Writing is a new and exciting skill for first graders. They spent much of their kindergarten year learning to read and write the alphabet. Now that they’re in first grade, they’re ready to start writing different genres of texts.
Whether your students are writing in a journal or doing a more formal writing project, the first-grade writing prompts below will keep their pencils moving all year long.
Descriptive Writing Prompts
In writing assignments for first graders, you’ll often find that younger students are literal in their writing. Most kids this age are too young to write with or even understand figurative language.
However, they can learn about descriptive writing. Be sure to tap into the five senses to help them hone their craft.
- Describe your favorite food.
- Describe your favorite time of day.
- Imagine a perfect planet. What’s it like there?
- Describe a secret animal. Trade with a friend and see if you can guess each other’s animal.
- What is your favorite color? Make a list of everything in your favorite color.
Nonfiction Writing Prompts
Nonfiction is often a good place to start learning to write, especially for kids who think they’re not creative. Nonfiction doesn’t require them to come up with as many unique ideas but teaches them to put information in their own words.
- What are some of the best ways to stay healthy?
- How should you care for a pet?
- What are the things that make a good friend?
- Why is it important to obey the rules on the playground?
- Explain the rules of a sport or game.
- What items do kids need for learning?
Opinion Writing Prompts
Kids have a lot of opinions, but teaching them to express them formally can be challenging. You may want to preface these opinion writing prompts for first grade with a lesson on facts and opinions. If students plan to share their writing, you may also need to discuss respecting others’ opinions.
- What do you think should be a new school rule?
- The best food in the world is…
- _____________ is the best sport because…
- What’s one food we should get rid of?
- Which animal is the best?
- Why kids should have fewer chores
Narrative Writing Prompts
Narrative writing is often the easiest type of writing for younger students.
Most kids think that all writing is stories and like using their imaginations. Prompts are helpful because kids’ stories can often go off on tangents. A prompt can help them stay focused on a single topic.
- Rewrite a fairy tale from the villain’s point of view.
- Write a story about the craziest thing that ever happened to you.
- How did you meet your best friend?
- Write about your best family vacation.
- Tell a story about an animal going on an adventure.
- You’re stranded on an island. How do you get off?
Fun Writing Prompts
Sometimes kids need a chance to be silly. Fun 1st-grade writing prompts help kids to see that writing doesn’t have to be a chore. It can be fun.
Encourage kids to be creative and funny as they answer these prompts.
- You wake up as a shoe. Describe your day.
- What would happen if the whole world was made of ice cream?
- If I were president for a day, I would…
- Describe a silly planet and the aliens who live there.
- If you could have any superpower, which one would you have? Why?
- You meet a genie in a bottle. What are your three wishes?
Seasonal Writing Prompts
Seasonal writing prompts are a good go-to. Kids pay attention to the changing seasons and are usually excited about most holidays.
- What do you like to do on the first snow day?
- Describe your perfect summer vacation.
- What do you think an elf does the day after Christmas?
- Write a spooky Halloween story.
- Write three things you love about fall.
- Tell a story about the missing Easter egg.
What First Grade Writing Should Look Like
At the beginning of the year, your expectations can be too high for writing assignments for first grade students. While a few kids may write entire paragraphs, many will only manage a sentence or two.
Kids can get used to writing and build stamina with frequent writing assignments and first-grade journal writing prompts. By the end of the year, they may be writing five-ten sentences per assignment.
Make Writing Fun
If you want your students to enjoy writing time, you must make it enjoyable. Give them special journals to use for their writing. Let them use special pens, stickers, and anything else that makes their writing feel special. You can also create a special spot that kids can only use while writing.
Writing Up a Storm
These first-grade writing prompts are intended as a resource you can use to get your students to write with enthusiasm. The right prompts not only motivate students but also serve as a guide to help them write longer paragraphs.