One of my children has very little writing stamina. This means he struggles to write the volume required for some of his school work. During lockdown, his writing stamina decreased even further so for the final weeks of homeschooling, rather than work on the comprehensions set by the the school, we decided it would be more beneficial to focus on his writing stamina.
In order to help with this I created some writing prompts on topics I knew he would enjoy writing about. These have worked well because he has things he wants to say on these subjects and writing feels like less of a burden. In case other people are in the same position, I thought I would share my writing prompts for children.
Rules for the Prompts
We created some rules to follow when writing, these are stuck to the jar that contains the prompts:
Write 5 sentences on the topic or another topic of your choosing. You can repeat topics as long as you write something different.
Write the date first and give your work a title.
5p per correctly punctuated and capitalised sentence.
I’ve been paying 5p for each sentence where correct capital letters and punctuation are used for most of lockdown and it has really improved things. He’s made about a fiver and now rarely forgets to use them. It’s bribery but it works.
Each morning the children take turns to choose a prompt from the jar to write about. I’ll also allow them to write on something else if they want to, either a previous prompt (as long as they write something different) or another topic entirely. For me, the important thing is that they write, the topic is just inspiration.
We have started with just 5 sentences because writing had become such a struggle in lockdown but they have voluntarily written more on some topics which is great. If your children are left handed like mine, make sure they have an appropriate pen to write with too.
The Writing Prompt Topics
I printed out the topics and cut them up so that I could put them in a jar for the children to choose at random but I separated them into groups for each week first so that I could make sure they had a good range of topics. This meant that they had no more than one computer games topic a week, but if they chose to write about games everyday I would let them as long as they are writing!
Here are the topics I set:
Write about your favourite Minecraft world
Write about your favourite animal
Write about your favourite TV show
Write about a person you know and you like
Write about a famous person you like
Write about your favourite subject at school
Write about your hobby
Write about your favourite toy
Write about your favourite birthday party
Write about your favourite book
Write about your favourite foods and why you like them
Write about a Roblox game you like
Write about Fortnite Battle Royale
Write about Fortnite Creative
what would you like to be when you grow up
Write about a different Roblox game you like
Write about The Nether in Minecraft
What do you think the worst job in the world is
Write about the things you’d like to do over the summer holidays
How the Children have Responded
So far the most popular topics have been Minecraft (no big surprises there) and your favourite birthday party which they both chose to interpret as “plan your dream birthday party”. They are much happier doing this than the school set comprehensions and also really enjoy reading each other’s work. If you’re still struggling to get them writing then you could also try letter writing which has worked well for us too.
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