For any student, writing can be a challenging task. The prospect of being faced with a blank piece of paper and trying to write something can be daunting. However, for most students, once they are started they are able to create some fantastic work.
We've gathered 20 fun activities to get your elementary students excited for writing and simple teaching ideas to ensure you are able to get the most out of your wonderful students.
1. Story Dice
If your students struggle to get their creative juices flowing, then perhaps story dice could help. There are many variations of story dice, but overall their purpose is simple. Students roll the dice and see a collection of images. You can ascribe a plot point to each image and this will help them to get their ideas flowing, allowing them to explore their creative writing more easily.
2. Mystery Box of Prompts
This idea is fantastic to get reluctant writers hooked on the activity and inspired. Fill a box full of cool writing prompts and let them explore. You could have a theme or just fill the box with random things such as a soft toy, some knick-knacks, or photographs- whatever you want.
3. Daily Writing Starter Challenge
These simple and quick writing exercises get students to rack up some frequent writing time. Simply put a prompt up on your board for your students coming into class, and allow them to get writing as you take care of your morning admin. Your prompt can be as challenging or as simple as you want from one word to longer questions.
4. Consequences Turn-Taking Writing Game
All this game requires is a piece of paper and something to write with. Students take turns writing part of a story, folding the paper over before passing it on to the next person. You can give your students a structure to follow or just leave them to come up with their own format.
Learn more: Wiki How
5. Write Thank You and Appreciation Letters
Letter writing is a great, practical way to get students writing as they can clearly understand the purpose of the writing. Students can write thank you letters to friends or long-distance family members for gifts, first responders for their service, or to their janitor for keeping their school looking great.
6. Get Pen Pals
There are plenty of ways to connect with schools across the world and for your students to have the opportunity to write to someone from a completely different country. Sites like PenPal Schools connect schools from around the globe so that students can send letters to one another.
Learn more: Pen Schools
7. Create a Menu
Menu writing is a completely different type of writing, which is a bit more straightforward which some students struggling to get creative might enjoy. Students can come up with either genuine menus that they would love to eat like these ones or silly menus!
Learn more: Teaching with Love and Laughter
8. Finish the story
Give your students a story starter from The Literacy Shed and then allow them to continue and finish off the story. Students could pick from a few options or the whole class could work from the same starter. Finished stories can be read out and students can compare how different all their stories are.
Learn more: The Literacy Shed
9. Use Writing Prompt Cards
There are endless resources of cool writing prompts that you can find online. These are thought-provoking and can challenge students to think outside the box and write about things they otherwise might not have. These mystery creative writing prompt cards are perfect to get students excited for writing lessons.
Learn more: Walking by the Way
10. Visual Story Prompts
This fun idea can bring variety to your class' writing sessions. Display a picture in your classroom during a writing lesson and use this as your prompt for students' writing. You can help students to draft starters or vocabulary to use or leave time to their own devices. The picture could be of anything, and you could even task a different student with finding one for each session.
11. Story Boarding
Storyboards are a great visual prompt for less confident or reluctant writers. Students can order the pictures in a way that makes sense then write the story. This version of a storyboard writing activity is perfect for younger writers, as each picture has some helpful vocabulary to aid writing.
Learn more: First Grade WOW
12. Write a letter to the Principal
Students will love the opportunity to write an old-fashioned letter to their Principal. You could get them to pick an issue in the school or make suggestions on how they think they could improve their school.
13. Silly Stories
Silly stories are a superb way to encourage students to come up with fun and creative ideas. These stories don't have to make any sense and can be as weird as they want! Get your students to swap stories at the end of this fun activity and watch the hilarity unfold.
14. Fairy Class Visitor
This special writing activity is perfect for encouraging reluctant writers to put pen to paper as well as improving creative writing skills. Set up a fairy door like this one in your class one day before your students arrive with a letter from the fairy. Students can write back and write stories about the fairy.
15. Daily Diary or Learning Log
A daily diary or learning log is a great way to wind students down for the end of the day, reflect on their learning and also encourage a daily writing habit.
16. Create a Class Recipe Book
A class recipe book is a fantastic project for your class and a great way to try out lots of different foods. Students can each bring a recipe from home and write them out either as they want or using a template like this one.
Learn more: Simply Kelly Designs
17. A Letter to Your Future Self
This activity is a favorite for the start of term as students can write a letter for their future self to read on the last day of term. The handwritten letters can also be a sweet keepsake for students to hold on to remember the year gone. Use templates like this one or let your students decide for themselves what to write.
Learn more: Mrs. Rojas Teaches
18. Write in Different Fonts
Make writing fun and creative by allowing students to practice and try out different fonts. From bubble writing to cursive writing, students love taking the time to try out different ones and see how they can change their writing to make it look cool.
19. Set Visible Writing Goals
Visible, displayed writing goals are a practical way to get students to have a can-do attitude to write. This super display clearly displays goals for students to focus on when writing and can be edited to be suitable for both older and younger students.
Learn more: Zeek's Zoo
20. Display Students' Writing With Pride!
If students can see that you are proud of their work, then they will start to take more pride in it themselves. Simple displays like this one are perfect to quickly pop up fantastic pieces of your student's work, and change them out for a newer brilliant piece of work every few weeks.
Learn more: Flipping for First