Jul
17

15 Minute Writing Prompts

At our school this coming school year, we are putting a big focus on writing. As a computer lab teacher, I can squeeze it in, but time-wise, the most I can allot is 15 minutes out of class time. This is a great opportunity to use a chunk of lab time for some digital writing–that’s right! Blogging, word processing, message boards, even chat rooms are great ways to get that writing component into technology instruction.

As I sat here tonight and perused the internet for writing prompts, I found out two things.

  1. Writing prompts can be really lame.
  2. It’s hard to find “quickies.”

Writing prompts should be challenging, make students think creatively, and be FUN or at least angled to practice some aspect of writing (setting, character, descriptive words, humor, mood, tone, etc). Also, they should be structured so that students can put forth a good effort within 15 minutes. Also, I need variance and themey things. If I would want to stab my eyes with a red pen while reading the products of the writing prompts, then I am not going to have the kids write it (both eye-stabbing and red pen being metaphorical, of course). I want to be amused. I want to see personalities and ideas and exaggerations. I certainly do NOT want to know what you would do if you were the president, what you want to be when you grow up, or what your favorite hobby is. I want to know how you might describe a fantastical creature or what words you think of when you hear a song.

So, here is my attempt at some short writing prompts. Conveniently, one for each week of the school year, though some are repeated (like the music prompts–change the song!).

  1. What does your favorite color make you think about?
  2. How would you get ready for school in the morning if you went to a school for spy kids?
  3. Describe how an itch feels.
  4. If you could give yourself another name, what would the name be? Why would you choose that name?
  5. Fill-in-the-Blanks: Never try to catch a(n) ___ with a(n) ____. (write as many as you can think of) Example: Never try to catch flies with a net.
  6. What is the most peaceful thing to you? How does it make you feel?
  7. One word prompt: People
  8. Music prompt: Listen to the song and write words it makes you think of–colors, feelings, things, people, places, describing words, sounds, etc.
  9. Describe your secret hideout in the forest.
  10. One word prompt: Ants
  11. You find a mysterious map. Where will it take you?
  12. What foods would you put on the grossest, most disgusting sandwich that could be made?
  13. Be the ball. Pretend you are a ping pong ball, baseball, football, soccer ball, or basketball and tell about your life.
  14. Creature Feature: an Arxid Hornfletcher (describe the fictional creature)
  15. Fill-in-the-Blanks: The worst thing to use for ____ is a(n) ____. (write as many as you can think of) The worst thing to use for brushing your teeth is a lollipop.
  16. Write a three sentence story. Tell who the character is, what the character wants, and how the character does or doesn’t get it.
  17. Describe an attic in an old mansion.
  18. One word prompt: Rain
  19. Music prompt: Listen to the song and write words it makes you think of–colors, feelings, things, people, places, describing words, sounds, etc.
  20. Write Place: Galaxy Megalopolis (describe the fictional place)
  21. You discover a door in your closet that leads to a secret room in your house. What’s in it?
  22. One word prompt: Glue
  23. The Pitch: You’ve created a new brand of toys called Wind Riders. Describe the toy and write what a commercial on TV would say about them.
  24. If you were a cartoon character, what would you look like?
  25. Creature Feature: a Bog Ooni (describe the fictional creature)
  26. Fill-in-the-Blanks: If you’ve got to find the____, you’d better ask the ____. (write as many as you can think of) If you’ve got to find the banana, you’d better ask the monkey.
  27. Title Only: Ode to My Donut (write a poem or sentences based on the title)
  28. The Pitch: You’ve created an awesome new roller coaster called the Cosmodrive Astrobooster. Describe the coaster and write what a commercial on TV would say about it.
  29. Music prompt: Listen to the song and write words it makes you think of–colors, feelings, things, people, places, describing words, sounds, etc.
  30. One word prompt: Gumball
  31. Choose a fruit or vegetable, add radioactive goo, and you have a new superhero! What’s the fruit or veggie hero called? Do they wear a costume? What’s their super power?
  32. Write Place: Sunken Shrine Island (describe the fictional place)
  33. Title Only: 10 Uses for Gummy Worms (write based on title)
  34. What five things make you smile? What five things make you frown?
  35. You get to have a 5 course feast and can have any foods you want. Describe what you eat for each course and don’t forget dessert.
  36. What’s something you wish you were really good at? Why?

I used a generator to help a bit. If you need something wacky, there’s all sorts of generators out there (monster names, pirate settings, the list goes on).



One Response to “15 Minute Writing Prompts”

  1.   cindymctechtools Says:

    Love your writing prompts! I agree – so many of the ones I see online are red-pen-in-the-eye material.

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