101 Writing Prompts to Use in the Classroom
As teachers, we know the importance of fostering a love of writing in our students. One way to do this is by using writing prompts in your classroom. Here are five ways you can use writing prompts to engage and inspire your middle school students:
Daily Writing Prompts
First, start each day with a quick writing prompt to get your students’ creative juices flowing. These exercises can be as short as 10 minutes and can cover a range of genres and themes. I loved using writing prompts as bell ringers in my ELA classroom.
Here are 25 daily writing prompts to get you started!
25 Daily Writing Prompts
- Write a short story about a character who discovers a secret room in their house.
- Describe your dream vacation in detail.
- Write a letter to your future self 10 years from now.
- Imagine you are a detective trying to solve a mystery. Write a scene where you gather clues and interview suspects.
- Write a poem about your favorite memory.
- Write a persuasive essay on why your school should implement a recycling program.
- Write a descriptive paragraph about your favorite place.
- Write a script for a comedy sketch.
- Imagine you are a superhero. Write a scene where you save the day.
- Write a letter to your favorite author, thanking them for their work.
- Write a story about a character who gets lost in a magical forest.
- Describe a day in the life of your pet.
- Write a letter to your best friend, sharing your hopes and dreams for the future.
- Write a short story about a character who learns a valuable lesson.
- Imagine you are a scientist conducting an experiment. Write a report on your findings.
- Write a poem about nature.
- Write a letter to your local government advocating for a cause you care about.
- Write a story about a character who has to overcome a challenge.
- Describe your dream job.
- Write a persuasive essay on why your school should start a garden.
- Write a descriptive paragraph about your favorite season.
- Write a script for a drama sketch.
- Imagine you are a time traveler. Write a scene where you visit a historical event.
- Write a letter to a celebrity, telling them how much you admire their work.
- Write a story about a character who finds a hidden treasure.
Even More Daily/Weekly Writing Prompts
Check out 52 additional creative writing prompts. (So I guess this post has 153!) Check it out in my store. You’ll even get an editable Canva template to add your own prompts.
Each creative writing prompts workbook comes with:
- 52 pages of prompts and lined writing space
- 12 blank lined pages
- Canva editable template link to add your own writing prompts
- Google Drive PDF link
I use these prompts with middle school students, but they are appropriate for advanced upper elementary students through high school. Adults will even enjoy these prompts!
Structured Writing Prompts
Another way to use writing prompts is as a starting point for more structured writing assignments, such as essays or research papers. Of course, this can help students get started and also encourage them to think critically about different perspectives and ideas. Structured writing prompts are prompts that provide specific guidelines or structure for the writing task.
10 Structured Writing Prompts
- Write a persuasive essay on the topic of your choice. Make sure to address the argument and counterargument using textual evidence.
- Write a letter to the editor about a current event or issue you feel strongly about. Use research and textual evidence to support your points.
- Write a descriptive paragraph about a place you have visited.
- Write a short story that includes the following elements: a character who is afraid of heights, a mysterious object, and a twist ending.
- Write a personal narrative about a time you faced a challenge and how you overcame it.
- Write a research paper on a topic of your choice, using at least five sources.
- Write a poem that follows a specific form, such as a sonnet or haiku.
- Write a character analysis of a character from a book or movie. In your analysis, discuss the character’s motivations, conflicts, and development throughout the story.
- Write a review of a product or service you have used. In your review, discuss the pros and cons of the product or service, and provide your overall rating.
- Write a speech on a topic of your choice. In your speech, include an introduction, three main points, and a conclusion. Use persuasive language and evidence to support your points.
Encourage students to work in small groups to come up with their own writing prompts. This can be a great way to foster collaboration and creativity.
One writing prompt game I like to play with my students is writing roulette. I give each student five different colored sticky notes (or use this FREE Jamboard template).
Each sticky note has a different topic:
- Yellow: character
- Blue: quotation
- Pink: setting
- Green: conflict
- Orange: theme
Have your students each generate one of the literary elements on each colored sticky note. Make sure they write only one idea per note. Mix up the sticky notes, then give the students five sticky notes (one on each topic) to generate their own story.
15 Writing Prompt Dares
My students love creating their own writing prompt dares. These are great for group brainstorming prompts, but if you want to give your students some writing prompts to get started, here are some dares for them to enjoy!
- Write a story using only dialogue.
- Write a story using only one letter of the alphabet.
- Write a story backwards.
- Write a story with every word starting with the same letter.
- Write a story with a character who can only say one word.
- Write a story using only emojis.
- Write a story that can be read both forwards and backwards.
- Write a story using only made-up words.
- Write a story with a character who can only communicate through dance.
- Write a story with a character who can only communicate through drawings.
- Write a story with a character who can only communicate through song lyrics.
- Write a story that’s a play on words.
- Write a story with a character who can only communicate through sign language.
- Write a story that’s a parody of a well-known story or movie.
- Write a story using only words that contain the letter “z”.
Journaling with Writing Prompts
Encourage your students to keep a journal and use writing prompts to inspire their daily entries. This can be a great way for students to reflect on their experiences and practice their writing skills.
Use these writing prompts to let your students reflect. Tell them not to worry about conventions (grammar or spelling). Journal writing is a way to share emotions. I always tell my students that I only have to share their writing if I am concerned about their safety or the safety of someone else.
- Describe your best friend and explain why they are special to you.
- Write about a time when you had to make a difficult decision.
- Imagine you could travel anywhere in the world. Where would you go and why?
- Write about a person who has inspired you and explain why.
- Describe a hobby or activity that you enjoy and explain why you like it.
- Write about a memorable event from your childhood.
- Describe a place that you have visited that made a lasting impression on you.
- Write about a goal that you have for yourself and explain how you plan to achieve it.
- Describe a person who has had a significant influence on your life and explain why.
- Write about a time when you faced a challenge and how you overcame it.
Get 31 more daily writing prompts for January. This is the perfect way to start off the new year, but you can use the prompts at anytime!
Writing as Assessment
Use writing prompts to assess student learning and progress. By assigning prompts that align with specific learning objectives or standards, you can get a sense of how well your students are understanding and applying the material.
Incorporating writing prompts into your middle school classroom can be a fun and effective way to engage your students and help them develop their writing skills. See the difference they can make in your students’ writing.
Here are 10 writing prompts for assessment. Feel free to use these in your classroom.
- Write a persuasive essay about the importance of recycling and reducing waste.
- Write a narrative about a time when you faced a challenge and had to overcome it.
- Write a descriptive essay about your favorite place.
- Write a compare and contrast essay about two different historical figures or events.
- Write an argumentative essay about whether students should be required to wear uniforms to school.
- Write a letter to your future self, describing your hopes and dreams for the future.
- Write a research paper about a current event or controversial topic.
- Write a poem about a natural disaster or environmental issue.
- Write a review of a book, movie, or television show.
- Write a script for a short play or skit.
These 101 writing prompts are perfect to use in your classroom. Share some of your favorite prompts in the comments!
Check out one of my favorite feedback tools for student writing!