Teaching young students to write can prove to be a challenge. When the year begins, most of your kindergarten students will have never held a pencil, crayon, or other writing utensil. You will also likely have students that have never practiced the alphabet or had a story read to them. It will end up being your responsibility to introduce your students to them, and that can prove difficult if you don’t know where to start. If your kindergarten class is learning to write, try these tips on using kindergarten writing prompts, and check out the example prompts below. Teach with technology using this online course.
Tips on Using Writing Prompts for Kindergarten Students
Don’t Expect Perfection
Your students will be coming in with various skill levels. Some will already have some basic words, and others, as said before, will have never touched a writing utensil. If you expect perfection on the first day, you’re going to discourage your students. They are not going to be able to spell the words correctly, no matter how many times you show them. Proper spelling and grammar will come with time. The key right now is to get them writing.
Get Them Writing Simple Sentences
The best way to teach your students to write is to get them writing. Start with simple sentences and sentence starters. Use sentence starters like “I like,” “I can,” “I want,” etc. In this way, your little beginning writers only have to find a single word to complete the sentence. Leave space to allow them to draw as well. Teach with your iPad, even in kindergarten, using this class.
Introduce Descriptive Sentences Slowly
Once your students can write simple sentences with ease, it’s time to introduce them to sentences that have more description. Consider a student’s sentence that states, “I want a cat.” Ask the student questions. What color cat do they want? What will they name it? Help them write a new sentence like “I want a brown cat.” Then help them write another new sentence: “I want a brown cat named Tom.”
Introduce Them to Creative Writing
Now that you’ve gotten them writing, it’s time to get started introducing them to creative writing. The best way to do this is by using real writing prompts. Pick a few to share with your students, and let them write about the topic. Don’t forget to model this to your students by picking a topic and showing them how to write about that topic. Because your students are new writers, they’re going to write at their best when they’re writing about something they enjoy. By offering them multiple topics, your students can pick the one that most interests them and write about it. Here are a few topics you might consider:
- When I grow up I want to be…
- I am special because…
- The best kind of pet is…
Use Journals to Evaluate Your Students’ Writing Abilities
Once your students get better and better at their writing, begin implementing journals. The only way to increase their writing skill is to write, and the only way to do that is to write daily. Giving them journals gives them a place to write. You can let them pick any topic they want, or give them a few to choose from on the board. You could also do both so that students who can’t think of a topic can pick one from the board. Leave space to allow them to draw about the topic. In this way, they’ll start using their writing skill more and more to give further voice to their ideas. Learn to reach those students in your class with learning disabilities using this class.
The three prompts above are a great place to start, but if you want your kids to write, you’re going to need more. Here’s a short list to get you started, and you can find links to more prompts below it. Use Twitter and iPads to reach your students in this course.
- What is the fastest animal?
- What is your favorite book?
- If you could be any animal, what would you be? Why?
- What is your favorite thing to do with your parents?
- What is the best present you’ve ever gotten?
- Write about your favorite place.
- If I were the principal, I would…
- Write about the last time you went to the doctor.
- Write about your dad.
- Once upon a time…
- What do you love most about the holidays?
- Write about your favorite animal.
- What’s your favorite season?
- What’s your favorite day of the week?
- What did you do on your last birthday?
- What’s your favorite kind of weather?
- What’s your favorite pet? Why?
- Write about your favorite movie.
- What are you going to do for Mother’s Day?
- Write about your best friend.
- What do you do at recess?
- What’s your favorite school subject?
- What’s your favorite color? Why?
- Do you like snow? Why or why not?
- Write about the people in your house.
- Write about your pets.
- Write about how you feel today. Are you mad, sad, bored, tired, or something else?
- Write about the favorite thing you’ve learned so far.
- If you had $100, how would you spend it?
- If you owned a restaurant, what would it be called? What would you serve? Who would work there?
- Who is the oldest person you know? Write about them.
- What’s your favorite room in your home?
- What’s your favorite toy?
- Do you like school? Why, or why not?
If you need more help teaching your students to write, consider using the 6+1 Trait Model. You can find out more about this writing model with this article. Set up your classroom to support writing. Use the ideas in this article on classroom setup to help you set up your classroom.