Monday, November 14, 2016

Rethinking Writing Prompts! Spice up your writing block!

Hello all!  Thank you so much for stopping by!  It's Hilary From Primary Planet!
Today I want you to stop for a moment and re imagine Writing Prompts.
Usually when I think of writing prompts, I think of a narrow, specific task that the students need to address. 
What if I told you that Writing Prompts could be fun, scaffolded, and engaging?  What if I even told you that your kiddos would ask for them during Writer's Workshop or Writing Centers (even your most reluctant writers)?



Let me introduce: Pick a Prompts and Story Starter Cootie Catchers!

Super Silly Pick a Prompt



First up: Pick a Prompts!

These are writing prompts that give the kiddos choice over what elements they want to write about.  These are perfect for substitute teachers, fast finishers, or the "I don't know what to write about " gang.  They have pictures with short, easy to read captions that scaffold your students writing!  These are great for ELL students as well!
Super Silly Pick a Prompt 

Your students choose one "prompt" from each section, then use them to write their story!

When I use them in my classroom we have a discussion before we write.  We read all of the choices and if there is something that they don't understand we clarify.  
I make a list of "key words" on my whiteboard easel, then let the kiddos turn and talk to  a partner about their plans for writing.

Then, the kiddos go back to their spots, circle their choices and write, write, write!
Sometime the kiddos make some modifications to help the prompt better fit their needs:
Super Silly Pick a Prompt
I also often challenge the students to use all of the elements!  My kiddos LOVE these and often ask for them.

If you would like to give these a try, I have a freebie in my store HERE!

If you like these prompts, but are trying to go paperless, I have several digital versions in my store as well!  They work with Google Drive and Microsoft One Drive!  You can find them here:

Up Next:  Story Starter Cootie Catchers

I have to start with: My kiddos LOVE Cootie Catchers (or fortune tellers if you prefer). You would think that they were somehow magical that is how much my kiddos love them!
What a better way to get them writing but to use a cootie catcher for a writing prompt!
These are similar to the Pick a Prompts as it has choices for Settings, Characters, and Plots.
Throw in that they are on a cootie catcher and it is magical!


Let me first say that folding Cootie Catchers with second graders was a bit of a challenge the first time we did it.  Yes, I almost tore all of my hair out, but I had a student who knew how to fold them on her own, so she was a great big help.  Let me also say, it was worth it!  The kiddos were enamored with them all day!  They asked to take them home as well!
These would be great for putting in your Writing Center for Writer's Workshop, fast finishers, or as holiday gifts (yes, they really love them that much!)

First, we folded them.  It was painful the first time we did this, the second time went much smoother.  I only had to refold a few of them!  

Then, we take some time to explore them with our partners and tell stories!

Then, we go back to our writing spots and using the special paper, get drawing and writing!


My heavens!  These kiddos wrote, and wrote, and wrote some more!  They actually groaned when I told them that Writer's Workshop was over!  Even my kiddos who do everything they can to avoid writing!
If you would like to try these, I have a freebie (it is Halloween themed, but it would be fun to try out!) HERE

Now in my room when I say "Today we will be writing to a prompt" the kiddos all cheer!
Of course we still do some of the old, test style ones as well...
but you can probably guess which ones they prefer!

If you are looking to spice up your writing block, you can find these products by clicking on the pictures, or here in my TpT store:



These are the links to the bundle, but you can buy them separately as well!










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