Writing Ideas: 5 Ways to Use Writing Prompts

You have your child writing something every day.  But there comes the day when he is “stuck” and can’t think of a thing to write.  What do you do? Try one of these 5 ways to use writing prompts:

1. Write about an interest.

The best way to encourage our students to write every day is to encourage their interests.  They must have an input to generate an output.  If there is something they are very interested in — bugs, a favorite story, horses, knights and castles, electricity, or a particular craft — they will be more engaged in the topic, and writing will become a natural outlet for what they know.

So first, feed an interest.  Provide books, kits, and other supplies that encourage your child to follow through.  Then during writing time he can write something he knows, or copy a passage from a book that deals with his interest.

2. Generate your own writing prompts.

What type of things would be fun to write about in your family?  Write your ideas on separate slips of paper.  Put the slips in a hat or jar and let your child draw out a writing prompt when he is stuck.

3. Use a calendar prompt.

What happened on this day in history?  You can try one of our day-specific units. There are also books available that contain calendar-oriented writing prompts.

4. Try a picture prompt.

Show your child a picture and ask him to tell a story about it.  You’ll find many of these in public domain language lesson books.  You can also use online paintings.

5. Use an online writing prompt.

There are dozens and dozens of writing prompts online.  Bookmark your favorites and have them ready for when your child needs a boost!

Additional Resources

What’s Going On Here?
Picture prompts from EduPlace.

Writing Topics
Essay prompts for older students.

Primary Language Lessons by Emma Serl
Many wonderful picture studies.  You don’t necessarily need to use the included prompts.

Activity: Storytelling Prompts
A more involved writing prompt for a bit older student.

Learn to Write.

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