Creative Writing Prompts: 
Ideas, Lists, and Teaching Resources

Creative Writing Prompts, Ideas, and Teaching Resources
Happy Elementary Girl Student Writing in Journal

Are you looking for a comprehensive list of creative writing prompts and journal ideas for your students?

On this page, you will find a large list of writing topics that will spark creative ideas in your students during journal and creative writing activities.

I have created these writing lists during my 22 years of teaching experience. I have grouped these creative writing prompts together into categories of similar topics to make it easier for you to find writing ideas in the area that you are interested in.

First, you will find creative writing prompts for each month of the year. On these monthly web pages, you will find topics that pertain to each month's themes, holidays, and events. You will also find writing ideas for specific dates and events for each month.

Happy Elementary Boy Student Writing in Journal

Second, you will find general writing prompts that you can use all year long with your students. I have divided these general creative writing prompts into the following categories: school, favorites things, friendship, memories, personal and feelings, famous people, animals, create or invent, what if, and story starters.

I have created this list of writing ideas for elementary school teachers and students, but many of these creative writing prompts are also appropriate for other grade levels as well.

As you read through these creative writing prompts, you will find links to related lesson plans found on Unique Teaching Resources. When appropriate, I have also included useful links to other informational websites. that will help save you time in planning your lesson activities.

Click on one of the calendars below to go
to a specific page of monthly writing prompts:

On these pages, you will find creative writing prompts that
pertain to each month's
themes, holidays, and events.

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Creative Writing Prompts
To Use All Year Long:

CLICK on one of the writing prompt categories
below (or scroll through the rest of this page):

I hope that you will be able to find some creative writing prompts in the following lists that will be fun and engaging for your students to write about throughout the school year.

  1. School
  2. Favorite Things
  3. Friendship
  4. Memories
  5. Personal and Feelings
  6. Famous People
  7. Animals
  8. Create or Invent
  9. What If (things that could possibly happen)
  10. What If (using your imagination)
  11. Story Starters (creative ideas for beginning stories)

1.  School
Creative Writing Prompts and Journal Ideas

Journal Writing Prompts and Ideas for Elementary School Students
  • What are your goals for this school year? 
  • What are 5 things that you can do to become a better student?
  • Compare what it was like being in first grade to the grade that you are in now.
  • The most important thing that I learned last year in school was ...
  • What is your most significant memory from each grade level in school?
  • Write about your favorite subject in school. What is your least favorite subject?
  • If you could eliminate one subject or one activity to your school day, what would it be?
  • Invent a new subject for school.
  • The best things about a computer is ...
  • If I were a character in a book, I'd be _____ because ...
  • Ten crazy reasons why I couldn't do my homework.
  • A kind teacher that I will always remember.
  • If you were a teacher, what subject would you most like to teach? What grade level would you most like to work with?
  • If you were the principal of this school, what would you do?
  • If you were a principal and you had to hire some new teachers for your school, what qualities would you look for in a teacher? Explain what would make a good teacher.
  • If you had to design a new uniform for your school, what would it look like?
  • Journal Writing Prompts and Ideas for Elementary School Lunch Menu
  • If you could choose any animal for a class pet, what animal would you choose and why?
  • I would add this food item to our school cafeteria.
  • If you were asked to design a menu for the cafeteria for one week, what would it consist of?
  • Everyone likes snacks! Write instructions that explain how to make a healthy snack that would be good to pack in your lunch box.
  • Write an essay on the benefits of a healthy diet.

End of School Themed Creative Writing Prompts

2.  Favorite Things
Creative Writing Prompts and Journal Ideas

Journal Writing Prompts and Ideas for Favorite Sports
  • What is your favorite game? Explain how you play your favorite game.
  • Describe your favorite toy and when you received this toy.
  • What is your favorite hobby? How often do you get to do this activity? Is this something that you are good at, or are you just learning how to do this activity?
  • Describe your favorite sport and explain the rules for playing this game.
  • What is your favorite athletic team? Describe why this is your favorite team.
  • Who is your favorite athlete? Describe the sport that this athlete is famous for and why you admire this athlete.
  • Which is your favorite season and why?
  • What is your favorite type of weather? Why? Write about the activities that you do during this type of weather.
  • What is your favorite holiday and why? What traditions do you and your family share during this holiday?
  • What are your favorite foods? What are your least favorite foods?
  • Describe your favorite restaurant.
  • Describe how to prepare your favorite meal.
  • What is your favorite television show and why?
  • What is your favorite movie and why?
  • What is your favorite song and why?
  • Write about your favorite pop star. Explain his/her music and why it appeals to people.

End of Favorite Things Creative Writing Prompts

3.  Friendship
Creative Writing Prompts and Journal Ideas

Journal Writing Prompts and Ideas for Best Friends and Friendship
  • What qualities do you look for in a friend?
  • How do you try to be a good friend to others?
  • Can you remember your first friend? Who was it? What were some of the things that you did together?
  • Describe your best friend.
  • How would you feel if your best friend was moving to a different country?
  • Describe a time when you had a disagreement with your best friend.
  • What is most important to you in a friend: loyalty, generosity, honesty? Why?
  • Your friend wants to come to your house. Write directions telling how to get to your house from school.
  • What would you do if you saw a friend cheating? Would you report it, confront the friend, or say nothing? Why?
  • If another child was making fun of your best friend or bullying them, what would you do? Write about how you would help your friend in a positive way.
  • Your friend was absent from school today. Write a letter to tell your friend what happened in school today and what he/she missed.
  • Interview a classmate.

End of Friendship Creative Writing Prompts

4.  Memories
Creative Writing Prompts and Journal Ideas

Journal Writing Prompts and Ideas for Feelings and Emotions
  • Think of a real experience you have had that would be hard to forget. Think about what makes it so hard to forget. Tell what happened.
  • Write about a time you experienced or learned something for the first time.
  • Write about a time when you were surprised.
  • Write about a time when you were embarrassed.
  • What is one of the funniest things that has ever happened to you?
  • Write about one person who has made a difference in your life.
  • Think of a time when you achieved a personal goal. How did you feel when you accomplished this goal?
  • Recall a time when you felt really disappointed about something.
  • Think about a time when you felt scared about something.
  • What is the most special gift that you have ever received?
  • What is the nicest thing that you have done for someone?
  • What is the toughest decision that you ever had to make? What made this decision so difficult?
  • Have you ever done or said something that you regret? How would you change these words or actions if you were in this situation today?
  • Almost everyone has had at least one teacher who is hard to forget. Write about a teacher that you will always remember.
  • Write about a disastrous trip or vacation.
  • Write about your favorite trip or vacation.
  • Write about a trip to the zoo.
  • Describe the most beautiful place or scene you ever saw.
  • Describe a visit to the dentist.
  • Describe a time that you were hurt or a time you were in the hospital.
  • Write about a time that you went to an amusement park or fair.
  • Weather can affect your life. Think about a time in your life when you have been affected by some kind of weather.

End of Memories Creative Writing Prompts

5.  Personal and Feelings
Creative Writing Prompts and Journal Ideas

Journal Prompts Writing Ideas World Peace
  • How would you make this world a better place to live in?
  • What do you want to be remembered for?
  • What is one thing that you wish you could do better?
  • What do you want to do when you finish school? Is there anything you can do right now to prepare for your future plans?
  • What do you think is the "perfect" age to be? If you could choose one age and stay that age forever, what would you choose?
  • I wish I could be like.... This person is special because....
  • Have you ever had to apologize for something you did? How did you feel before and after the apology?
  • Do you own anything that is so special that you would never sell it for any price? Explain why you would never sell this object.
  • What advice would you give to someone who stole something but now feels guilty?
  • Which country would you most like to visit the most? Why?
  • If I could live anywhere in the world it would be ...
  • Traveling to Any Country in the World
  • How would you feel if you learned that you were moving to a new city next month?
  • Your family has just moved to a country where you don't speak the language. What would you do? How would you feel?
  • What would you do if you were invited to two parties on the same day?
  • Describe a typical day in your life. Use sensory detail (sight, sound, touch, smell, taste) to make your daily experiences come to life.
  • Write about what you do on the weekends. How do your weekends differ from your weekdays?
  • How do you like to spend your free time?
  • Describe the clothes you are wearing. Why did you choose these clothes to wear today?
  • Do you have any nicknames? Describe where the nicknames came from and what they mean to you. If you don't have a nickname, choose one for yourself and explain why you chose this nickname.
  • Should children have strict bedtimes? What do you think is a fair bedtime for children your age and why?
  • Write about your brothers and sisters. If you don't have any, do you wish you did?
  • What do you think is the most significant invention ever made?
  • Name three inventions you could not live without and explain why they are so important to you.

End of Personal and Feelings Creative Writing Prompts

6.  Famous People
Creative Writing Prompts and Journal Ideas

Newspaper Reporter Elementary School Writing Prompts
  • Who is a person that is alive today that you would most like to meet and talk to? Why? What would you like to ask this person?
  • Who is a person from history that you would most like to meet and talk to? Why? What would you like to ask this famous person?
  • If you could change places with anyone, who would it be and why?
  • What TV or movie star would you like to invite to your birthday party?
  • If you could take 3 famous people with you on a trip around the world, who would you take and why?
  • Pretend that you won a contest to go on a concert tour with your favorite music singer. Write a story about your adventure.
  • You have won a contest to go out to dinner with your favorite movie star. Which movie star will you select and which restaurant will you choose?
  • Imagine that you are a talk-show host and getting ready to interview a famous person. Prepare for the interview by writing some questions that will help you learn useful and interesting information about your guest.

End of Famous People Creative Writing Prompts

7.  Animals
Creative Writing Prompts and Journal Ideas

Journal Prompts and Ideas Cool Pet and Dog Writing Ideas
  • What kind of pet would you most like to have? Why? What responsibilities would you have in order to take care of this pet?
  • What kind of pet do you have? Describe this pet. If you don't have any, what kind of pet would you like to have?
  • Write a description on an extinct species and what would have happened if it were still alive.
  • If you were an animal, what kind would you be and why?
  • Invent a new animal. Describe what it looks like, what it sounds like, how it moves, and what it eats.
  • If you were stranded on a deserted island and could take one animal to accompany you, what animal would you take with you?
  • What would happen if you could talk to animals? What would you ask them?
  • What would it be like to have a pet dinosaur?
  • What would it be like if you were a bird and you could fly?
  • What if cows gave root beer instead of milk?
  • What would happen if it really did rain cats and dogs?

End of Animals Creative Writing Prompts

8.  Create or Invent
Creative Writing Prompts and Journal Ideas

Journal Prompts and Writing Ideas: Create or Invent Something New
  • Think about an invention that you'd like to have or make. Write about what this new device would do and why you'd like to use it.
  • If you could create a new T.V. show, what would it be about?
  • You have been chosen to create a movie based on your favorite book. Which book would you choose? Which actors would you choose to play the lead roles?
  • You've designed a new video game for kids. What is it like?
  • If you could create your own website on any topic at all, what would it be? Write about why you chose this topic, what the website would contain, and who else you think might be interested in going to your site.
  • If you could open a business of your own, what kind of business would it be?
  • If you could build the world's greatest playground, what would be in it?
  • Create an imaginary country and describe its rivers, mountains, exports, customs, holidays, money, climate, history, and politics.
  • You have invented a time machine. Which time in the past will you visit first?
  • Create a new planet. Describe the important features of the landscape, what the climate is like, and if there are any life forms on this planet.
  • Create a new holiday. What would this holiday celebrate? How would you celebrate it? Would there be any special food or symbols for your holiday?
  • Invent a new animal and describe what it looks like, what it sounds like, how it moves, and what it eats.
  • Sometimes we eat something that we think tastes disgusting. Think of a food that you do not like and create a new recipe for it that you think would improve the flavor of it.
  • Create a new car for the future. What special features would this car have that cars do not have today?

End of Create or Invent Creative Writing Prompts

9.  What If... Things That Could Possibly Happen:
Creative Writing Prompts and Journal Ideas

Journal Prompt Writing Idea Winning a Million Dollars
  • What would you do if you won the lottery?
  • What would you do if you had a million dollars to donate to a person or a charity?
  • What would happen if you found gold in your backyard?
  • Describe a "fantasy" day in your life. If you could design a whole day to do anything and everything you wanted, what would you choose to do?
  • If you could take lessons to learn how to do something new, what would you choose to learn?
  • If you could learn to speak a new language fluently, which language would you choose and why?
  • When you get to school, there's a sign on the door stating, "School is Closed." What would you want during this day?
  • If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  • What would you do if you woke up in another country and no one could understand you?
  • If you were stranded on a deserted island and could send out one message in a bottle, what would you write in your message?
  • If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island and could take three items with you, what three items would you take and why?
  • What would you do if you were the President?
  • What would happen if there were no television? Why would this be good or bad? Why?
  • If you could be a new character on your favorite T.V. show, who would you be?
  • Describe your favorite T.V. show and your new role in it.
  • If you could participate in an Olympic event, which event would you choose and why?
  • If you could break the Guiness Book of Records, what would it would be for?
  • Imagine that there were no telephones, cell phones, or computers. Write about the different ways that you would communicate with people in different places.

End of What If Creative Writing Prompts

10.  What If... Using Your Imagination
Creative Writing Prompts and Journal Ideas

Journal Writing Prompts and Ideas for Being a Superhero
  • If you could choose one superpower to have for a day, which superpower would you select? Describe your day as a superhero.
  • What would happen if you could fly whenever you wanted? When would you use this ability?
  • What would you do if you were the tallest person in the world?
  • What would you do if you were one inch tall?
  • What would happen if one morning you woke up and realized that you were invisible? Describe what happens.
  • What would you do if you found a magic carpet?
  • What would you do if you found a magic wand?
  • A flying saucer has been sighted over your town.
  • Aliens have abducted you as you were walking to school. Write a letter to your best friend on Earth telling him or her about this experience.
  • If you could make it rain anything except water, what would it rain? How would this rain affect people and the environment?
  • If you had a robot, how would the robot help you with your daily life?
  • If you could talk with Mother Nature, what questions would you ask her?
  • Describe an imaginary place that you'd like to visit.
  • If I could visit any planet in the solar system, I would go to...
  • Describe what it would be like if you lived on the moon.
  • What would happen if everyone lived in space? What type of houses would they live in? What type of clothing would they wear? What type of food would they eat? How would they travel?
  • What if all the streets were rivers? What would be different?
  • One morning you wake up and look out the window and discover that a huge castle has appeared next door overnight.

End of Using Your Imagination Creative Writing Prompts

11.  Story Starters
Creative Writing Prompts and Journal Ideas

Journal Prompts and Ideas For Zoo Animals
  • Why do zebras have stripes?
  • This was the strangest zoo in the world ...
  • Newsflash: A _____ has escaped from the zoo!
  • I woke up and found a dinosaur in my back yard.
  • As I was walking through the forest, I stumbled upon a gigantic egg.
  • On my Africa safari, I suddenly came upon some poachers with a gun and they were about to shoot a ...
  • You don't normally see a ____ (animal) in/at a _____ (place)!
  • Something brushed up against my foot and my surprise turned to horror as I looked down and saw ...
  • Dear Teacher, I couldn't do my homework last night because ... (create an idea that a teacher has likely never heard of before)
  • The championship game was tied and there was one minute left in the game. I was suddenly passed the ball and ...
  • I had made it to the semifinals of American Idol and tonight ...
  • My dream came true and I was finally going to ...
  • Today I am attempting to break the world record for ...
  • I woke up, and could not remember my name or where I was. Then ...
  • It was an ordinary day, except for ...
  • It was obviously going to be an unusual day when my mom came into my bedroom and said ...
  • I opened my closet door, walked in, and suddenly I was in ...
  • My bed moved and I looked under my bed and saw ...
  • Late one night there was a knock on my front door ...
  • The elevator stopped suddenly, and I was stuck inside the elevator with ...
  • Everyone avoided the big old mansion. It was believed to have ...
  • It was not the birthday gift I was expecting.
  • As I looked in the mirror, I saw my hair turn ...
  • It happened so quickly I had no time to think, only react.
  • I was not expecting what was waiting for me just as I rounded the corner.
  • This was the worst place imaginable to run out of gas in my car!
  • My life as a pirate ...
  • My scuba diving adventure ...
  • My magical roller blades take me on exciting adventures.
  • I was the lead detective on a very difficult case to solve.
  • Moving to Antarctica ...
  • Inside the ancient Egyptian pyramid I discovered ...
  • After the king gave his orders, we all picked up our helmets, swords, and shields.
  • While sailing with Ponce De Leon, I helped him find the Fountain of Youth.
  • 5 ...4 ...3 ...2 ...1 ...BLAST OFF!

End of Story Starters Creative Writing Prompts

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Creative Writing Prompts and Ideas For Elementary School Teachers

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