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Narrative writing prompts for elementary school

Jun 17, 2018

Children tend to get stuck when it comes to thinking of writing ideas on their own. We have all had writers block at one point in our lives, so we can understand the frustration students may have. Just like athletes need to warm up their muscles, writer's need to warm up too. By giving students a writing prompt or idea for writing, it will ease their anxiety and allow them to write freely. Encourage students to choose one of the following writing ideas each day.

Challenge them to write without stopping for at least five minutes. Remind students that their is no wrong way to respond, and to just let their creative minds wonder.

Here is a collection of 50 creative writing prompts and ideas for your elementary school classroom. Use these to help spark your students' imagination.

  1. This person I admire the most is...
  2. My biggest goal in life is...
  3. The best book I ever read...
  4. The happiest moment in my life was when...
  5. When I grow up...
  6. The most interesting place I have ever been was...
  7. Tell three things you do not like about school and why.
  8. The strangest dream I ever had was...
  9. When I turn 16 I will...
  10. All about my family.
  11. I get scared when...
  12. Five things I would do if I was rich are...
  13. What is your favorite sport and why?
  14. If I could change the world I would by...
  15. Dear teacher, I would like to know...
  16. Dear President...
  17. I am happy when...
  18. I am sad when...
  19. If I had three wishes...
  1. All about my best friend.
  2. Describe your favorite animal and why.
  3. My pet elephant...
  4. The time a bat was in my house...
  5. When I become an adult I want to...
  6. My best vacation was when I wen to ...
  7. Top 5 reasons why people argue are...
  8. Describe 5 reasons why school is important.
  9. My favorite television show is...
  1. The time I found a dinosaur in my backyard...
  2. Describe the best present that you ever received.
  3. Why is it that...
  4. My most embarrassed moment was when...
  5. Describe your favorite food and why.
  6. 34. Describe your least favorite food and why.
  7. The top 3 qualities of a friend are...
  8. Write about what you would cook for an enemy.
  9. Use these words in a short story: scared, angry, Sunday, bugs
  10. What's your idea of a perfect vacation?
  11. Write about why someone might be afraid of snakes.
  12. List ten rules that you have broken and why you broke them.
  13. I'd walk a mile for...
  14. I wish someone told me that...
  15. Describe the hottest day...
  16. Write about the best decision that you have ever made.
  17. You opened the door and then...
  18. The time the power went out I...
  19. Write about 5 things you can do if the power goes out.
  20. If I were President I would...
  21. Create a poem using the word: love, happy, smart, and sunny.
  22. The time my teacher forgot to wear shoes...

Looking for more writing ideas? Try these journal prompts or these real writing ideas for elementary school.

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Your Citation

Cox, Janelle. "50 Writing Prompts for Elementary School Children." ThoughtCo, Jun. 21, 2017, thoughtco.com/quick-writing-prompts-p2-2081846.

Cox, Janelle. (2017, June 21). 50 Writing Prompts for Elementary School Children. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/quick-writing-prompts-p2-2081846

Cox, Janelle. "50 Writing Prompts for Elementary School Children." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/quick-writing-prompts-p2-2081846 (accessed March 26, 2018).

Here are some prompts for children to practice at home.  Some are prompts that students have already completed at school, and some will be new. Many of the prompts listed have been used by the state in the past.  Remember, students normally have 45 minutes to plan, write, and proofread up to two handwritten pages.  This should be kept in mind when students are practicing!

Expository Prompts

The format for expository prompts is normally 5 paragraphs which include the following:

Paragraph 1 – hook, 3 details (that will be expanded on in the next 3 paragraphs)

Paragraph 2 – repeat and expand on the 1st detail using examples and personal experience

Paragraph 3 – repeat and expand on the 2nd detail using examples and personal experience

Paragraph 4 – repeat and expand on the 3rd detail using examples and personal experience

Paragraph 5 – “In conclusion…”, repeat 3 details in brief

Remember, expository prompts explain.  They do not tell a story!

Some sample expository prompts to try…

We all have a favorite time of year.

Think about one time of the year that is your favorite.

Write to explain why that one time of year is your favorite.

Most of us have a special place we like to go.

Think about a special place where you like to go.

Explain why you like to go to that special place.

We all know that it is important to eat healthy foods.

Think about why you think it is important to eat healthy foods.

Write to explain why you think it is important to eat healthy foods.

We have all heard that it is important to be a good reader.

Think about why you think it is important to be a good reader.

Write to explain why you think it is important to be a good reader.

We all have a favorite subject to learn about.

Think about one subject that is your favorite to learn about in school.

Write to explain why that subject is your favorite.

We have all heard that drugs can be bad for you.

Think about ways that drugs can be bad for you.

Write to explain to a reader how drugs can be bad for you.

Your class will have a classroom pet.

Think about one pet that would be a good pet for your classroom.

Write to explain why you think this pet would be good for your classroom.

Narrative Prompts

The format for narrative prompts is normally 3 paragraphs which include the following:

Paragraph 1 – hook, beginning of the story

Paragraph 2 – middle of the story

Paragraph 3 – end of the story

Remember, narrative prompts tell a story!

Some sample narrative prompts to try…

We have all had vacations away from school.

Think about one vacation you had away from school.

Write to tell what happened on your vacation from school.

You pass a door every day. It is always locked.

One day you pass the door and it is unlocked. You open the door and walk inside.

Write to tell what happens when you open the door and walk inside.

We have all had days that were special to us.

Think about one day that was special to you.

Write to tell what happened on one day that was special to you.

A student has been picked to fly aboard the next space shuttle mission. That student is you.

Think about what it would be like to fly on a shuttle mission.

Write to tell what happened on your trip into outer space.

We have all lost something, or know someone who has lost something.

Before you begin writing, think about a time when you or someone else lost something.

Write to tell what happened the time you or someone else lost something.

We have all had fun on a school field trip.

Think about one field trip you had away from school.

Write to tell what happened on your field trip away from school.

One day your teacher comes in your classroom. (S)he puts a bag down on his desk and leaves the room.

As (s)he leaves the room, the bag begins to move.

Write to tell about what happens when the bag begins to move.

Direct Writing Info Links!

Info provided by Fox Trail Elementary

Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas. Marie Curie If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists - to protect them and to promote their common welfare - all else is lost. Barack Obama

Elementary School Narrative Essay Prompts


1. Advanced Elementary Narrative Prompt

Think of your favorite birthday and what made it so special. Write a narrative essay with a beginning, middle and end that shows what happened during your birthday, how it made you feel, and why it was important.

2. Early Elementary Narrative Prompt

Where did you go over summer vacation? Write a narrative essay that talks about where you went, who you saw, the activities you did, and how you felt during the trip.

3. Advanced Elementary Narrative Topic

Think of a time when you had to be brave. Write a narrative essay with a beginning, middle, and end that presents your experience. What was it that made you scared and what did you do to overcome your fear?

4. Early Elementary Narrative Topic

Think of a time that you got really, really mad. What made you so angry? Did you want to scream, or cry, or hit something? What did you do to make yourself feel better?

5. Imaginative Narrative Prompt

Imagine that you have been transported into your favorite TV show or book. Write a narrative essay about how you would get along with the other characters and what sort of adventures or mishaps you would have together.

Download this page of writing prompts — free!

The DOC version is formatted and ready to use with Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or any other word processor that can open the .DOC file format. The PDF version can be viewed and printed on any computer with a PDF reader.


Index of Writing Prompts

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