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Writing Prompts

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Ideas to help students get started writing
Posted by:Jana #10715

I always give my kids some kind of 'direction.' I try to make it as open-ended as possible, so that they can take it in a million possible directions, but I have found that for my kids that really struggle, if i leave it totally open (like a 'true' journal entry would be, where we write about our experiences, etc.) it would be really difficult for them to come up with something at all.

And what i've found is that, by giving them a little structure, they pull in their own experiences and end up relating their writing to themselves anyhow. You can get really creative with prompts... or you can tailor the prompts so they fit in line with what the goals are of your curriculum (like if you're working on comparisons or sequence or voice, etc.)

I know what you mean by saying you feel...

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two paragraph writing prompts
Posted by:Kat's Mom #120779

Our third grade team has decided that we need to "kick things up a notch" when teaching paragraph writing because at this point, we were requiring our third graders to write ONE fully detailed paragraph. However, the 4th gr. teacher require THREE paragraphs, so we decided we need to bridge that transition by teaching students to write TWO fully detailed paragraphs. My problem is that I am having difficulty coming up with prompts that directly lend themselves to a two paragraph response. This is the one I have for this week: You have just woken up and discovered that you have become a wild animal. In one paragraph, explain what animal you've become and describe in detail what you look like. In a second paragraph, describe an adventure you go on as that animal. Use many details to explain your experiences.
We are trying to be...

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Posted by:ck #45561

Instead of giving the kids "canned prompts" help them each create their own library of prompts. On a plain 81/2 x 11 paper, have then draw a series of circles like a bulls eye (they may use their compass). They write their name in the center most circle. In the next circle they write the names of family and friends, pets, etc. In the outer most circle, (the biggest one) they write a few words to remind them of something that happened between themselves, family, friends, pets, etc. (ie: appletree/broken arm, Frizzy hides a bone-dad's cell phone). Attach the page to the front cover of their journal. These can be possible prompts for a story or journal entry. As the year progresses, the kids can add ideas & names to their bullseye. If they ever get stumped for a journal entry, simply look over the bullseye for an idea. I think...

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Posted by:john #34236

my prompts are imaginative, or narrative or persuasive, or informational. I started with imaginative and narrative first. They loved it and really wanted to share with each other. I often use the informational to asses concepts that
I recently taught. Through their writing I can tell if they got it and it is a perfect springboard into a conference (about more than writing sometimes). Recently, we responded to what I know about area and perimeter. After I read a book- "Under the Big Blue Sky" I asked them to describe a symbol that would represent the secret of life and tell me why they think so. This then turned into hanging mobiles. I will ask them what they like about math and what they dislike. What do they like about reading or what they don't like? If you could...

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Magazine Picture Prompts
Posted by:Kate P. #30315

I am a teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing. For one of my university courses, we had to compile a portfolio of magazine pictures to use for language development. They had to have some sort of action occuring, not just a pose. We had to have a certain number of single concept (one action) and multi-concept (more than one action) pictures ... NO TEXT! While they aren't specifically for use as story prompts, that is one possible use. In fact, I remember my sixth grade teacher using magazine pictures as writing prompts and how much I enjoyed it. I found women's magazines (i.e. Woman's Day, Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, etc.) had the most appropriate pictures; however, you may find some clever advertising pictures in other publications.

Hope this helps!

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Posted by:Tania O'Donnell #68334


In my second grade class, I don't give my students prompts. Instead, my students write about things they want to tell others. At the beginning of the year my students generate lists of things they would like to tell others. Those lists might look like: -my new bike, the day I got my puppy, my brother the pain
Students can also bring a picture, paste it in the middle of a page and web all the ideas that they may think of while looking at it.
Students can also get ideas from books they read. A good reference is a book called WHAT YOU KNOW BY HEART written by Katie Wood Ray or any of the wtriting books written by Ralph Fletcher. You'll be amazed at how your students respond. I know I was the first time I tried it. Students really want to...

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story prompts
Posted by:melanie #25967

I also use a disposable camera and take pictures in the classroom of students doing various activities. I put the photos in a basket and have students pick a photo and then imagine they were someone in that photo (other than themselves). They write what they think that person is thinking at that moment. We call this "Thinking Thoughts". I have a form for this with a head and a "thought bubble" with lines to write on inside of it. The form has a place for the writer's name and the student they are pretending to be. These can be real funny and kids love to share them later. For example, one of the pictures was of our Thanksgiving program and we were dressed as Pilgrims. One student wrote, "I'm really hungry. When are we going to eat? I feel very silly in this big collar and floppy hat." etc....

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Writing Prompts
Posted by:Mrs. B #92548

1st Grade Writing Prompts

·If I were invisible I would...
·Pretend you brought an alien to show-and-tell. Describe what it looked like and how you met.
·Pretend you were captured by an alien and taken to his/her show-and-tell. How would you describe earth to his class?
·Describe the sights and sounds at 3:00 (when school is out).
·What would you do with a million dollars? List five things you would buy.
·Explain what you think life would be like without: plumbing, electricity, cars, windows, air conditioning. On a daily basis, what things would you do differently?
·What do you think it would be like to be your favorite animal? Describe a typical day.
·Last night, while watching TV, I heard a soft knock on the back door... (finish the story)
·What would life be like if...

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