Writing is an essential skill, and it requires practice. But, how do you get children to write? If you have told a child to “write a story.” more often than not you have been met with resistance. What you need are writing prompts. Take the struggle out of learning to write by using kindergarten writing prompts with your child.
What are Writing Prompts?
Writing prompts are story starters, scenarios, and ideas that inspire writing. These can be short sentences, partial sentences, “what if” statements, or or direct prompts. Each is used to “prompt” the student to write about a certain topic. Some examples include:
- Tell me about the most exciting day last summer.
- What if you could fly, how would your life change?
- I woke up and then suddenly…
- I once had the biggest surprise ever. (finish the story)
What are the Benefits of Using Writing Prompts?
Story prompts spark imagination and gets their writing juices flowing. They eliminate the anxiety of deciding what to write about. Students can just dive in and start writing. Story prompts are easy to use because they inspire or elicit ideas that the student already has. They also increase critical and creative thinking. Even professional writers use story prompts to prevent writer’s block.
How do I Write a Prompt?
Writing prompts can be fun and easy. You will need to do some creative thinking yourself. First, brainstorm ideas for stories. Think about everyday life experiences that your students could describe. Come up with some fantastical and creative ideas that would make wonderful fairy tails or science fiction type stories. Then consider story starters. Try to have a variety of prompts. Mixing up the style and type of prompt helps to develop stronger writing skills. This also keeps kids interested because the writing prompts are not predictable. Some children may gravitate to one type of prompt or excel in a certain type of writing. Mixing them up allows them to practice all types of writing, but also shine when their preferred style prompt is offered. Create a list of the prompts and keep it somewhere safe.
When to Use Writing Prompts
Writing prompts can be used in a variety of situations. First, you could use them as a daily journal starter. Set aside a certain amount of time each day, for example 20 minutes, for journal writing. Give your child a new prompt each day to complete in his or her journal. These can be rotated with free writing days where students can write about anything they wish.
Writing prompts can also be used in spelling and language arts lessons. The prompts could contain spelling words or be topics that could easily include certain spelling words. You can set a number of how many spelling words to include, or list the words you want worked into the story. The same thing can be done for language arts lessons on grammar. These are more advanced skills, but after some practice with story prompts will be a fun way to practice spelling and grammar. For younger students, especially kindergarten, focus more on idea formation and story telling than spelling and grammar.
Where Can I find Free Kindergarten Writing Prompts?
You could write your own prompts, but sometimes you just don’t have time. Plus, if you are not accustomed to writing prompts, this could be a difficult exercise for you. There are many books available with story prompts already created, however these cost money. You will also have to wait for them to arrive. Here’s a treasury of kindergarten story prompts that are available for instant download:
- 50 Free Kindergarten Writing Prompts
- Free Directed Drawing Writing Prompts
- Interactive Writing Prompts for Kindergarten
- Super Silly Monster Writing Prompts
Tips and Tricks for Teaching Kindergarten Students to Write
- Make it a habit. Do writing at the same time each day or week.
- Encourage inventive spelling. Kindergarteners have big ideas but limited spelling skills, encourage them to spell the best they can and focus on the content more.
- Work on grammar gradually. Like spelling, grammar is a budding skill. Ignore grammatical mistakes in the beginning and then gradually introduce one concept at a time, gently. Keep it simple! Focus on creative thought, not grammatical correctness.
- Encourage the child to draw a picture to go with the story.
- Be patient, writing is a skill that takes time to develop.
- Write together and share your stories.
- Allow younger or reluctant students to narrate their writing prompts until they feel comfortable with the process. Take it one step at a time.
- Use story prompts as part of handwriting practice.
- Need a place with a treasure trove of writing prompts? Try our Interactive Writing Prompts for Kindergarten!