Entries Tagged 'Writing & Journal Prompts' ↓

5 journal prompts from Proverbs

These journal prompts from Proverbs will encourage children to think and write about virtues such as wisdom, patience, and hard work.

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!

Photo: Jeff Belmonte, courtesy of Creative Commons

Free Writing Printable for October

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.

Talking Chipmunk Printable Writing Prompt

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!

Writing prompts about fictional book characters

Writing prompts about fictional characters help children use their imaginations to engage with make-believe friends who live inside favorite books.

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!

Photos: Smudge 9000 (Anne of Green Gables), Corey Leopold (lion), Tom Garnett (Frodo) courtesy of Creative Commons

I don’t know what to write about! {26 writing ideas for kids}

When the kids say, "I don't know what to write about," look no further than these creative writing warm-ups, prompts, and other writing ideas.

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.

When the kids say, "I don't know what to write about," look no further than these creative writing warm-ups, prompts, and other writing ideas.

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.

When the kids say, "I don't know what to write about," look no further than these creative writing warm-ups, prompts, and other writing ideas.

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?

Photos: Carissa Rogers (boy writing), breakmake (child & flag), shelnew19 (broken leg), davidd (plastic ponies), courtesy of Creative Commons.

Creative writing prompts for autumn

Creative writing prompts for autumn invite kids to write an autumn acrostic, create a fall wish list, or devise a plan to keep winter from coming!
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!

Photos: Jamie McCaffrey (leaf and sky), Bruce McKay (girl), Michael Gil (leaf angel), courtesy of Creative Commons

Free Writing Printable for September

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!

Free Writing Printable: Cat Comics from WriteShop

 

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!

Writing Prompts for Grandparents Day

These writing prompts for Grandparents Day help kids celebrate their grandmas and grandpas with cinquain poems, lists, and descriptive paragraphs.

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!

8 out-of-the-box college essay topics

Out-of-the-box college essay topics to help teens practice prepping for admission applications. They're great "any time" writing prompts too!

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

3. Ablaze

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.

Photo: David Masters, courtesy of Creative Commons

4 funny persuasive prompts | Writing with kids

These funny persuasive prompts help kids practice writing to convince, but instead of dull, ordinary topics, each one offers a touch of silliness!

Who doesn’t love a good laugh? A healthy dose of humor is pretty hard to resist. These funny persuasive prompts will help you practice writing to convince, but instead of dull, ordinary topics, each one is laced with a touch of silliness!

1. It’s a Cover Up

As a citizen of your town, you want to convince the city council that pets should wear clothing. At their next meeting, you will have the chance to state your case. Prepare an explanation telling why animals want to dress up, why the public wants pets to wear clothes, and what sorts of outfits pets might wear for different occasions or in various settings.

2. Dragon’s Lair

A dragon has made a nest in a large tree in your backyard, and the two of you have just started becoming friends. How will you persuade your parents to let it stay?

3. Extreme Sports

The Summer Olympics feature core sports such as archery, beach volleyball, and gymnastics, but there are always new events that ask to be included in the program. Invent a crazy new summer sport you would like to add to the Summer Olympics, such as underwater boxing, parachute biking, or camel wrestling. Write a letter to the International Olympic Committee in which you describe your sporting event and persuade them to consider adding it as an event in the 2024 Summer Games.

For extra fun, ask a parent for permission to use the Letter Generator at ReadWriteThink.org.

4. Go, Granny, Go!

While on vacation with your grandparents in Hawaii, you see an advertisement offering a 2-for-1 deal on a snorkeling or parasailing excursion. Make a list of reasons why your elderly grandma should do one of these activities with you.

Be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays!

By Kim Kautzer

Photo Credit: Louise Docker, courtesy of Creative Commons

Summer vacation writing prompts for kids

Summer vacation writing prompts that help kids imagine adventures digging up dinosaur bones, heading to sports camp, or planning a staycation!

Summer may be screeching to a close, but these imaginative summer vacation writing prompts can still inspire your children. Whether they’re floating in a houseboat or roaming the local nature center, real or imaginary summertime outings can be packed with adventure!

Kids will love to picture themselves zooming down a rollercoaster, working as a cruise director, digging up dinosaur bones, or heading off to sports camp. Each prompt is so much fun, they may want to choose all of them!

1. My Kind of School

This summer, your family has decided to take a “learning vacation.” Options include participating in a dinosaur dig in Utah, exploring ancient ruins in Rome or Greece, or snorkeling at a coral reef off the Australian coast. Which one would you vote for? Write about three things you would like to explore, discover, or learn about on this vacation.

2. House Float

Imagine your family will live on a houseboat for a week this summer. Write about four things you will do on this vacation.

3. Good Sports

Are you crazy about baseball? Is volleyball your game? Maybe you love sailing, soccer, or gymnastics. Imagine your surprise when your parents tell you they’re sending you to sports camp this summer! What kind of sports camp will you attend? Write a paragraph describing three skills you want to learn or improve while you’re away. Make sure to explain why each one is important.

4. Staycation

Instead of traveling this summer, what if your family decided to vacation at home? Talk with your mom or dad about fun places within 100 miles that you have never been to before, such as botanical gardens or nature centers; zoos; museums; historical landmarks; parks or recreational sites; sports centers; amusement parks; or community theater.

Now pretend you have visited one of these places during your “staycation.” Write a journal entry describing your day. Use your five senses to tell about what you saw, heard, and felt. Don’t forget to describe some snacks or meals, too!

5. Cruisin’ Kids

A cruise ship has hired you to be their Children’s Activities Director. Make a list of 10 or more crafts, games, activities, and special events you will plan for this summer’s cruising families.

If your children have enjoyed these, be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays!

Photos: miamism.com (snorkeling), Chris Cruises (ship), Alan L. (Coliseum), USAG-Humphreys (soccer camp), courtesy of Creative Commons
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