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Creative Writing Prompts for Kids

Instructor: Nicky Davis
If you have a homework assignment or just want to learn to write creatively, prompts can be a source of inspiration, encouraging you to try new ideas and explore fresh outlooks. Keep reading for kid-friendly prompts in poetry, fiction and playwriting, and resources you can use to learn more about creative writing.

Fiction Prompts for Kids

Title of the Story

Come up with a story for one of the title options below, or create another original title to inspire your story.

  • The Mystery of the Golden Key
  • The Underwater Carnival
  • Wait Here
  • Don't Feed the Animals

End on This

Pick one of the ending sentences below and write the story that ends with that sentence.

  • 'That is the story of how the whale learned to garden.'
  • 'The next morning, the sky was still bright purple'
  • 'He told the whole story the next day at school, and no one believed him, except Ruby.'
  • 'So, in the end, almost everyone was happy.'

Writing Fables

Imagine a creative fable to explain one of the following things:

  • Why do cows only say moo?
  • Where did the tiger get his stripes?
  • Why do the days get longer in the summer?
  • Why can we see the moon during the day?

You Are Here

Choose a favorite room in your house, or another place where you like to spend time. Write a story that is set in that place.

Picture This

Find an image, it could be from anywhere, a magazine or a well-known piece of art, and write a story inspired by the image. For a group prompt, each participant can draw an image, then redistribute the pictures amongst the group and have everyone write based on someone else's artwork.

The Understanding Literature chapter breaks down important elements of fiction writing.

Poetry Prompts

Name Acrostic

Write your name in a vertical line. Then use each letter of your name to start a line of the poem. If you'd like to write a longer poem, you can use each letter as the start to a stanza instead of a single line.

Alliteration Poem

Start with a letter of the alphabet, then list as many words as you can think of that begin with that letter, including nouns, verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. Once you've got a substantial list, use those words to create an alliteration poem.

Growing and Shrinking

Construct a poem where the number of words per line grows and shrinks according to a specific mathematic pattern. For example, a multiples-of-two poem could look like this:

  • Line 1: 2 words
  • Line 2: 4 words
  • Line 3: 6 words
  • Line 4: 8 words
  • Line 5: 10 words
  • Line 6: 8 words
  • Line 7: 6 words
  • Line 8: 4 words
  • Line 9: 2 words

Haiku Calendar

Haikus are traditionally three lines long with 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second, and 5 in the third. Create 12 haiku poems, one describing each month of the year.

Found Poem

Choose a book and open to a random page. Close your eyes and point to a word then open your eyes and write that word down. Repeat this strategy until you've collected 15-25 words. Rearrange your words into a poem, filling in any gaps as necessary.

Check out the Poetry chapter to see lessons on different poetic styles, terms and devices.

Playwriting Prompts

He Said, She Said

Create a scene between two characters, where every line below is spoken.

  • 'Wait for me!'
  • 'Happy Valentine's Day!'
  • 'I promise I won't tell anyone.'
  • 'This is the best day ever!'
  • 'This is the worst day ever!'
  • 'Happy Halloween!'

Four Word Limit

What kind of conversation can you create between two characters where each line is no longer than 4 words long?

Jokes

Begin a scene with the following exchange, and then decide what happens next:

  • Character 1:'Knock, knock'
  • Character 2: 'Who's there?'

Scene Description

Begin by writing a detailed set description, Where are we? What do we see? What do we hear? What colors stand out? Once you've created the world for your scene, write the first scene that would take place in that setting.

Opposites

Think of two opposite things; stop and go, fast and slow, etc. Write a scene for two characters based on a pair of opposites.

The Drama chapter targets the key elements of dramatic writing, featuring lessons on topics such as dialogue, character motivation and stage directions.

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