find over the rainbow?
Source: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
If you enjoyed these college application essay prompts, be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays! Once a month, we feature topics especially suited for high school students.