What is a writing prompt?
A writing prompt or a theme guides the student as to what to do when they begin the writing process. A story starter is one type of writing prompt. An example of a story starter is “Knock knock! I answered the door…
However, writing prompts can appear in other forms as well. For example, a photo or illustration may also serve the same function. You might present a what-if scenario, a word or even a phrase. These can all provide a starting point for writing a story.
Where can you source these prompts?
There are many possible sources of writing prompts. You could look through the dictionary or thesaurus. You might pose questions. You could also consider your environment for ideas – cereal boxes you have opened, conversations you had earlier in the day, news you listened to on the radio and more. Writing prompts can be theme-based such as animal themed, fiction-writing themed or more.
As a teacher, what you choose depends on your students’ grade level and writing ability.
The reason writing prompts work
- They inspire and provide an element of fun;
- They challenge a student to look at something they may not be as familiar with or have a point of view on;
- They help students discover new approaches to writing;
- They help students get past writer’s block.
Writing prompts support the development of creative writing skills
Writing is an important skill for students to learn. It improves their communication skills, both written and oral. Students learn to become more comfortable expressing themselves. Writing also allows them to process what they have learned and build long-term recall abilities.
Additionally, the act of practising writing helps students develop grammar, vocabulary and a unique writing style. On the flipside, completed writing assignments help teachers with assessing a student’s skills and knowledge.
Storyathon is an exciting and free online event where students are challenged to write a story that is exactly 100 words. Storyathon has already proven unbelievably popular with more than 2,000 classrooms participating. Teachers, feel free to join in now.