Resources for Writing Prompts:


Other TeachersFirst Special Topics Collections

This collection of reviewed resources includes many types of writing prompts, both visual and verbal, to inspire writing. Whether you want students to try their hand at poetry or informational writing, there are ideas here to help. Make this collection available for students to find their own inspiration for open-ended, creative writing assignments. Teachers can also use this list to find 2-3 possible choices for a targeted writing assignment. Student choice is key in helping student voice come through in their writing.

 

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Lookwork - Ben Pieratt and Eric Jacobsen

Grades
6 to 12
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Lookwork is an RSS Reader displaying images drawn from the "feeds" of over 400 of the world's most creative blogs. Browse by scrolling through images on the home page. Choose ...more
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Lookwork is an RSS Reader displaying images drawn from the "feeds" of over 400 of the world's most creative blogs. Browse by scrolling through images on the home page. Choose from subjects such as Photography or Architecture or Illustration to narrow your search. Create your own personal Lookwork feed after creating an account and choosing topics to include. Note: Content is unmoderated so take precautions when sharing with students.

tag(s): architecture (63), creative writing (119), design (83), graphic design (49), images (260), photography (129), writing prompts (53)

In the Classroom

Use Lookwork as an excellent inspiration for creative writing projects. Find interesting images to display on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) for students to use as inspiration. Use in Art class as a source for creative artwork and photography to discuss design elements and principles. Have your more advanced art students create their own accounts to "feed" their own artistic appetites.

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Sketch Toy - Hakim El Hattab

Grades
K to 12
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Sketch Toy is an intriguing, online drawing tool. No membership is required. Click in the blank graph paper to begin drawing. Click buttons/menus to adjust the line size and color,...more
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Sketch Toy is an intriguing, online drawing tool. No membership is required. Click in the blank graph paper to begin drawing. Click buttons/menus to adjust the line size and color, undo, or erase. Note that you must click Erase a second time to turn it off! Set your line to vibrate using different options. One of the best features of this site is the ability to take an image from your desktop and drag it onto the drawing screen. Once your image is on screen, use the image to trace and create a stencil. Then choose "SAVE" to view your artwork in a step-by-step replay. Copy the image URL and/or share using social networks. Going to the URL will "play back" the drawing process. Click Refresh to watch it over again. You can also download your image. This tool works nicely on tablet browsers. Important: Be SURE to save your image URLs in Favorites or paste them somewhere so you can find them again later. With no registration, you have no way of "saving" your works of art within the tool!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (119), creativity (90), drawing (60), geometric shapes (130), images (260), perspective (11), writing prompts (53)

In the Classroom

Use Sketch Toy to demonstrate symmetrical drawings. This tool is great for enhancing, creating and visualizing math concepts from basic geometric shapes and area to complex constructions and trig. Use on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use for hands-on work with any geometry or trigonometry functions. Since this tool works on such a variety of devices, it would be ideal to use in a BYOD (or 1:1) geometry class. Art teachers who want to "draw in" their more mathematical students can offer this as a design option, especially when teaching about perspective. Drag in images of alphabet letters for younger students to practice tracing. In art class, pull in images of artworks (even students' own work) and have them highlight design principles such as the path of your eye in viewing this image. Annotate any image using freehand drawing and writing. Use this tool as a visual writing prompt. Transform learning by creating drawing stories where a small group adds to the drawing as they pass it around on a tablet, narrating the story among themselves. Save it and play it back for them to write down their own versions of the story. Drawing stories would be a great way to practice world language skills or for ENL students to master vocabulary!

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Barat Primary Source Nexus - Barat Education Foundation

Grades
2 to 12
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Find high interest primary sources for anything from teddy bears to Abraham Lincoln to King Kamehameha and much more. There are also primary sources for world connections for Serbia,...more
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Find high interest primary sources for anything from teddy bears to Abraham Lincoln to King Kamehameha and much more. There are also primary sources for world connections for Serbia, Iran, and Cambodia. Common Core emphasizes "reading" of visual sources of information, and this is the perfect source. Be sure to click on Learning Resources and Teaching Resources for lesson plans for Literature Links, Lesson Plans, Tech Tools, Integrating Tech, and much more. This is a growing resource, so be sure to sign up for their newsletter. The Primary Source Nexus is the online support resource for the TPS-Barat Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program. This is a great place to look for ideas to use for History Day! For instance, use the search bar to find several resources for Juneteenth. Preview before sharing with students.

tag(s): advertising (23), black history (114), cross cultural understanding (151), history day (40), immigration (62), journalism (69), Juneteenth (18), lincoln (57), martin luther king (41), poetry (182), presidents (117), primary sources (106), professional development (365), roosevelt (11), slavery (69), writing prompts (53)

In the Classroom

Take a look at the free professional development for using primary sources for teachers. Search for Connecting to the Common Core, where there are writing prompts for K-5 plus a link to the triangle activity. Download and use the PDF for the Thinking Triangle. Have older students research an interest and report to the class using a tool like Slides, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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One Big Photo - Joao Martins

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore amazing photography from around the world at One Big Photo. Photos are user-submitted and shown via a selection process. They are not for sale. Choose from several different...more
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Explore amazing photography from around the world at One Big Photo. Photos are user-submitted and shown via a selection process. They are not for sale. Choose from several different categories such as animals, black and white, landscape, and people. You can also click to view a random photo. Other search options include browsing top rated images or galleries. Click any image to view the large, high quality image. Note that right-clicking does not offer options to download images. The intent is that you will view images ON this site. Although this site does include a lot of advertisements, it is worth taking a look! This site does have social features such as "likes" and links to external sites.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): photography (129), writing prompts (53)

In the Classroom

Find interesting photographs to use as creative writing prompts and for daily journal writing. Be sure to explore the site on your own before sharing with students who will be distracted by ads as this site is heavy with unfiltered advertising. Project the image full screen to avoid seeing as many distractions. Art and photography teachers will enjoy using this site for sharing interesting examples of design principles on the fly. It is not easy to "find" a photo from another session easily, so open the site and keep it open if you want to keep a certain photo on your screen. Alternatively, open the image to the large view and copy the url for the photo (or mark in Favorites) to revisit it later. Assign students (those who can ignore ads) to "collect" urls for a curated collection of images illustrating a design principle or demonstrating a photographic style they would like to present to the class.

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X (formerly ) Twitter Magnets - twittermagnets.com

Grades
3 to 12
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Have fun creating sentences or short messages (like tweets) using drag and drop words at X (formerly Twitter) Magnets! X (formerly Twitter) Magnets calls them poems, though the length...more
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Have fun creating sentences or short messages (like tweets) using drag and drop words at X (formerly Twitter) Magnets! X (formerly Twitter) Magnets calls them poems, though the length limit is a real challenge for poets! Choose from the words offered. Drag and drop the magnets into the message area at the bottom -- up to 120 characters. The tool keeps a character count for you. Need different words? Click the swap words link for new choices. Click submit to view your message/poem and decide whether to submit to X (formerly Twitter) Magnet's feed or not. You can also link to send from your own X (formerly Twitter) account. Note that clicking to see the Twitter Magnets feed will show you "messages" and poems created by the general public. Steer clear or preview to be sure these are appropriate in your setting.

tag(s): creative fluency (5), microblogging (19), poetry (182), Teacher Utilities (135), twitter (20), writing prompts (53)

In the Classroom

Create a message or "poem" of the day as a class to send from your class X (formerly Twitter) account. Use as a center activity or have student groups create their own messages about what you have learned today in any subject area class. Have ELL students create simple messages to reinforce language skills. If you don't have a X (formerly Twitter) account, just have students create offline messages. Take a quick screen shot, then write, illustrate, and share on your classroom bulletin board! Generate creative messages as a class to use as writing prompts. Have students tell the story (or nonfiction news account) about what caused the message. Looking for more ways to use X (formerly Twitter) in the classroom? Read more about X (formerly Twitter) at TeachersFirst's X (formerly Twitter) for Teachers page. You can also use this site as a tool to teach about digital citizenship and the etiquette of tweets.

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Quozio - Quozio.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Turn meaningful words into beautiful images in just seconds using Quozio. Paste or type your quote into the quote box or use the site's bookmarklet to highlight text from the ...more
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Turn meaningful words into beautiful images in just seconds using Quozio. Paste or type your quote into the quote box or use the site's bookmarklet to highlight text from the web to use as your quote. Enter who said it. Scroll through background images available to use with your quote. When finished, share via Pinterest, Facebook, or email. You can also RIGHT click the image to SAVE image as and download a copy to your computer for printing or use elsewhere. Register on Quozio using your email to save quotes directly on the Quozio site.

tag(s): bulletin boards (14), images (260), quotations (20), writing prompts (53)

In the Classroom

Use Quozio to create a beautiful image to begin a unit. Start with an interesting quote or comment. View the finished picture on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as a starting point for the unit. Make a bulletin board of quote images as writing prompts or verbal snapshots of an era, an author, or a famous person. Have older students be responsible for creating a Quozio image each week with a quote of the week or interesting comment on events that occur in class. Have students choose one interesting quote or piece of information from any text to create a Quozio then have students explain their choice as part of a class presentation.

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Writer Igniter - Gabriela Pereira

Grades
5 to 12
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Writer Igniter is an "easy to use" writing prompt creator to set minds in motion! Choose the shuffle button then watch the four categories spin before stopping to set the ...more
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Writer Igniter is an "easy to use" writing prompt creator to set minds in motion! Choose the shuffle button then watch the four categories spin before stopping to set the scene for a story. Categories include character, situation, setting, and prop. Writer Igniter is also part of a larger website called DIY MFA offering articles and information for Writing with Focus and Reading with Purpose. Designed to encourage and offer tools for writers, it is a wealth of information for any aspiring writer, though it is intended for adults.

tag(s): creative writing (119), writers workshop (31), writing prompts (53)

In the Classroom

Engage students using the Writer Igniter for any creative writing assignment or to help them think about story patterns as you brainstorm as a class to generate a story outline. Click shuffle and let the fun begin! Use the Igniter for all members of a class to begin with the same scenario or allow students to shuffle their own story starter. Have students use Ourboox, reviewed here. Ourboox creates beautiful page-flipping digital books in minutes, and you can embed video, music, animation, games, maps and more. Share articles from Writer Igniter to teach writing skills, or assign students to read and share information from articles with classmates. Have students take notes with an online tool like Simplenote, reviewed here, have them share the info they learned with their partner or small group. Tell students to be sure to save the URL to share their notes and questions with you and their peers. World language students could write tales in their new language.

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Good.is - GOOD Worldwide, LLC

Grades
7 to 12
3 Favorites 1  Comments
Would you like to read about GOOD news for a change? That is exactly what you will get if you subscribe to this news aggregator. At Good.is, read about conservation ...more
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Would you like to read about GOOD news for a change? That is exactly what you will get if you subscribe to this news aggregator. At Good.is, read about conservation success stories, educating farmers in remote rural villages to increase their crop yield, creating entrepreneurs who design change, inspiring stories about pets, and so much more. What a refreshing way to start the day! Don't misinterpret that description: you will also be updated on current news stories. The choice is yours. Create a free account, choose topics of interest, and sign up for the daily free newsletter to read what's new (and positive) for those topics. If you find something you are truly passionate about you can follow people, and you can contribute articles.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): enrichment (9), news (228), newspapers (91), politics (111), writing prompts (53)

In the Classroom

Good.is is perfect for enrichment, research, or a current events class. Include it on your class web page (if you are comfortable with the description: a community of people who give a d---) for students to access both in and out of class. Have students try out this site on individual computers, or as a learning center. For students who enjoy current events, Good.is is a terrific source of up-to-the-minute positive stories from across the web. There is advertising, but it is not too intrusive. Use this site as one of several current event options when asking students to find real world connections to curriculum topics. You can always send students directly to the full articles on their original sites to avoid displaying the Good.is frame at the top. Use articles as writing prompts for blog posts or practice writing informational texts or persuasive writing.

Comments

Great reading resource on current events! Ladisha, VA, Grades: 9 - 12

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Longform - longform.org

Grades
6 to 12
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Longform recommends new and classic fiction and non-fiction from around the web. Read articles on a browser or save to read later with Readability, Instapaper, Pocket, or Kindle. Articles...more
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Longform recommends new and classic fiction and non-fiction from around the web. Read articles on a browser or save to read later with Readability, Instapaper, Pocket, or Kindle. Articles include every imaginable topic. There are publications as "well-known" as New York magazine and as "low-profile" as the Broward-Palm Beach New Times. Search for a topic using the search bar or scroll through current offerings on the home page. Narrow down choices by method of reading such as Instapaper or Kindle format. You can also find podcasts about featured publications and articles. Click on an article's title to read online or print using links provided. Choose the read later button to save to your Longform account. Registration using an email address and password is required for this option.

tag(s): expository writing (31), independent reading (84), poetry (182), reading lists (82), writing prompts (53)

In the Classroom

Create a classroom account and save articles to use with classroom topics or for independent student reading. Find informational texts to use for Common Core practice. Share this site with students to create their own account to find articles to read. This is definitely a site that you want to list on your class wiki, blog, or website. Teachers of writing can use these articles as examples of different writing styles and of writing with audience and voice in mind. Select more controversial articles to use as writing prompts.

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True Tube - TrueTube

Grades
9 to 12
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Find videos related to social education, health, citizenship, religions, the environment, crime, and countless eclectic topics at this UK-based site. Though some are controversial,...more
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Find videos related to social education, health, citizenship, religions, the environment, crime, and countless eclectic topics at this UK-based site. Though some are controversial, this is a great set of resources for the introduction of difficult subjects to a class. Choose from subjects on the left margin, including Body and Health, Crime, Culture, and more. Many of the videos deal with worldwide issues from a non-U.S. point of view, offering a different perspective. Several videos have lesson plans. Be sure to preview videos before you share. Some do deal with rather controversial topics. If necessary, check with your administration about the appropriate use of these videos before sharing withe the class OR sharing the link on your class website.

tag(s): architecture (63), digital citizenship (80), diseases (67), environment (233), media literacy (98), mental health (31), persuasive writing (53), poetry (182), religions (74), sexuality (15), social skills (22), sustainability (43), writing prompts (53)

In the Classroom

Share specific videos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use a video to introduce a debate topic or as a prompt for persuasive writing. As a media literacy exercise, ask students to find another video (perhaps on YouTube) that presents an opposing viewpoint on the same topic as one here. Then challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own videos on this or another controversial topic being discussed in class. Share the videos using a tool such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

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mailDiary - mailDiary.net

Grades
3 to 12
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Check out this online journal with a twist. Each day the site sends an email with questions about your day to prompt you to write. Respond to the email with ...more
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Check out this online journal with a twist. Each day the site sends an email with questions about your day to prompt you to write. Respond to the email with your entry for automatic posting. Images can also be added to entries. Personalize the site using your choice of color and fonts. View entries as a PDF for easy printing as desired. Register with an email and unique name for your diary.

tag(s): blogs (66), creative writing (119), journals (14), writing (308), writing prompts (53)

In the Classroom

Create a diary with a message to your students each day. Have students keep a diary of their first week at school. They can re-read this at the end of the school year. Have students keep a diary of a famous person for a character in a story that you have been reading in class. Ask students to write a diary about a picture that you have sent to them. Have students write diary entries from the point of view of soldiers, presidents, scientists, and more. Prompt a giving diary during the holiday season with students writing about what they GAVE to someone else each day.

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I Fake Text - iFakeText.com

Grades
2 to 12
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iFakeText is a tool to create fake screenshots of a series of iPhone text messages. Write a name, then choose an operator and write text in the provided box. Click ...more
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iFakeText is a tool to create fake screenshots of a series of iPhone text messages. Write a name, then choose an operator and write text in the provided box. Click the link "Create your Screenshot" to view the picture. Have the operator READ the text message (great for non-readers). Take a screenshot or share via different social networking platforms or via a link.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (119), text to speech (17), writing prompts (53)

In the Classroom

Have two characters from a book or two famous people text each other. Create short poetry using this tool. Provide some opening text and ask students to write their guesses of the other person's answers. Have students practice a dialogue or questions and answers. Create a fake text of a conversation and have students use inference skills to state what happened before and after the conversation. You could even use it as a writing prompt. Teach important texting etiquette using this tool. Use a fake text on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to display word definitions in a fun way. Use this site with your ESL/ELL students (or those learning to read) and have the site READ the text to the students. The ability to use the "text to speech" makes this an easy tool for any age student to try! Tear down the boundaries of delayed reading. Create fake texts of homework or project reminders and post them on your class wiki or web page.

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Thought Questions - Marc and Angel Hack Life

Grades
5 to 12
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How do you know when you're happy? What's one bad habit that makes you miserable? Find open-ended questions on Thought Questions daily. A gorgeous photograph complements each...more
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How do you know when you're happy? What's one bad habit that makes you miserable? Find open-ended questions on Thought Questions daily. A gorgeous photograph complements each question. The site provides a space for you to answer these questions online or not. Maximize the benefits of self-reflection by taking the time to think! Visit this site daily, weekly, or monthly. There are hundreds of questions and photos to contemplate, and they post a new one daily. The public is able to answer the questions on the site, so you may want to only use this on an adult's computer.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): critical thinking (108), writing (308), writing prompts (53)

In the Classroom

This is the perfect site to start your students' day or end your day with them. Use these questions as writing prompts or quick writes. Penzu, reviewed here, is a quick and easy blog tool to replace paper and pencil and enhance learning. You may want to ask students to choose their favorite and form small groups to discuss their answers. Post some of the same questions on bulletin boards. Discussing or debating these questions would be a powerful community builder at the beginning of the year or when forming new small groups. To avoid the advertising, have your question on the screen before projecting it on your screen or whiteboard. If your class includes gifted students, they may react well to such thought-provokers. Encourage them to collect favorite prompts and responses in an "idea bin" such as Lino, reviewed here, to use at times when they are ahead of the class or need extra writing challenges.

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Writing Prompts - Luke Neff

Grades
4 to 12
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These writing prompts are not as boring as the title sounds. Luke Neff has put together images and prompts that will truly inspire you and make you think. There are ...more
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These writing prompts are not as boring as the title sounds. Luke Neff has put together images and prompts that will truly inspire you and make you think. There are 57 pages full of creative, interesting ideas to explore. Click archive in the upper right to see a page of thumbnails of writing prompts by month. This allows you to view more prompts in less time.

tag(s): creative writing (119), expository writing (31), persuasive writing (53), writers workshop (31), writing (308), writing prompts (53)

In the Classroom

These prompts are perfect for writing in journals as quick writes or having your students develop into a full story or essay. There are plenty of unusual ideas to get even the most reluctant writer moving. Once completed, have students submit their story to the class using Google Docs, reviewed here. The class can then collaborate by proof reading and suggesting ideas for others' stories. Just because these are "writing" prompts does not mean you can't use them for ENL/ELL or speech/language students to prompt them to TALK and use oral language. World language teachers can also use these to promote conversation/oral language. To get started, project one in class; after that make the link available on your class web page.

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ThinkExist - Harold S. Geneen

Grades
4 to 12
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ThinkExist is a Quotation Search Engine and Directory with over 300,000 quotations by over 20,000 authors in the English language. Find quotes by author, topic, keywords, or contributors....more
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ThinkExist is a Quotation Search Engine and Directory with over 300,000 quotations by over 20,000 authors in the English language. Find quotes by author, topic, keywords, or contributors. Narrow your search by subtopics such as nationality or theme such as love or wisdom. Membership to the site isn't required to find and share quotes; however, registration with email allows you to save favorite quotes, receive a quote of the day email, and become a contributor. This site does include significant advertisements that seem to adjust depending on what you search. Preview and monitor young people suing the site. Depending on what search terms they enter, the ads may not be "student appropriate."
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): famous people (21), quotations (20), search engines (49), writing prompts (53)

In the Classroom

Use the site to have a quote of the day (or week) for your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share the site with students to use when in need of a quote for classroom projects. FInd writing prompt quotes based on a search term. In literature or social studies classes, look at the list of quotes by an author or famous person. Invite students to create online posters (or traditional bulletin boards) about the author/person using selected quotes. Use an online poster creator, such as Padlet (reviewed here).

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The Learning Network - The New York Times Company

Grades
6 to 12
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This New York Times site addresses many classroom needs. Scroll down the main section to find current event articles, photos, polls, and more. Find lesson plans by category, a student...more
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This New York Times site addresses many classroom needs. Scroll down the main section to find current event articles, photos, polls, and more. Find lesson plans by category, a student opinion section, contests, a daily news quiz, and timely articles connecting current events to thinking questions. Find many opportunities for a quick learning game or to express your opinion. There is even a student crossword. This site is frequently updated and includes a wide variety of subjects.

tag(s): news (228), vocabulary (231), writing prompts (53)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your class web page for students to find challenges or activities. Substitute teachers can always find an appropriate current events or vocabulary/writing activity if there are no lesson plans. English, social studies, and gifted teachers will want to explore the many lesson ideas that draw on current news stories. Find many prompts for student opinion blogs at this site. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, replace pen and paper and have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Weebly, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration.

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Writing Bugs - Education World

Grades
2 to 6
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Motivate young writers with printable story starters organized by the month. A section with prompts that are appropriate for any time of the year is also available. ...more
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Motivate young writers with printable story starters organized by the month. A section with prompts that are appropriate for any time of the year is also available.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): writing (308), writing prompts (53)

In the Classroom

Be sure to include this site on your teacher web page for students to access both in and outside of class for writing choices. Bind completed student stories into a class book or have students write them on a class wiki or blog.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Writing Prompts Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources includes many types of writing prompts, both visual and verbal, to inspire writing. Whether you want students to try their hand at poetry or informational...more
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This collection of reviewed resources includes many types of writing prompts, both visual and verbal, to inspire writing. Whether you want students to try their hand at poetry or informational writing, there are ideas here to help. Make this collection available for students to find their own inspiration for open-ended, creative writing assignments. Teachers can also use this list to find 2-3 possible choices for a targeted writing assignment. Student choice is key in helping student voice come through in their writing.

tag(s): creative writing (119), writing prompts (53)

In the Classroom

Make this collection available for students to find their own inspiration for open-ended, creative writing assignments. Teachers can also use this list to find 2-3 possible choices for a targeted writing assignment.

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allwritewithme - Diane Owens

Grades
3 to 7
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Extend your writing workshop beyond your classroom walls with this site! This website includes explanations and practice for writing techniques in upper elementary classrooms. Another...more
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Extend your writing workshop beyond your classroom walls with this site! This website includes explanations and practice for writing techniques in upper elementary classrooms. Another section contains areas to post your own story or continue with a story in progress. The content reinforces and expands upon the 6+1 Trait Writing Model used in many elementary writing programs. Users are able to make comments. So you may want to preview before you share with students.

tag(s): characterization (16), main idea (8), writing (308), writing prompts (53)

In the Classroom

Emphasize what you have presented or want to review in writing concept mini lessons. Reluctant writers as well as enthusiastic writers can gleam ideas to start writing, as well as several ideas for writing prompts. Share this site on your class website for students who need extra reinforcement with writing concepts at home or students who love to go beyond and dig deeper into writing. Part of the site includes an area to continue the started story. Be sure to monitor closely since not all posts appear to be part of the topic. Use this site as an example of ways to continue writing workshop ideas onto your own classroom blog. Share your class stories using a site such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Creative Writing Practice for Secondary Students - TeachersFirst

Grades
7 to 12
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Find ideas and quotes to prompt secondary students to write, write, write. These evocative ideas and questions will give even the most uninspired student something to write about....more
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Find ideas and quotes to prompt secondary students to write, write, write. These evocative ideas and questions will give even the most uninspired student something to write about. Included with the prompts are some tool suggestions to encourage writing process that moves beyond "I'm done!"

tag(s): essays (20), expository writing (31), process writing (38), writing (308), writing prompts (53)

In the Classroom

Share these prompts one at a time or as options for essay writing. Some of the results may end up being strong enough to warrant revision and submission as college essays. Extend the idea of quotes as writing prompts by creating a class "quote graffiti" wall on a wiki or on paper so students can offer their own quotations as possible writing prompts.

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