Group Story Writing Prompts

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Are you trying to get your students accustomed to writing stories in groups? The prompts in this lesson will go a long way toward sparking their creativity and engagement as writers.

Why Write Stories in Groups?

Many people think of writing as a very individual process. After all, much of what we write comes from our point of view alone. However, writing can also be very strong when done collaboratively. When you teach your students how to write within a group setting, you are preparing them for a variety of educational and workplace situations where they might have to write alongside others.

Learning to write stories in groups can be a great way to enter into collaborative writing. Story writing requires imagination and creativity, but it also allows for a certain flexibility and poetic license. The prompts in this lesson are designed to get your students started with group story writing.

Prompts for Early Elementary

Students in grades K-2 will require very simple prompts that let them practice formulating their thoughts and getting them onto paper. Prompts should be direct and simple, as well as engaging. Examples include:

  • Write a story about all of you playing at recess together. Describe what you are playing and how you work out any problems that come up during the play.
  • Imagine that everyone in your group discovers one magical animal. Write a story where all of the different animals come together. Describe the adventures and special powers they have.
  • Invent a holiday that you would like to celebrate as a group. In your story, explain what the holiday is and how different people like to celebrate it.

Prompts for Upper Elementary

Children in grades 3-5 are slightly more sophisticated writers and also are likely to be more familiar with collaborative processes. The following prompts will help them develop their strengths:

  • Each person in your group should develop their own character. Figure out each character's personality, likes, and dislikes. Then, write a story in which all of the characters meet each other and have adventures or problems together.
  • Think of a mystery that each of you would be able to play a specific role in solving. Write the story by alternating paragraphs. Make sure to build in as much suspense as possible and come together to figure out how the mystery should be resolved.
  • What if you came to school one morning and there were no teachers or other adults there? In your story, describe how the day would go. Try to think realistically, but it is fine if your story gets funny!

Prompts for Middle School

Middle school students often love to work in groups and they are very familiar with the writing process. These prompts will help them make the most of the strengths and skills they have:

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