Stuck for inspiration for your next quick write or fast-finisher activity? Ignite your students’ creativity with these short prompts and watch them launch into writing!
Often, we get too caught up in thinking about what we’re going to write. You know that feeling when you’ve had a report, essay or email to write and you sit there poised with nothing but the title on your page. Once you get it into your head that what you write needs to be perfect, the task becomes infinitely harder.
Our students feel that same sense of helplessness.
The idea with these writing prompts is to help your students to get words down on the page. By doing regular low-stakes writing tasks, also known as quick writes, students will have the opportunity to develop their confidence and fluency without the worry of being assessed.
If you are using these for a short writing task, encourage your students to roll with the first thought that springs to mind. DON’T nitpick handwriting, spelling and grammar. Praise your students on their ideas and creativity. You can always develop their best ideas into longer pieces of writing later as you scaffold them through the full process of planning, refining and publishing.
You can check out our writing frames templates if you’re after something more structured for your lesson.
In went the flour, baking powder, sugar, butter, eggs, milk and blueberries...but what came out was no muffin…
Come up with your best, well-crafted excuse for not handing in your homework. What would you say to your teacher? Lights, cameras, action!
Write about a character experiencing four different emotions in the space of a fifteen minutes
The most disgusting thing I’ve ever eaten is… (and no, “brussel sprouts” is not allowed to be your default answer here!)
Describe your workout routine if you were living on the moon
A time when I was hideously embarrassed by my parents (or teacher)
It’s Opposite Day (pssst! That means “up” means “down”, “left” means “right” and “yes” means “no”). How would you explain your journey to school?
If I was directing [insert movie name], I would’ve changed…
What I would do if I got sucked into [insert name of book being read in class]
Write about the worst things about writing...without using the words “write” or “writing”
Describe the best things about getting older
Imagine a day in the life of your mum/dad when they were your age (yes, that’s right, back in the days of brick phones)
The ultimate prank would be…
If I were the prime minister/president, my first three law changes would be:
Invent a job that a pet iguana could do
Write a story that is precisely 6 sentences long (must include characters, a setting, beginning, middle and ending)
Write a story that ends with “And that’s the story of how seals invented ice cream.”
How I would redecorate my room if I had $500 to spend
A day in the life of a person who is scared of squishy things
Boom! You’re a billionaire. How did that happen?
The best superhero power is…
A mysterious new plant has been discovered. What is it called and what can it be used for?
Describe the life of a family through the eyes of a pet cat
Everyone you know has forgotten you. Trigger their memories by describing who you are
The year is 2050. While civilians continue to cry over life without toilet paper, an epic battle rages. (Meme credit: James Grebey @jgrebes Twitter)
What does the word “zenzizenzizenzic“ mean? (use your imagination NOT a dictionary!) Can you use it in a sentence?
You take a sip from your drink. You put it down and it's still full.
Describe a day in the life of a monkey
Change the title of a book or movie that you’ve seen recently and write a summary of this new-and-improved version! Tell me about Ping Pong (King Kong), Star Bores (Star Wars), Hairy Plodder (Harry Potter), Awkward Man (Aquaman), Cloudy with a Chance of Fireballs, Outside In (Inside Out), Captain Thunderpants (Captain Underpants), How to Train Your Wagon (How to Train Your Dragon), Lols (Trolls)
Tell the tale of a day the Tooth Fairy got it all wrong…
You just stuck chewing gum in your sister’s hair. Brace yourself, this is gonna turn ugly…
Pop! You’ve been shrunk to the size of a pencil sharpener. Your classmates stare at you in disbelief. Gulp.
If your favourite book character came to life, where would you take them?
You and your teacher have just swapped bodies but no one else in the class knows. You’re standing at the front of the classroom with a whiteboard pen in your hand. What do you do?
Create a new public holiday! How should everyone celebrate this occasion?
Would the world be a better place if it was run by kids? How about teenagers?
The world’s most powerful sneeze caused…
They say bad things come in threes… Write about a day that just went from bad to worse
You smell something burning in the kitchen. Not again…
Your biggest fear now becomes your new favourite thing. May I introduce you to my pet spider?
The most stealthy manoeuvre I’ve ever managed is…
You’ve invented a new way of creating energy. Share your invention:
A robot has arrived on your doorstep to make your life easier. What will you get it to do for you?
And then he slipped over on the banana peel. How did this situation arise?
“Absolutely not,” said the shopkeeper. “What made you think a paddling pool would be a good idea to place in the middle of my shop?!”
The music flicked on. The skeleton shuffled onto the dance floor. Well, nobody was prepared for that.
Write about yourself in third person perspective (yes, it will feel weird. Decide if the narrator can also read your mind)
A day in the life of the most skilled trickster
Your hair won’t stop growing. Every time you try to cut it, it grows even longer. You decide to make the most of it. What can you do with your crazily long hair?
You turn up to school in pyjamas because you thought it was Dress Up day but everyone else is in their school uniform
A small lie that spiralled out of control
Waking up from a 10 year-long hibernation in the year 2031
BREAKING NEWS! Eating lemons once a day gives you the voice of an opera singer. You decide if you want to back up this claim or dispel it!
Challenge: Write a conversation between two people where every sentence is a question. “Oh, what are you doing here?” “Aren’t you happy to see me?” “Aren’t you supposed to be at your dance lesson?” “Why does that matter?”
Imagine the world has gone into suuuuper slow motion. Describe in as much detail as you can, all the things that happen in the next ten seconds