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Monday, October 19, 2015

7 Good Sources of Writing Prompts

One of the biggest challenges that some students face when tasked with writing a fiction story is coming up with an idea to start a story. Here are some good sites and apps that provide students with creative writing prompts.

Things to Think About is a free iPad app that offers 100 writing prompts created by students for students. The prompts were created by 2nd through 5th grade students in Jackson County, Michigan. The app itself was built by two high school students in the same county. Things to Think About has writing prompts spread across twelve categories. Each prompt has a picture drawn by a student. A short audio recording of a student reading each prompt can be heard too.

StoryToolz has three tools that you can use to get story ideas; Random Conflicts, Half Title Generator, and Story Idea Generator. Learn more about StoryToolz in the video embedded below.


Write About This is an iPad app (free and paid versions available) containing visual, text, voice writing prompts for students. Students can respond to the writing prompts they see by writing directly in the app or anywhere else that you want them to write. Write About This allows students and teachers to create their own writing prompts too. To create a writing prompt you choose picture from your camera roll, type a prompt, then record your voice to go along with the prompt. Prompts and responses to prompts can be shared via email. Sharing via email is disabled by default. Sharing can be activated in the app’s settings. The free version of Write About This contains 50 prompts.

Make Beliefs Comix is a great service that offers comic strip templates and writing prompts in seven languages. The templates and prompts can be completed online or you can print them out to give to your students. One of the great offerings from Make Beliefs Comix is a free ebook called Something to Write About (link opens a PDF). The free ebook contains dozens of writing prompts. Students can write in the ebook online and print their work. Alternatively, you can print all or part of the book to give to students.

Toasted Cheese is a site that offers a monthly calendar of daily writing prompts. The whole month is planned out for you with a different prompt each day. Don't see anything you like on the current calendar? That's okay because you can click through the previous months to find old prompts.

Scholastic Story Starters is a great tool that students will enjoy using to create short, creative fiction stories. Scholastic Story Starters offers four story themes; fantasy, adventure, sci-fi, and scrambler. To create a story on Story Starters a students picks a theme, enter his or her name, chooses his or her grade, and spins the big wheels of prompts. The student can spin the wheels until he or she finds a prompt he or she likes. After the prompt is selected the student can write his or her story using the letter, postcard, notebook, or newspaper format provided by Scholastic Story Starters. When the story is finished it can be printed. Story Starters will work on your students' iPads, Chromebooks, and laptops.

Share writing prompts with parents.
Apricot is a neat service that aims to connect teachers, students, and parents through writing. The basic idea behind the service is that teachers give writing prompts to their students. Students respond to the those prompts. Teachers can then share those responses directly to parents through Apricot. To use Apricot you register as a teacher and create an online classroom. It is possible to create multiple classrooms within your account. Students join your classroom by entering the join code provided by Apricot for your class. Once students have joined your Apricot classroom you can begin distributing writing prompts to them. If parents have joined your classroom you can share students' works with them. Parents join your Apricot classroom with join code.