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Ideas for Elementary Journal Writing Prompts

written by: Whitepines • edited by: Laurie Patsalides • updated: 1/20/2012

Need some help coming up with simple elementary journal writing prompts? The key to coming up with a great prompt is to appeal to a child's imagination or catch a child's interest. Here are some great ideas that have worked for me.

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    Journal Writing Prompts for Young Students

    You want to get your students excited about journaling, but you're having trouble coming up with ideas. You need topics that appeal to a wide range of children and you also want the topics to spark their imaginations.

    Holidays & Seasons

    One of the easiest ways to come up with journal topics is to think about the current weather, holidays and seasons. Try one of these ideas for a quick and easy prompt that is sure to appeal to your students:

    • I love spring because...
    • My favorite thing about Valentine's Day is...
    • During my summer vacation, I will...

    Every Day & Familiar

    Another idea for a writing prompt for a one or two sentence journal entry is to concentrate on familiar things. Make sure you think carefully about topics that might leave some of the children out. For example, you may want to avoid a topic that assumes all the children in your classroom spend time with their fathers. Ideas for journal prompts that concentrate on familiar things are:

    • My favorite color is ________ because...
    • For breakfast, I ate...
    • My favorite toy is...
    • My hair is...

    What if...?

    Of course, appealing to the imagination is always a good idea. You can help children learn to stretch their minds and encourage them to begin to put their creative thoughts on paper with one or two sentence journal writing prompts. A few ideas you may want to try are:

    • If I could be an animal, I'd be...
    • When I grow up, I want to...
    • If I could fly to the moon, I would...
    • If I could meet anyone in the world, I would want to meet...

    More Challenging Prompts:

    For children who are beginning to write paragraphs, finishing the sentence prompts is no longer necessary. For these elementary school students, try some of these prompts:

    • What would you do if you had a million dollars?
    • What is the scariest dream you ever had?
    • Who is your hero?

    Soon, you'll begin to see journal writing prompts everywhere.

Elementary School Journal Ideas

Teaching elementary school students to journal encourages them to learn to express themselves creatively and helps reinforce basic English skills.
  1. Journaling in Preschool and Kindergarten Grades
  2. Creating Journals for Beginning Writers
  3. Ideas for Elementary Journal Writing Prompts