When it comes to teaching creatively we use both the heart and the mind in equal measure. ..
Writing can be a chore, even the imaginative exercise of creative writing. To open the floodgates of their imaginations, learners can always use creative writing prompts to generate ideas.
Regular writing helps improve your learners' creative and analytical skills. With daily practice, the process becomes more enjoyable as they get better and better at it.
Below we've got some examples of writing prompts from all over the Web. They're fun and challenging exercises students will love.
4 to 1 Exercise
These creative writing prompts come from Kelly Roell at ThoughtCo. Learners come up with four different things:
- A specific source of light
- A specific object
- A sound using onomatopoeia
- A specific place
When the list is created, students write a one-paragraph story including each of the four items and a single protagonist they create or borrow from another source.
Students of all kinds often struggle to understand and manage emotions, and exercises like this can help. These creative writing prompts come from an article about expressive writing featured on Study.com:
- Write about your happiest childhood memory. Why is this memory so happy? What did it mean to you to feel this way?
- Describe someone that makes you angry. What does the person do to make you feel angry? What does that feel like to you?
- Write about something that happened to you that made you feel sad, writing it as though it were a story.
- Talk about a time that you felt jealous of someone. What were you jealous about and why?
- Was there ever a point in your life when you were truly frustrated with yourself? Describe how the emotion of frustration affected you both physically and psychologically.
With this exercise from AuthorityPub, you can write as much or as little as you wish. However, the trick is to not think too much about the answers—try expanding on the first thoughts that pop into your mind.
- Who just snuck out the back window?
- What were they carrying?
- Where were they going?
- Who is Ethan?
- Why is he crying?
- What is he going to do about it?
- Whose house is Julia leaving?
- Why was she there?
- Where is she going now?
Prompts for Journaling
Journaling is one of the best writing and self-expression exercises out there. It's an ages-old practice that has stood the test of time, and your learners can benefit greatly from it themselves. Here are some creative writing prompts for journaling from Daily Teaching Tools.
- Write about going back to school after summer vacation.
- Write out the best or the worst day of your life.
- Finish this thought: If I could change one thing about myself ...
- Design some gadget, machine, building, or other creation that might enrich the future.
- You are to tell a person from a distant planet or from another era what pollution is. Make that person understand what causes it and why it is bad.
- Begin a list of questions that you'd like to have answered. They may be about the future or the past.
- Did you ever break an important promise?
- Imagine that you are an animal in the zoo. What type of animal are you? How do you feel about being caged? How do you feel about people that visit and watch you?
- Would you rather have a brother or sister? Why?
- Describe a fight you had with your mother. Now tell it from her point of view.
- If you had three wishes, what would they be?
- What is something special and/or different about you? Why do you think it is special or different?
- Name and describe a teacher who made a difference in your life. What did that teacher do that was so special?
Other Ideas for Creative Writing Prompts
- Visit a lyric site like lyrics.com and choose random lyrics from a few different songs. Next, use them to create a conversation between two or more characters in a story.
- Use the creative writing prompts on tools like The Brainstormer to help you begin your short stories.
- Rewrite a famous tale from Shakespeare or some other historical writer. Your rewrite can be translated into more modern language, and given a different theme or outcome from the original. For example, look at this comedic retelling of the rivalry between Macbeth and Macduff.
- Explore these 365 creative writing prompts from ThinkWritten.
- Write a letter to yourself in either the future or the past. What are the most important things you'd want to say to that version of yourself? How would you express them?
- Create an "alternate history" tale in which the timeline of history is altered by an unlikely event. There are some great examples here at SciFi Ideas.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Jun 14, 2018, updated October 18, 2021