Over 200 Writing Prompts for Essays, Journals, and Reader Responses
I sincerely hope that you can use many of the writing prompts presented here in your lesson plans throughout the school year.
For your convenience, I have divided them into three categories: prompts for formal practice essays, reader's response questions, and prompts for journal writing.
Prompts for Formal Practice Essays
During my last few years at Twin Lakes Middle School, we used the following prompts for formal, five-paragraph, practice essays in preparation for standardized testing.
We normally conducted four practice essays during a typical school year. Of course, at that rate, there are enough prompts here for two and a half school years.
Here are those persuasive and expository prompts.
Readers Response Questions and Statements
At Twin Lakes, all students were required to bring independent reading books with them to each of their classes. That way, when they had some "down time," they could read while others were finishing assignments and activities.
Part of our weekly schedule in language arts classes was Readers Workshop. Students read silently for 15 minutes and then wrote for 10 minutes in their Reader Response Journals.
We used these reader response questions/statements.
Prompts for Journal Writing
Also part of our weekly schedule in language arts classes was Writers Workshop. Teachers selected a prompt, and students had 10 minutes to spontaneously write about that prompt in their composition books.
Students' entries became sources for more formal essays, stories, and material to share from the Author's Chair.
By the end of the year, they had a complete book that they had authored themselves!
We used these prompts for journal writing.
As I'm sure you will agree, students at Twin Lakes did a LOT of reading and writing. But, our reading and writing scores earned our school the grade of "A" five years in a row from the state of Florida.
We figured, and there is research to back this up, that the more reading and writing students do, the better students get at both.
Best wishes to you and your students!
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They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but a narrative essay can also tell an exciting story and create vivid pictures in the reader’s mind! We’ve got 50 narrative essay topics designed to prompt students to craft memorable written narratives. These can be modified for students in elementary, middle and high school. Feel free to print the entire essay topics list for plenty of inspiration for your next narrative essay assignment!
Tell a Story About…
- Your first day of school.
- Your most exciting day of school
- A field trip that your class took.
- Your favorite summer vacation.
- A trip that included something unexpected or surprising.
- A time that you experienced something spooky.
- A time that you experienced something truly frightening.
- A time that you learned something new that changed you in some way.
- The moment when you met someone who changed your life.
- The day that you got your first pet.
- A move from one place to another.
- Something funny that happened to you.
- Something funny that happened to one of your family members or friends.
- Something embarrassing that happened to you.
- Your favorite birthday party.
- A birthday that was disappointing.
- A big storm (rain, snow or even a tornado!).
- A time that the power went out.
- A summer day when the temperature got much higher than expected.
- A time when you went to an amusement park.
- A time when you got lost somewhere.
- A memorable experience with a favorite family member.
- A sad experience with someone about whom you care.
- Your most exciting moment playing sports.
- Your most exciting moment performing in a play, singing, playing music or dancing.
- An experience that left you feeling frustrated.
- An experience that was hard but ended up being worth it.
- A time that you experienced rejection.
- A weird encounter with a stranger.
- A random act of kindness.
- A time that you took a stand for someone or for an issue that you care about.
- A moment when you thought you might get hurt but didn’t.
- Breaking a bone (or otherwise suffering an injury).
- Your first time away from home for the night (or longer).
- A time when you experienced a historic event.
- Where you were when a major event happened. (Note: You don’t need to have been at the site of the event; this prompt is about where you were when you found out about the event and how you reacted.)
- A time when you rebelled against your parents or teacher.
- A dangerous experience.
- A misunderstanding between yourself and someone else.
- A difficult decision that you had to make.
- The end of a friendship or relationship.
- The beginning of a friendship or relationship.
- A time when you judged someone first and then realized that you were wrong about the person.
- A time when someone judged you first and then realized that he or she was wrong about you.
- A moment when you felt that you were starting to grow up.
- A time when you saw one or both of your parents in a different light.
- A time when you looked up to your older sibling.
- A time when your younger sibling looked up to you.
- A time when you were grateful to be an only child.
- An experience that you think has only ever happened to you!
Looking for more essay topics?
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
Descriptive Essay Topics
Cause and Effect Essay Topics
Persuasive Essay and Speech Topics