Entries Tagged 'Writing & Journal Prompts' ↓

Winter picture writing prompts

Kids will love creating stories of winter adventure and mystery with these photo writing prompts!

FROSTY, fanciful, and far-fetched tales delight the child in each of us this time of year. Let your kids create their own seasonal stories with these winter picture writing prompts!

Frozen in Our Tracks

Four sheep were enjoying a stroll through the meadow until a dark figure blocked their path. What does the  stranger say? Can he be trusted? Will the sheep help him find the one thing he is looking for?

Sheep in Snow

A Chilly Cavern

You and a friend have stumbled across a mysterious cave. The path inside has led to you to a frozen waterfall and a strange, rainbow-colored lake. Who lives here, and why have they allowed you to discover their world?

Frozen Waterfall

Brightly Shining

Every year on Christmas Eve, a light shines from the frozen lighthouse. Write a story about this mystery using at least four of these words: abandoned, compass, flag, reindeer, captain, pickaxe, baked beans.

Frozen Lighthouse

Photos: Matt Belton, Jedimentat44, and wsilver, courtesy of Creative Commons.

Christmas music writing prompts

Children will enjoy writing stories, creating their own carols, and more using these fun Christmas music writing prompts!

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THE joyful sounds of Christmas swirl through streets and homes each December. Church choirs, car radios, piano recitals, and holiday musicals will surely inspire your children as they respond to these music writing prompts!

1. All I Want for Christmas

Gregory E. Turbine wants only one thing for Christmas: a song. Where does Gregory live, and what does he look like? Why does he want a song, and who will bring it to him on Christmas morning?

2. The Little Drummer Boy

Imagine you are the little drummer boy who played a special song for baby Jesus. Write a letter to an old friend, describing your feelings as you approached the stable and met the Christ child for the first time.

3. Christmas Bells

Write a story about a silver bell named Jingle. Begin with this sentence: After five years in a stuffy old box, Jingle knew this Christmas would be different.

4. Write Your Own Carol

You have been invited to enter the “Create Your Own Christmas Carol” contest. The rules are simple: Choose a favorite Christmas carol tune and write new lyrics. If you need help thinking of words that rhyme, try RhymeZone, a free online rhyming dictionary. When you are finished, invite others to sing this new carol with you.

5. The Twelfth Day of Christmas

Miss Patsy Sweetwater has just received a remarkable delivery from her true love: twelve drummers drumming, eleven pipers piping, ten lords-a-leaping, and nine ladies dancing. Write the speech Miss Patsy will give to her new holiday helpers, expressing her delight and her grand expectations.

Be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays, and check out our Holiday and Seasonal Ideas for more Christmas-themed writing activities.

Photos: Mike (bell), Carlos Madrigal (drum), David Skinner (youth orchestra), and Prayitno Photography (Southern belle), courtesy of Creative Commons

Printable Writing Prompt for December

Use this free Christmas printable writing prompt to help stretch your writing muscles as you compose a story about generosity. How many of the focus words can you include in your story?

Printable Writing Prompt for December - Compose a story about generosity!

Click the image above to download the printable Christmas writing prompt. If you would like to share this prompt with others, link to this post. Do not link directly to the PDF file. Feel free to print this PDF file for your own personal use. Please do not sell or host these files anywhere else.

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

{the first Thanksgiving} writing prompts

Fun writing prompts for kids about Pilgrim food and the first Thanksgiving!

WHEN the Plymouth colonists shared their first autumn feast, they had much to be thankful for. They had survived an Atlantic crossing in a cramped, smelly ship and lived through a harsh New England winter that claimed many lives. As they ate and celebrated that first Thanksgiving, their hearts overflowed with memories and hopes for the future.

Let these Thanksgiving writing prompts transport your family back to 1620, when the Pilgrims set sail from Holland for a new life in America.

1. Mayflower Meals

One hundred and two passengers lived below deck on the Mayflower for months on end. Meals on ship usually included crunchy biscuits (“hard tack”) or salted meat. Throughout the week, families took turns using an iron “firebox” to cook hot meals. Describe the smell, taste, and texture of a hot stew after two long days of chewing on hard tack.

2. Just in Time

When the Mayflower landed in Massachusetts, the Pilgrim men set out on exploring parties. They soon discovered Corn Hill, an empty Indian village with piles of seed corn buried in the ground. Because their winter food supplies were low, the explorers took the corn and decided to repay it later. Explain how you would have handled the same situation.

3. A Feast is Planted

In the spring of 1621, an English-speaking Indian named Squanto befriended the hungry Pilgrims. He taught them how to plant corn with fish as a fertilizer, which promised a plentiful crop a few months later. Write a list of three questions about farming you would have asked Squanto if you were a Pilgrim.

4. Pilgrim Kitchens

Small and sturdy, cabins in the Plymouth colony had just enough room for cooking, eating, and sleeping. Pots and kettles hung from a green wooden “lugpole” across the hearth, and tables were set with spoons, “trenchers” (dishes), and large napkins. Pilgrims usually shared their cups, and they had no forks. Compare and contrast a Pilgrim kitchen to your kitchen today.

5. The First Thanksgiving

Governor Bradford called for a Thanksgiving feast in the fall of 1621. Only four women had survived the previous winter, so Pilgrim children helped prepare the food. They gathered mussels from the rocks along the shore and salad greens from the gardens of their little town. Imagine you have worked all week to prepare the feast. How do you feel when it’s finally your turn to sit down and eat?

Be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays, and check out our Holiday and Seasonal Ideas for more Thanksgiving-themed writing activities.

Photos: VaMedia (kettle), Joy (corn souffle), John B. (turkey), and Annie (girl’s dress), courtesy of Creative Commons

We love dogs! Canine writing prompts

From German shepherds to poodles, chihuahuas to beagles, kids will love these dog writing prompts!

FROM the deck of the Mayflower to the White House lawn, dogs have rightfully earned their titles as “man’s best friend.” Encourage your kids to try their hand at these fun writing prompts for dog lovers!

1. I Will Always Find You

Search and rescue (SAR) dogs work alongside their handlers to track missing humans. With their acute sense of smell, SAR dogs can work in most kinds of weather and environments, whether day or night. Write a story about a search and rescue German Shepherd who is called to action after a large earthquake hits Los Angeles.

2. Child’s Play

You are a friendly chihuahua who just met the poodle who lives next door. The two of you quickly discover how much you have in common, including a history of embarrassing Halloween costumes. Describe the fairy costume your family made you wear this October, and explain how you really feel about playing dress-up.

3. That’s a Strange Dog, Charlie Brown

Poor Charlie Brown wants to train his dog to play fetch, but once again Snoopy won’t cooperate. Describe the steps Charlie Brown must take to convince Snoopy to play, and insert as many onomatopoeic (sound) words as possible.

4. King of the Hill

Who says a night in the dog house is cold and lonely? You’ve designed plans for a luxury dog house, so write a persuasive paragraph to convince your parents that Fido deserves a posh, two-story pad. (If you want to take the opposite side, write a letter to the editor about why people should stop spoiling their pets.)

5. Puppy Love

Raising puppies for profit is no small task when you consider the time and energy involved (not to mention possible damage to your home and yard). Prepare a list of six questions for someone who specializes in raising and selling Black Labrador Retrievers. You want to know if this could be a successful and fulfilling business for you.

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

Photo: Lee Coursey, courtesy of Creative Commons

Printable Writing Prompt for November

Leaving the only home you have ever known and arriving in a new land is sure to be overwhelming! As a passenger on the Mayflower, what do you miss from home? What do you hope your new life holds?

What would it be like to journey across the ocean on the Mayflower? Free Printable Writing Prompt for November

Click the image above to download the printable Mayflower writing prompt. If you would like to share this prompt with others, link to this post. Do not link directly to the PDF file. Feel free to print this PDF file for your own personal use. Please do not sell or host these files anywhere else.

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

Expository essay topics for high school

 Expository Essay Topics for High School

INFORMATIVE essays give teens a chance to thoroughly research, understand, and communicate a topic of interest. Let your high schooler choose one of these expository essay prompts, and encourage them to use their best writing organization skills!

1. The Map to Victory

Skilled military leaders carefully adapt their tactics based on battlefield terrain. Choose one war from history, and discuss the role of physical geography in at least two major battles. How did mountains, valleys, rivers, and deserts affect the strategies and outcomes of this particular war?

2. A Curtain Closes

Each culture passes down unique traditions for celebration or mourning when people pass from this life. Research three distinct cultures, and explain how their funeral and burial rites are linked to religious beliefs.

3. The Final Frontier

Less than a century ago, space exploration opened our eyes to incredible new possibilities for science, travel, and communication. Write an essay about either the history of manned space flights or the story of the Hubble Space Telescope.

4. Jingle All the Way

The Christmas season brings many songs, activities, and decorations from countries around the world. Write an informative essay about the origin and development of one Christmas tradition, such as Christmas trees, stockings, or advent wreaths.

If you enjoyed these expository essay topics 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, such as:

Compare and Contrast Essay Prompts

Persuasive Essay Prompts

Photo: Jenny Poole, courtesy of Creative Commons.

Pioneer Writing Prompts

Pioneer Writing Prompts @writeshop

PIONEER stories of the wild frontier continue to enchant American children and teachers alike. This week, tempt your kids to sit down and journal with these pioneer writing prompts!

1. Westward Ho!

When pioneer families moved west, they packed only the most important belongings. Imagine your parents just sold your house and bought a covered wagon. You can keep only three outfits, two books, and one toy. Which items will you choose and why?

2. The Oregon Trail

Write a story using at least five of these words: Missouri, prairie, wagon train, dog, sunbonnet, Indians, campfire, thunderstorm, river, Idaho.

3. Little House in the White Snow

After one year on a new homestead, your family has built a sturdy, one-room log cabin. Describe this room on a winter evening, using your senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch.

4. The Language of Friendship

After settling into your new prairie home, you learn that your nearest neighbors are immigrants who don’t speak a word of English. Make a list of the first ten words or phrases you will try to teach your new friends. Now, make a list of three to five steps for how to teach these English words.

5. Now and Then

Farm life on the 1870s frontier was quite different from city life in the eastern states, where streets bustled with horses and carriages and homes were lit by kerosene lamps. In a letter to your cousin who lives back east, compare and contrast your old life in the city with your new life on a Nebraska farm.

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

Photo: John Fowler, courtesy of Creative Commons

Journaling fun with World of Animals StoryBuilders

Journal Prompts: World of Animals StoryBuilders Prompts {via WriteShop}

FROM the littlest storytellers to the most reluctant writers—young or old, resistant or motivated—every child will benefit from mix-and-match writing prompts!

WriteShop StoryBuilders card decks offer hours of fun creative writing projects:

  • World of Animals StoryBuilders Writing Prompts | WriteShopWriteShop offers four different StoryBuilders sets: World of Animals, World of People, World of Sports, and Christmas!
  • Each deck of 192 cards offers endless combinations for wild and wacky stories, with 48 different choices for each story element: character, character trait, setting, and plot.
  • Cards can be randomly picked for silly stories, or carefully chosen for more serious plots.
  • Younger children can dictate their stories, while older or more confident children write their own.
  • Award-winning StoryBuilders are the perfect writing warm-up activity!

This week, why not give your kids a taste of the World of Animals StoryBuilders? To set their creative wheels spinning, we’ve randomly picked the four writing prompt cards pictured below. Write the words on index cards or squares of colored paper. Then pass them out and let the fun begin!

World of Animals StoryBuilders | Printable writing prompts from WriteShop.com

If your children enjoyed this taste of StoryBuilders writing prompts, consider getting a whole pack of them from the WriteShop store. Just download and go! And don’t just take our word for it—check out these reviews:

Finally, be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays!

Photos: Rick (cat), Rachael (dog), and USDA.gov (chickens) courtesy of Creative Commons

Writing prompts about games

Writing Prompts about Games @writeshop

FROM board games to word games, fun-filled competitions are a great way to bring friends and family together! This week, inspire your kids to set pen to paper with these writing prompts about games.

1. Three, Four, Count Some More

Describe three things you could do with several boxes full of dominoes.

2. A Royal Brush

A playing card company has asked you to design the artwork for a new deck of cards. Describe the patterns or pictures you would choose. Would you use one style for all fifty-two cards, or thirteen different designs?

3. Game On!

What is your favorite board game? Write a review of this game for other families who might consider buying it. Include parts of the game that impress you or that you particularly enjoy (positive points), and anything that has disappointed you or was not quite as advertised (negative points). Conclude your review with a 1-5 star rating (one is the lowest, five is the best).

4. Bottom of the Ninth, and … Goal?

If you went to school in Nova Scotia, Canada, you might play soccer-baseball with your friends in the gym on Fridays. The infield and four bases would remind you of baseball, but the pitcher would roll the ball and you’d have to kick it to score a home run!

Combine two of your favorite sports, and describe a typical game.

5. A Perfect Pair

Imagine the perfect opponent for your favorite game. Would this person be fiercely competitive, excessively kind and generous, or just plain honest? Would you prefer your playing partner to spend your time together in quiet concentration or hysterical laughter? Explain your answer.

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

Photo: Ishan Manjrekar, courtesy of Creative Commons.
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