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Creative Writing Prompts For Middle School Students
Creative Writing Prompts for middle school students is a fun list to help unmotivated and uninspired students use their imagination. Do you know one of the major reasons why students struggle with their writing growth is a lack of inspiration and guidance? This can result in low creative thinking leading to lower-quality work and poor confidence.
With these creative writing prompts specifically tailored to middle school students, you’ll have a starting point for your writing. There’s nothing like a spark of inspiration to get you going! Do you need more structured guidance from Oxbridge tutors to give you a massive boost in your creative writing skills? Check out our most in-demand creative writing summer school !
Are you ready to dive in and feel inspired by exciting writing prompt ideas? Read on!
The Best Writing Prompts for Middle School
Before getting started, you may want to delve deeper into some creative writing examples to get into the swing of things. If you’ve done that, then here are a few of the best writing prompts for middle school students that help spark creativity:
- Who’s your favourite character in a book? Try journaling from the character’s perspective.
- What topic are you passionate about? Write a persuasive essay on the topic.
- Think about your favourite place on Planet Earth. Write a descriptive essay about it.
- Write a story that begins with the sentence, “It was a dark and stormy night.”
- If you had a time machine, where you would go and what you would do.
- Recall a memorable emotion or experience. Write a poem about it.
- Think about a current event you find interesting. Write a news article about it.
- Who would you approach if you could ask for advice from anyone, living or dead? Write them a letter.
- Imagine you’re an astronaut travelling through space. Write a journal entry about your experience.
- What’s one of the most memorable moments in your life? Write a personal narrative about it.
- Write a short story about a character who overcomes a challenge or obstacle.
- What topic did you learn about recently? Write an informative essay about it.
- Write a fictional diary entry from the point of view of a historical figure.
- What specific animal do you find beautiful? Write a descriptive poem about it.
- Describe your hopes and dreams for the next five years via a letter to your future self.
- Imagine that you are stranded on a deserted island. Write a story about your experience.
- Write a scene in a play in an unusual setting.
- What place would you like to visit? Write a descriptive paragraph about it.
- Write a personal reflection about a significant event or experience and what you have learned from it.
- What’s your favourite animal? Write a fictional story from your fave animal’s perspective.
Creative Story Ideas: 34 Story Starters and Prompts for Middle Schoolers
- A magical pen that brings drawings to life
- A group of friends find a hidden treasure map.
- A world where animals can talk
- A robot who develops human emotions
- A strange creature is discovered in the depths of the ocean.
- A character who can see into the future
- A young detective solves a series of mysterious crimes.
- Teenage superhero navigates the challenges of middle school while saving the world.
- A group of middle school students stumble upon a secret government experiment.
- The magical kingdom is hidden in a scary forest.
- A vengeful ghost haunts the basketball court at a small school.
- Time-travel adventure to the Wild West 100 years ago.
- Friends have to save their town from a massive alien invasion.
- A character who learns to communicate with animals to save them from illegal hunters.
- A future world where AI technology controls everything.
- A distraught character who can control time and tries to change their past.
- Four teenagers go on a survival camping trip that turns into a nightmare.
- The magical creature must find a way back home against the efforts of evil humans who want to use its powers for their own purposes.
- A young girl discovers she was born 500 years ago.
- An orphan wakes up with no memory of who they are until they accidentally stumble upon an oddly familiar house.
- Students accidentally open a portal to another dimension and try to find their way back home fast because their final exam is a week away.
- A terrifying monster lives beneath the city streets. So why did it start terrorising the city all of a sudden?
- A gamer gets stuck in a video game. How can said gamer get out? Do they even want to?
- A middle school student starts having foreboding dreams that come true. What is the universe trying to warn them?
- Students attend a school for monster-slaying magic. So what monsters are they fighting against?
- A group of kids discover a secret underground society they must fight to save modern civilisation.
- An old man saves his town from a natural disaster in 13 minutes.
- The dragon wakes up from a century-long slumber. Only to discover it’s the only one left.
- The robot becomes self-aware and must navigate human emotions.
- A young inventor creates a machine that can read minds for a sinister purpose.
- A magical place where everyone has a special ability gets tangled up in a civil war.
- Supernatural mystery in an old, abandoned mansion that can save the world from a looming threat.
- A haunted amusement park contains secrets that can solve a criminal case.
- A young scientist creates a potion that can make people fly.
- An evil character can control the elements. How will the average human hero stop them?
Writing Prompts for Stories That Start with Dialogue for Middle Schoolers
- “I can’t believe you did that,” John says to his best friend. Write a story about what John’s best friend did.
- “I wish I could go back in time and change everything,” laments Jane. Write a story about Jane’s regrets. What would she do differently if given a chance?
- “I found something bizarre in the backyard,” said Tom to his sister. Write a story about what Tom found. How did the discovery change their lives?
- “I can’t do this anymore!” screamed Sarah to her parents. What is Sarah complaining about? How did her parents react?
- “I’m going to run away,” whispers Michael to his classmates. Why does Michael plan on running away? What happens when he does?
- “I knew you were hiding something,” said Jack to his friend. Write a story about Jack’s discovery and how it affects their friendship.
- Blake cries to her family, “I’m not who you think I am!”
- Write a story about how Alex stands up for himself against a bully. Starting with this line: “I’m not going to take it anymore,”
- “I think we might be lost,” whimpers Lucy to her friends. Where are Lucy and her friends? Why did they get lost in the first place?
- Ryan is grappling with a massive decision. Begin the story with “I think this is a sign.”
- The principal walks through the hallway, saying to Teacher Clare, “Help your students cope with the recent tragedy that plagued our halls.” What happened?
General Creative Writing Ideas for Middle School Students
Here is a list of prompts to get those creative juices flowing:
- Talk about a time you were so happy you wish the moment would last forever.
- You went to art class with a blind friend. How would you describe the painting to them? Use descriptive words.
- If you could go on your dream vacation today, what would it be like?
- Make a list of the most thought-provoking questions you can come up with.
- You’re about to meet your favourite celebrity. What interview questions would you ask them?
- If you could choose what happens next in your life until death, what will your story look like?
- Imagine how your favourite pet was created and use procedural writing to describe the process.
- If you were to insert yourself in a book you read, how would you change the story?
Want more fun writing prompts ? Check these out! Write a/an:
- Short story about reluctant writers whose writing changes the world.
- Acrostic poem about friendship or love.
- Science fiction story about a futuristic world where your favourite toy is a legendary weapon with fearsome power.
- Letter that will help inspire your past self when you were in a difficult part in your life.
- Personal narrative about a memorable event from your childhood.
- Descriptive paragraph about a person you admire.
- Write a horror science fiction story about a world where technology is advanced beyond our current understanding.
- Background story for your least favourite side character.
- List of the benefits of writing. Use persuasive writing
- Instructional essay on how to make a magical portal.
- Mystery story where the main character finds the missing heirloom of an ancient noble family.
- Story about a boy who became a millionaire because of a video game idea.
- Personal letter to a historical figure, asking questions or seeking advice.
- Descriptive poem about a specific season or weather.
- Story about time travel and the consequences of changing the past.
- Fun story about a cross-country road trip you would like to take.
- Story about a character who is an outsider and how they find a sense of belonging.
- Terrifying story about a person haunted by a past event and how they come to terms with it.
- Heroic story about a character who journeys to discover their true identity.
- Persuasive letter to a public figure expressing your thoughts on a current issue
Journaling Prompts for Middle School Writing
Here are journal prompts for middle school kids:
- Describe your hometown.
- What’s your favourite season, and why?
- What are your greatest fears? Do you want to overcome them? Why or why not?
- Where would you go if you could go anywhere?
- Write a descriptive paragraph about your favourite food and why you like it.
- What’s the meaning of your life? Use reflective writing.
- What’s your favourite food and what does it remind you of?
- If you won the lottery today, what would you buy?
- Do you have a pet dog? How do you feel about your furry friend?
- Choose one event in your life you wish didn’t happen. Why?
- What’s your dream dinner party?
- Would you rather become a normal person or a superhero? Why?
- Who would you call first when you’re in a dangerous situation?
- When was the time you felt most peaceful? Describe what was happening.
- Do you enjoy story writing? Why or why not?
- What are your top 3 greatest accomplishments so far?
- If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
- What’s the most embarrassing experience you’ve had?
- If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be? Why?
- What’s your dream job? Why?
- Describe your ideal friend.
- Imagine you are stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you want to have with you?
- Write about a time you tried something new and what you learned from the experience.
- What’s the most beautiful movie science you’ve seen? Describe it.
- If you could invent any item, what features would it have? And what is its purpose?
If you feel like challenging yourself then check out our high school creative writing prompts .
There you have it – a fun list of favourite writing prompts for middle schoolers to enjoy. What are your favourite ideas to write so far? And,
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20 Creative Writing Activities for Middle School
June 10, 2022 // by Stephanie Ledford
Some students are prolific writers, needing no help putting pen to paper and telling their stories. However, there are other students who need a little more direction in order to get their stories out. Whatever the case may be, these 20 creative writing activities for middle school will have all of your students showing their creative prowess.
1. I Am From
After reading the poem "Where I'm From" by George Ella Lyon, have students write their own "I Am From" poems. Using a template, all students will be able to create wonderful poems illustrating their own unique backgrounds.
Learn more: Regents of the University of Minnesota
2. Found Poems
Using the words of others, students create their own "found poems." By taking a snippet here and a line there, they can arrange them in their own creative ways to create new, interesting poems. Reading a book as a class? Have them use the book to create a found poem!
Learn more: Read, Write, Think
After reading "My Name" by Sandra Cisneros , have students create their own name poems. This assignment asks students to connect themselves to something bigger--their families, their cultural, and their historical background. All students will feel like poets after this assignment.
Learn more: Ojanpa
4. Chain Stories
This assignment has each student start with a blank piece of paper. After giving them a writing prompt , every student begins writing a story. After your chosen time limit is up, they stop writing and pass their story to the next person in their group who then has to continue telling the story. When each story returns to its original author, the activity is complete.
Learn more: Creativities ESL
5. Visual Character Sketch
Being able to add depth to a character can be difficult for many students. By allowing a student to create a visual sketch, you are allowing them a different approach to writing a character description.
Learn more: Adobe Education Exchange
6. What If...
"What if" writing prompts are a great way to get students' creative juices flowing. By posing a question, students are given a starting point, and it is up to them what twists and turns their stories will take. Will they write a sad, action-packed, or scary story? The possibilities are endless.
Learn more: The Wolfe's Writing Den
7. Descriptive Writing Prompts
Descriptive writing activities are another way for middle school students to practice their creative writing skills. They can give their descriptions their own unique twists by using their different writing styles to describe common objects. And hey, they might have a different appreciation for the things in their everyday worlds after this assignment!
Learn more: Academic Writing Success
8. Scary Stories
Go through the entire writing process and teach your students how to write scary stories! Before you begin writing, though, read them some (age-appropriate) scary stories to give them the chills and an idea of what is expected in a scary story.
Learn more: Keep 'em Thinking
9. Daily Journal Writing
There is no better way to improve students' writing abilities than to do daily writing. Each day, give students a different prompt and allow them to write for fifteen minutes. After, allow them the opportunity to share their story with their peers or the class.
Learn more: Daily Teaching Tools
10. So Much Depends Upon...
" The Red Wheel Barrow "--such a simple yet eloquent poem. Following this lesson plan, your students will be able to write their own simple yet eloquent poems and feel like accomplished writers.
Learn more: NYLearns
11. An Ode to...
Reluctant writers are often intimidated by complicated writing ideas. By using a template like the one pictured above, your students will all be able to feel like poets as they create their own odes about a person, place, or thing.
Learn more: Crafting Connections
12. Story Starters
Story starters are a great way to help students begin their stories. If you have a digital classroom, the Scholastic story starter page is great because it can formulate much different writing prompts, helping engage all students.
Learn more: Scholastic
13. My Time Machine Trip
What is everyday life like in 1902? How about in 2122? Have students write stories about their experiences traveling through time using the attached worksheet. For those that need a little extra help, allow them to research time periods so they have an idea of what life was like then.
Learn more: K12 Reader
14. Writing and Math
This is a great assignment for a math class! Using the provided instructions, students are to write a story that explains to their boss the math they used while delivering packages. Since this assignment asks them to cover specific math concepts, make sure you cover them in class first (or hand this assignment to a math teacher and let them have at it!).
Learn more: Dr. Hamblin
15. How to Bake Cookies for Santa
Seasonal writing activities are a great way to get kids excited around the holidays! One way to get descriptive paragraphs out of your students is through these instructions on how to bake cookies for Santa. The great thing about this assignment is all levels of writers can participate. Those that are more advanced can provide more details and struggling writers can still feel accomplished by explaining the cookie-making process!
Learn more: Teachers Pay Teachers
16. Diary Entry of a Literary Character
Another favorite among creative writing ideas is having students write diary entries in the voice of a character from literature. This can be a character from a book you read as a class or from a book they read on their own. Either way, it will showcase their creative writing skills and their knowledge of the character!
Learn more: Banana Magic
17. Write a Rant
Writing a rant is a good assignment to use when you are trying to teach about the different voices we use when writing. When writing a rant, you are going to use an angrier, more aggressive voice than if you were writing a children's story. This is a great warm-up to get students ready to write persuasive essays.
Learn more: Teachers and Writers Magazine
18. Write a Newspaper Story
After reading through some newspapers to get ideas on how newspaper articles are formatted, have each of your students write their own article. When they are all done, you can compile a classroom newspaper!
Learn more: Nie Online
19. Coat of Arms
Studying Shakespeare? Maybe European countries where it was common to have a Coat of Arms? If so, this assignment is perfect for your class. Have students create a coat of arms and then write a few paragraphs explaining their choices.
20. A Letter to Yourself
Have students write letters to their future selves. Give them specific questions to answer like "where do you see yourself in five years? Are you happy with your life? Is there anything you would change?" And then in five years, mail the letters to their parents!
Learn more: Ms. Carota
100 Creative Writing Prompts for Middle School
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Looking for some inspiration for your next short story? Look no further! We’ve compiled a list of 100 creative writing prompts for middle school to help you get started. Chose your favorite story idea from the list of creative writing prompts below and get started right now.
Why Story Starters and Writing Prompts Work
Writing is a complex skill. Not only do the hands of middle school students still cramp up when they write for more than a nanosecond, but they have to synthesize many new writing skills at once.
Young writers must generate creative writing ideas, assess their ideas to choose the best one, determine a compelling beginning, middle, and end, outline their story, write several drafts, and edit their own work. These are all necessary skills that must be developed, yes, but if we can isolate them, focusing on one or two at a time, we make it easier for middle school children to conquer each skill.
With writing prompts, they have lots of fun writing ideas to choose from. This takes away the stress of having to come up with their own high-concept idea. (And while these prompts only help with writing-induced stress, we recommend these tips for how to relieve stress in general. Being stressed doesn’t go well with creative writing.)
When they have a starting point to work from, writing gets a lot easier. Instead of spending a long time feeling frustrated about a lack of ideas, students can jump right in and write their first sentence. Even reluctant writers tend to get more excited about writing when presented with irresistible story-writing prompts.
In short, the best thing about using these fun writing prompts is that middle schoolers are more likely to fall in love with writing when they have a great time doing it.
Who Should Use These Story Writing Prompts
While these have been prepared with middle school and high school students in mind, many of them are also applicable to adult writers. Most of the prompts below will be too advanced or complex for most elementary school students, though some older kids from the lower grades, especially those with a real passion for writing, might find a few that peak their interest.
To make things a little simpler for you, we’ve also included a free printable version of these prompts that you can grab by entering your information below.
Sign Up for Your FREE Printable Story Starters and Writing Prompts
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Writing Prompts for Stories That Start Out Just Like Any Other Day
- I tiptoed into the bathroom. If anyone caught me doing this, I’d be in big trouble. I grabbed my mother’s lipstick and brought it back to my bedroom where my brother slept…
- I peeked through the curtains. There was a limo parked outside with two bodyguards. I heard a knock at the door…
- I went over to say hello to the cute little baby under the umbrella, but when I reached her, I saw that…
- The bell rang, and I sprinted toward my locker. I had to get out of there before…
- I opened the front door to find the UPS man standing on the front stoop, his arm around a cylindrical package that was almost as tall as him. Oh no. Not again, I thought…
- Irene gripped her mom’s hand harder as they walked through the doors of the imposing gray building. Her mom had promised her they’d never have to come here again, but…
- The lights dimmed and the curtains opened. I felt like I was going to throw up. Why had I ever thought this was a good idea?…
- As soon as I boarded the train, I began my letter to my sister. I did it. I sold everything and am on my way to…
- A kid’s birthday party seemed like an innocent enough place to blend in and relax for a moment. It’s been a while since I stopped moving. But when the balloon popped…
- I sat down at my desk and sifted through the mail that had been placed in front of my computer. All junk, of course. I was about to dump it all in the recycling bin when I saw my favorite magazine at the bottom of the pile. Tossing the rest aside, I snatched it up, but something unexpected fell out from between the pages…
- We were canoeing across the inlet when we noticed some unusual movement alongside the boat. A whale was surfacing next to us. Another one followed closely behind. Suddenly, our boat was being lifted out of the water and…
- The Instagram account I created for my hamster just went viral and he’s getting calls with job offers from around the world, only …
- At first, we thought the box contained the water guns we ordered online, so we tore it open eagerly, ready to load them up. Instead, what we saw inside completely changed everything.
- I got off the boat furious and trembling. I was never getting back on there again, not with him at least. There was no way I was going to let him…
- The pancakes were perfect—round and golden, soft but a little crispy near the edges. I slathered them in maple syrup and fruit. But then mom went to the fridge and took out the whipped cream, giving me an apologetic look as she did so. It was a treat, a very special one, and she only ever brought it out if…
- We sat around the campfire in eerie silence, nobody wanting to bring up our predicament. Everything was going to have to come out anyway, we might as well get it over with. I was just about to clear my throat when I noticed Sam and Layla standing apart from the group, whispering. What were they plotting now?
- I’d always wanted to be brave like my brother Simon. He wasn’t afraid of anything. I remember once, when he was younger, he…
- We walked through the garden one last time, knowing we’d never return to this house again. I waved goodbye to each flower bed, to the apple tree that I’d climbed innumerable times as a child. I wanted to scream. Why were they making me…
- My dad used to tell me these crazy stories when I was a kid. His life seemed so bizarre to me, but his sense of humor was mysterious, like I could never tell when fact blended into fiction. I still don’t know which ones to believe, like that one about…
- Shivering, I tried to open the door of my car, but it was frozen shut. I looked up and scanned the parking lot to make sure nobody had seen me. Why did it have to be this freezing, today of all days? What if they…
You might also enjoy: How to Use Story Starters to Get Kids Writing
Writing Prompts for Stories That Start with Dialogue
- “Drink it, quick!” I looked at the bottle. The contents were unlike any I’d ever seen. I closed my eyes and drank it in one gulp…
- “Five more minutes,” my dad grunted, as I tried to pull him out of bed. “Dad, they’re here–we have to go!”
- “Shh…” I said frantically, as Robin’s wheelchair squeaked again. “Don’t you know how much trouble we’ll be in if they find us…”
- “Put me down!” I yelled as I was hoisted into the air by a giant…
- “Stop it!” I cried as my little sister snatched my phone from the desk and tried to eat it. I couldn’t run the risk of anyone seeing the words I’d etched into the back of it, the ones that would save my life if anyone ever…
- “Have you ever driven one of these before?” I asked James, trying not to let him see how nervous I was. “Is it safe?”
- “Are you coming or not?” he demanded as he took a few steps further into the…
- “Is there anyone in there?” I wondered aloud, staring up at the gothic castle. “The letter said they’d meet us…”
- “We finally did it!” I exclaimed to my lab partner. “We’ve invented a cream that actually makes people more beautiful. We are going to be so rich!”
- You have just five dollars to your name, and you decide to spend it on lunch at your favorite fast food joint. Just as you’re about to pay, a boy not much older than you leans in and whispers to you, “Hold onto your money. I’ll show you how to turn that five dollars into five grand.”
- You’re standing in line at a coffee shop when you spot a shiny coin on the ground. You bend down to pick it up, but a big black boot stomps down on it just before your fingers grasp it. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” a deep voice warns.
- “I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news,” she began, her arms crossed nervously over her chest. “You didn’t get in.” When I raised my eyebrows at her, she added, “And there’s more…”
- He patted my hand reassuringly and said, “It’s okay, you can trust me,” in that voice of his that I’d learned meant I really couldn’t. “All you have to do is…”
- “It’s for you!” she called, after answering the phone. When I went to take it from her, she covered the mouthpiece and whispered menacingly, “This better not be about what I think it’s about, got it?”
- “I should have listened to you,” Greg acknowledged, as he lay curled up on the grass, his clothes caked in mud. “You were right about…”
- “How could you?” I asked in disbelief. “After everything we’ve been through, I thought you were the one person I could trust. I can’t believe you…”
- I kicked at the dust with my shoe. Her question had caught me off guard. I wasn’t prepared to answer it, not yet. I tried to stall. “Remember that time when…”
- “Okay, okay, I’m here,” I said, rolling my eyes for effect. “What was this important news that you had to drag me away from pizza night for?”
- “It’s okay, you can come out, you don’t have to be afraid. Here, take my hand.” The hand that reached out toward me was like any I’d ever seen before.
- “Let go!” I screamed at the man holding me in a headlock. I tried to kick his shins, but he just grunted and held tight. Think quick , I told myself. Time is running out. If only…
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Writing Prompts with an Element of Suspense
- Estella ran down the trail, her dog, Gerard, several feet ahead of her. A gust of wind ripped through the forest and a loud crack on her left caught her attention. She watched the tree fall, then turned back to the trail, but Gerard was gone…
- The light started to flicker, first blue, then white. I looked around for a way out, but I was trapped. I guess I’d have to resort to the backup plan…
- The footprints in the snow were fresh. They veered off the path and into the woods. I had to make a choice. It was now or never.
- I tiptoed down the stairs of the prison. I had to break her out of here before…
- It was really hot that day, so I went to my favorite lake. I was about to jump into the cool water when a big splash in the middle of the lake sent ripples over the water. Something was in there. Something…
- My sister and I entered the fairgrounds suspiciously. The note we’d found had said that the mystery person would be here at five, and it was half-past four. We weren’t taking any chances. We had to find him before…
- Ellen squeezed down the narrow aisle of the plane looking for row M. She stuffed her backpack under the seat in front of her with her feet and buckled up. As the plane lifted off the ground, the pilot welcome them aboard their flight to Iceland. Wait, what? This wasn’t the flight to…?
- I walked out of the interview, still holding my breath. This was my dream job and I was afraid that the smallest of breaths would cause me to wake up. I exited the building and a little girl approached me. “The job’s yours,” she said, somewhat prophetically. “All you have to do is…”
- Last night, I was taking a nap on the couch when the phone rang. When I answered it, the voice on the other end said, “Will you accept a collect call from Brazil?” I started to panic, was this the call John has warned me about? I answered it with trepidation…
- It was my seventeenth birthday, and I’d been planning the party for months. Everything was perfect: the decorations were over the top, the food catered by my favorite restaurant, and every cool kid in school was there. The only problem? I was stuck in…
- The shelves in the used bookstore climbed higher than I could see, I’d never seen so many books before in my life. I climbed the rolling ladder to get a better look. Just then, a woman approached and held out a thick, red leather-bound tome. “This is one you seek,” she called out to me. “Look no further. This one will…
- I was sitting at a bus stop when a little girl came up to me and gave me a small box. It started trembling in my hands but when I looked up to ask her what it was, she’d disappeared.
- I tiptoed into the haunted house, looking both ways to see what was in it. As my eyes adjusted to the light, I saw…
- I was about to enter my house when I saw a little dog running down the street toward the busy intersection. There was nobody with him. Without thinking, I took off after him and…
- A loud crash sent me thundering down the stairs to the kitchen. Wolf, my rottweiler was greedily licking lasagna off the tiled floor. Not unusual in and of itself, but what caught my eye was the shiny silver thing glinting underneath the tomato sauce. Was that what I thought it was?…
- It was well past dark and I was the last person in the library. It was eerily quiet, except for a faint tapping sound coming from the next aisle. I moved cautiously toward the end of the row and peeked my head around the corner…
- I was running out of time. They’d said they’d give me until sundown, and that was only a few hours away. I had to…
- That’s odd , I thought to myself as I reached the next landing and glanced up at the next set of stairs. I don’t remember there being another set of stairs here before. Is this what the old man was talking about when he said…
- The computer beeped again. It was now pinging six times per minute. Whoever was sending these messages was getting impatient, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to find out why.
- I woke up yesterday in a tree, without even a sweater to keep me dry. The weird thing is…
You might also enjoy: Fun Writing Activities for Kids
Writing Prompts that Ask “What If?”
- What if every character you wrote automatically came to life and a foreign government was after you to make spies for them?
- What if a family member you’d never met left you a parcel of land in Norway, but when you got there you realized it was an enchanted forest?
- What if your parents came home from work tonight and told you they were sending you to boarding school?
- What if you were eating breakfast alone at your kitchen table when a newscaster interrupted your favorite TV show to break the story of a missing person, and the missing person was you?
- What if you could live in Ikea for a month?
- What if a cruise ship full of celebrities got stuck at sea for two weeks?
- What if you were in a museum and discovered a stack of letters describing the location of a buried treasure in your hometown?
- What if you were cast as the lead in an opera but you’d faked your way into the role and didn’t actually know how to sing?
- What if a child saw her parents stealing, but chose to keep it a secret so that she wouldn’t be separated from them?
- What if someone offered you the gift of being the best painter in the world, but in return, you could never stop painting?
- What if your pet was elected mayor of your city?
- What if you were an Uber driver in a world where people travel by hot air balloon instead of by car?
- What if you found a time machine, traveled back in time to ancient Egypt, and discovered that their world was even more modernized than ours and included more advanced technology but that they’d destroyed all evidence of these advances in an effort to protect future generations from making the same devastating decisions that they had?
- What if a screenwriter approached you about making a movie about your life, but every time she interviewed you, she completely ignored every answer you gave and made up her own?
- What if you could type 1000 words per minute and could write a new novel every hour?
- What if you woke up tomorrow morning speaking five new languages that you’d never heard before, only to discover that you’d been recruited by international spies and they’d filled your brain with secrets and information while you were sleeping?
- What if you could never leave high school, but instead had to keep coming back year after year to try and get perfect grades before you were allowed to move on?
- What if your parents were taking you on a dream vacation to Europe, but they got kidnapped at an airport and you had to navigate new countries on your own while trying to save them?
- What if you invented a new tool that could clean your whole house in fifteen minutes and you became a millionaire overnight?
- What if you were reading a list of writing prompts, and you realized that every sentence that came out of your mouth was, in fact, a writing prompt and that you were compelled to write a story for each one?
You might also enjoy: Poetry Writing Prompts for Kids
Story Starters that will Bend Readers’ Minds
- The answer is 49. I looked around the room. There was nobody else there except Quincey. Could it be?
- It’s all over the news. Random events are taking place. What if someone discovers that it’s my dreams coming true, literally? What will they do to me? I have to find…
- On Saturday morning I went out to the backyard in my slippers and robe to feed my pet rabbits. When I reached their hutch, I gasped. A large hole had been torn in the wire door and the hutch was empty. Fearing the worst, I scanned the yard for signs of their whereabouts, when suddenly I was tapped on the shoulder. I spun around to find a black bear standing in his hind legs. “If you ever want to see your bunnies again,” he said, …
- Never trust your dreams, they will get you in trouble every time. At least, if they’re anything like mine. Maybe trouble has a way of finding me, but still, you need to be safe. Just last week, I had a dream about…
- I’d been tracking him all day, and I almost had him, but I had to wait until he was under a tree before I could pounce. I stood up and scanned the clearing. That’s when I realized that I’d been duped. I wasn’t the stalker, after all. He was the bait, and I was the target.
- A baby sits alone in the plane’s first-class section, bright red headphones perched on his head. He stares at me a moment as I pass, then snaps his fingers at the flight attendant to get her attention. Was this another one of…
- You’re forty years old and are happily married to your spouse of 15 years. You’re offered an opportunity to go back to your childhood and correct a horrible mistake you made, and you accept it. You fix the mistake and continue moving through the stages of your life as you did before. Only, the day you were supposed to meet your spouse for the first time, they never showed up.
- You’re walking down a deserted street downtown when you pass a building with a mural painted on its wall. As you take it in, the faces on the mural suddenly start talking to you, warning you of crimes that are about to occur in the city. You’re unable to shut out their voices or ignore them.
- You’re in the car when the person on the radio starts talking about something you did yesterday. Only, you didn’t actually do it, you only thought about it. And it wasn’t yesterday, it was five minutes ago.
- You discover a book in your parent’s bedroom that describes everything you’ve ever said and done. But the book is a hundred years old, and you’re just twelve. Or so you thought.
- She stepped off the plane looking different from how I remembered her, which was strange as it had only been a few months. But she was taller somehow, her eyes were darker, her features sharper. What had they done to her at that retreat?
- Sometimes I wish I could just get into a waterproof bubble and float away, forever, away from all of this. Leave it all behind and start over. I never actually thought it would be possible, until…
- The house started to shake, and at first, I thought it was an earthquake. We’d trained for those at school. I ran to the nearest door frame and pushed my hands and feet into it as hard as I could. But this wasn’t a normal earthquake. None of the other houses outside were shaking, for one thing. And it went on much too long. As the shaking got more and more intense, a hole opened in the middle of the house, and from it rose…
- I can talk to animals. It’s just something I’ve always been able to do. I didn’t even know it was weird until some kids at school saw me shooting the breeze with a murder of crows at recess one day. Now I have to keep it a secret. If anyone else finds out…
- You’re walking home with your friends from school one day when your best friend vanishes down a manhole. You jump in without thinking and discover that in the sewer lives an entire species of…
- Leonard sat down on the park bench to tie his shoelace. An old man walked up with his dog and asked Leonard if he’d watch the dog for five minutes. The man never returned, and Leonard…
- I walked through the market timidly, unsure of what I was looking for, but somehow feeling sure that I would find it here. A flash of light flickered almost imperceptibly to my right, and instinctively I turned toward the stall that I’d just passed, but it was gone. In its place…
- Yesterday, my mother was turned into a rock. Yes, a rock. The kind that’s small enough to put in my pocket and carry around. In fact, that’s where she is right now. I have one week to figure out who did this and find them if I ever want to see her face again.
- I knew robotics were dangerous. I’ve been warning them for years. Even when I was seven, I could see the harm they were capable of causing. But nobody listened to me. Until now. Now that an evil robot is threatening to destroy the world, suddenly they come running back to me for help. Good thing I’m thirteen now. Maybe they’ll actually listen this time.
- It never occurred to me that it would actually work. Who would have thought that the teleporter at the Star Trek Museum was functional? You’d think they would have put up a sign warning kids about that, or something. Anyway, that’s how Jamie and I ended up in this barren land. Now we need to figure out how to get back.
Hopefully, these creative writing prompts for middle school have given you tons of new inspiration for your next class project. Whether you’re writing short stories, flash fiction, or novels, working from a sentence starter or writing prompt is a fun way to spark ideas.
Tuesday 27th of June 2023
I love these! I've recently started a creative writing journal and have been struggling to find inspiration. I learned about story starters earlier this week and have been hunting down prompts ever since. This list is perfect, thank you!
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BEST MIDDLE SCHOOL WRITING PROMPTS
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Snowed under, start your story with somebody getting called to the principal’s office., finish this sentence: "i wish that i...".
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The best writing prompts for middle school
Writing has a funny way of bringing the world around us to sharp contrast — which is why creative writing prompts might turn out to be just the trick to get the imaginations of your middle school students going! Whether you make it a journaling activity in the classroom or an interactive project to get your middle schoolers swapping ideas with friends, a writing prompt can do it all for kids: improve their writing skills, skyrocket their creativity, and broaden their perspective beyond the confines of school.
This directory is bursting with the best writing ideas about animals, people, and nature. Feel free to use any of these writing prompts for middle school to help turn your students into young writers with a story of their own.
If you're looking to cut to the chase, here's a list of top ten favorite writing prompts for middle schoolers:
- A character finds an old roll of film, and takes it to be developed. What do they find?
- A mundane ability suddenly becomes a superpower. Write about someone or something affected by this.
- End your story with someone finally conceding to another's point of view.
- Format your story in the style of diary entries.
- Set your story in a confectionery shop.
- Write a story about someone struggling to swallow some harsh (but fair) constructive criticism.
- Write a story in the form of a top-ten list.
- Write a story inspired by a piece of music (without using any lyrics).
- Write a story that focuses on the relationship between siblings.
- Write a story involving a character donating a box of clothes they have outgrown.
If you have a middle school student who's interested in becoming an author, check out our free resources on the topic:
Develop a Writing Routine (free course) — It’s never too early to start developing a writing routine! While creative writing prompts can give a student the spark of an idea for a story, it will take time, effort, and commitment to turn it into a novel. This course will show an author of any age how to develop the discipline that they will need to write a book.
Want to encourage your middle school students to start writing? Check out Reedsy’s weekly short story contest , for the chance of winning $250! You can also check out our list of writing contests or our directory of literary magazines for more opportunities to submit your story.
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Explore more writing prompt ideas:
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Middle School Writing Prompts ⭢
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Winter Writing Prompts ⭢
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1029 Killer Writing Prompts for Middle School
Tired of searching through endless lists for the best writing prompts?
This is the only list you’ll ever need.
We personally combed through hundreds of lists, books and writing guides to bring you the 1,029 middle school writing prompts covering 20 different topic categories.
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Our entire 1,029 writing prompts are available as a user-friendly PDF. Click on the thumbnail to preview the first 12 pages, or click the button below to get the full book.
Want great short stories for middle school? Go here .
Want poems for middle school? Go here .
Want 17 killer writing lessons for middle school? Check them out below.
Table of Contents
This list is huge.
Which is why we organized it by topic to make it easier to navigate. Click on any of the topics below and you will be taken directly to that topic and its prompts.
To return to the top of the page, click the arrow along the right side of the screen.
Let’s dive in.
40 Animal Writing Prompts for Middle School
- A kid wakes up to find a giraffe standing over his bed. What happens next?
- You have to do battle with a giant snake or a giant spider. Which would you choose and why?
- You’ve been selected to live for a year on the International Space Station. You can take one animal with you. What animal do you think would be best suited for life in space. Why?
- Imagine you came home from school and your pet was ten times its usual size. What would you do next?
- If you could have any pet, what would it be?
- You can give your teacher any animal for their birthday. What animal would you choose and why?
- Are there any animals you believe people shouldn’t be able to keep as pets? Why do you think these animals should never be pets?
- Imagine an alien species came to Earth and intended to take only five animals back to their planet. What five animals should they take to help the aliens on their planet best understand life on Earth?
- Cat or dog? Which is the better pet? Why?
- Tell how you first met your pet, but tell the story from your pet’s point of view.
- What animals make bad pets? Why?
- Imagine you are going on vacation and a friend is taking care of your pet. Explain in detail precisely how your pet must be cared for in your absence.
- You can combine the traits of any three animals into a single new species. What animals do you choose? Describe the new animal you intend to create.
- Would you rather be attacked by a shark or a giant squid?
- Write a story about the biggest shark in the sea.
- If you could be an animal, what would you be?
- What is your favorite animal? Why do you like that animal?
- What is your least favorite animal? What do you dislike about that animal?
- Can your pet do a funny or unusual trick? Describe the trick and how they learned it.
- Should animals be kept in zoos? Give three reasons defending your answer.
- Should people be allowed to bring their pets into restaurants? Why or why not?
- Would you rather have to hibernate through the winter like a bear or come out only at night like an owl?
- If you had a parrot that could talk, what would you teach it to say?
- Choose any animal and imagine what the world would look like if they were the dominant species.
- Would you rather like to jump sixty times your height like a flea or lift 100 times your body weight like an ant?
- Would you rather be a shark or a dolphin? Explain your answer.
- A dog’s nose is more than 10,000 times more acute than a human being’s. Describe all the things you would smell going through your day if you had the nose of a dog.
- If you could bring back one dinosaur, what dinosaur would you choose? Why?
- You have to fight a wooly mammoth or a saber-tooth tiger. Which would you choose to fight and why?
- You can save any one animal from extinction, but to do so you must choose a different animal to vanish forever. What animal would you choose to save, and what animal would you select for extinction?
- Imagine that all spiders disappeared tomorrow. What do you think would happen with them gone?
- What animal do you think is the smartest? Explain your answer.
- What is your spirit animal. Explain your answer.
- Is it okay to have a monkey for a pet? Why or why not?
- Why do you think there are more insects than mammals?
- Whales don’t sing as much as before because of noise from boats on water. Write a journal response explaining how we can help the whales sing again.
- What animal do you think is most similar to you in personality? Why?
- Why do you think so many people are afraid of spiders?
- What’s the difference between a cheetah and a tiger?
- Ants can build structures that, relative to their size, are larger than anything ever built by human beings. How do you think they achieve this given their tiny brain size?
84 Biographical Writing Prompts for Middle School
- Write about a time you stood up for something you believed in. What did you do?
- What is the worst gift you ever received? Why didn’t you like it? How did you respond when you saw what you’d gotten?
- What is the earliest memory you have? Describe your memory. Why do you think this is the earliest memory you can recall?
- Do you think your personality has been shaped more by who you were when you were born or by the way you’ve been raised by your parents?
- What is your favorite thing about yourself? Why is it your favorite?
- Are you most like your father or mother? Why?
- What do you like least about yourself? Explain your answer.
- What makes you who you are?
- Do you like being the center of attention? Why or why not?
- Who is the person in your life that makes you laugh the most? Why do you find them so amusing?
- What was your favorite summer vacation? Why?
- Write about a time you gave something of yours to someone who needed it? What did you do?
- Do you consider yourself to be a patient person? Why or why not?
- Do your parents let you choose your own clothes at the store, or do they pick them for you? What is your style like?
- What is your favorite game? Is it a video game or a board game? What do you like about it?
- What is the best gift you ever received? What made it so special?
- Write about a secret you’ve never shared. How do you keep it secret? How does the secret make you feel?
- What is the hardest decision you ever made in your life? Explain what made it so difficult.
- Have you ever received a gift you didn’t like? How did you react?
- Have you ever gone to summer camp? Did you enjoy it? Explain your answer.
- If you were the ruler of the world, what would you do?
- If you could only play one sport for the rest of your life, what would you choose? Why?
- You can visit any country in the world, but only for a day. What country would you choose and what would you do for that day?
- What is the most unfair thing in your life? Explain your answer.
- Are you a team player? What qualities do you possess that make you a team player or not?
- You can eat only one cuisine for the rest of your life. What type of food would you choose and why?
- What is your favorite month of the year? Why?
- Describe your bedroom. Is it messy or clean? Where are all your favorite things? What posters/pictures are on the walls?
- Write a letter to your older self ten years from now. What do you hope that your older self has accomplished by then? What do you want your older self to remember about the person you are now?
- Write a letter to your younger self in first grade. What do you wish you knew in first grade that you know now? What advice would you give your younger self?
- What is the most important thing you ever learned?
- When was the last time you laughed so hard you could barely breathe?
- Where do you feel most at home? What is it about that space that makes you feel comfortable and safe?
- When was the last time you felt so angry you wanted to hit something? Why were you so angry?
- Imagine you won the lottery and now have $100,000,000. Everyone in your family expects you to give them money and make them rich. Would you give everyone in your family money or keep it for yourself? Explain your choice.
- You’ve just been elected leader of the country. What is the first thing you would do with your new power? Why?
- Would you rather be invisible or be able to fly? Explain your answer.
- What one superpower do you wish you had? Why?
- Do you remember your dreams? How often? What happens in them?
- Describe the worst mistake you ever made and how you have learned from it.
- What are your top three pet peeves? Why do these things bother you so much?
- What is your go-to thing to do when you’re bored? What would happen if you could no longer do that thing for an entire year?
- Imagine you could meet any person in history, living or dead. Who would you want to meet and what five questions would you ask them?
- You can spend the day with any cartoon character. What character do you choose? Why? What would you do together?
- If you could open any business, what kind of business would you start?
- What is your worst quality? How do you think you can improve on it?
- Have you ever been bullied? Describe how it happened and how it made you feel.
- What is your perfect meal? Describe it in detail.
- When was the first time you can remember feeling sad? What made you feel that way?
- If someone wrote a book about your life, would you be the hero, the villain, or the sidekick?
- If you had to pick one of your classmates as someone who inspires you, who would you pick and why?
- What is the most valuable thing you own? Why is it special?
- You can make one wish come true that would help other people but would not benefit you at all. What wish would you make and why?
- Who is the most trustworthy person you know? Would you trust them with your deepest, darkest secrets?
- Imagine the person you least like spending time with. What would happen if you had to spend an entire week with that person, all day, every day?
- Have you ever failed to keep a promise? Why did you fail? How did it make you feel?
- Do you think of yourself as a competitive person? Why or why not?
- Have you ever done something simply because other people were doing it, even when you thought it didn’t look like any fun? How did you feel afterward?
- If you died tomorrow, what one thing would you want everyone in your school to remember about you?
- Have you ever collected anything? If so, what did you collect and why? If not, why do you think you’ve never been interested in collecting?
- Write about a time when you had to work very hard for something. What made it so difficult? Why were you willing to work so hard? Was it worth it?
- Have you ever been admitted to the hospital? Explain why and what your stay was like.
- If you could trade places with a single person in your school, who would you trade places with and why?
- You have to give up one of your senses. Which do you give up and why?
- Who is the oldest person you’ve ever known? Why do you think they were able to live so long?
- You have to go an entire month without the internet. How would this affect your life?
- Would you rather be a great athlete or a great musician? Explain your choice.
- Describe something that you used to enjoy when you were younger but that you find embarrassing now. Why did you like it when you were younger?
- Have you ever lost something that you loved dearly? How did you lose it? How did it feel?
- What do you wish your parents understood about you?
- Are you too hard on yourself or do you let yourself off the hook too easily? Explain.
- What childhood rules did you break when you were younger? What were the results of your actions? Would you break those rules again?
- Describe a time when you have suffered and your suffering made you stronger.
- Are you the same person on social media as you are in real life? Why or why not?
- Have you ever felt like you can’t do something because of your gender? Describe how that made you feel.
- Do you think you have a sense of style? What does your style say about who you are as a person?
- Do you think your use of technology and social media has made you more isolated as you’ve gotten older? Explain.
- Would you pursue a career if you knew you would never make much money doing it?
- Which is more important to you: work that makes you happy or work that makes you money?
- Do you look forward to getting older? Why or why not?
- What do you think is the perfect age? Explain your choice.
- Would you like your body to be frozen just before your death so that you might be resurrected hundreds or thousands of years from now? Why or why not?
- Would you rather be rich but die young or be poor and die old? Explain.
- Have you ever been talked into something? What was it? Why were you convinced to do it?
50 Book Writing Prompts for Middle School
- If you could have your teacher read only one book for the rest of their life, what book would you choose for them? Explain your choice.
- Do you think kids should be allowed to read whatever they want? Defend your answer.
- Pick three books you believe everyone in the country should read. Explain why you choose those three books.
- Pick a book that you think was better than the movie version. Why was the book more effective?
- Pick a book that you think was not as good as the movie version. Why was the movie better?
- If you had to share your bedroom with one fictional character from a book, which character would you choose? Describe why they would be a good roommate.
- What is your favorite book? Why do you enjoy it so much?
- Do you prefer to read fiction or non-fiction? Why?
- What is the most interesting book you ever read? What did you like about it?
- What is the worst book you ever read? Why was it so awful?
- Who is your favorite author? Why do you like their work?
- If you could meet any author, living or dead, who would you want to meet? What three questions would you ask them?
- Pick a character from one of your favorite books. Imagine that character was placed in a totally different story. Write about how they would behave in their new setting. For example: imagine Harry Potter was transported to Transylvania and had to face-off against Dracula.
- What do you think makes a great book? Explain your answer.
- Do you think classic books like James and the Giant Peach or Charlotte’s Web are better than modern novels? Or are modern novels better than the classics? Defend your answer.
- Are there any genres of novels you don’t enjoy reading (ex: mysteries, romances, horror)? Why don’t you like those genres?
- Do you ever listen to audiobooks? How do you think they compare to physical books?
- Which Harry Potter house do you think you belong in? Why?
- Has a book ever changed your life? Why or why not?
- Imagine that your favorite fictional character had to come to school with you. What would they think of your school? What would do together?
- Do you think certain books should be banned from school libraries? Explain your answer.
- If you knew that a particular book were banned from your school library, would that make you want to read the book or stay away from it? Explain your answer.
- Imagine that you are writing to a student a few years younger than you. Recommend three books to them and explain why you believe they should read them.
- Throughout history, slave owners consistently prevented their slaves from learning to read. Why do you think slave owners didn’t want their slaves to read?
- When you read, do you question what the author is telling you or accept whatever they say without question?
- If you were given the power to make people only read fiction or non-fiction, which would you choose? Explain.
- If you had to spend a year reading books from only one other country, what country’s literature would you choose and why?
- If you were to write a novel, what kind of story would you write? A mystery? A horror story? A science fiction tale? Explain your choice.
- What makes you pick up a book to read? Is it the cover? The description of the story? The author?
- When you read a book, do you read out loud or only in your head?
- Is it better to read a physical book or an ebook on your phone? Or does it not matter either way? Explain your choice.
- Do you think kids today read less than their parents did when they were your age? Why or why not?
- Adults often worry that kids don’t read enough books anymore. How many books a year do you think is enough for a kid to read?
- Have you ever read a book that you’d be embarrassed to be seen reading in public? Why would you feel that way?
- Are either of your parents readers? What kinds of books do they like to read?
- Is it better to read books or do you think you can get just as much out of reading magazines and websites?
- The oldest books in the world range from 500 to 2700 years old. Given that so much is now printed digitally, do you think any books from our own time will survive for that long? Why or why not?
- Many people pass down important books from parents to children. Are there any books that are passed down through generations in your family? If not, are there any books you would one day want to pass down to your children?
- Bill Gates paid over $30,000,000 for a notebook written by Leonardo da Vinci. Do you think this was a good use of his money or a total waste? Explain your answer.
- The longest sentence ever published in a novel was written by Victor Hugo, who wrote Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame . That sentence was 823 words long. What do you think would happen if you turned in this writing prompt with a sentence that long?
- What is the longest book you ever read? Do you think long books are better than short books? Why or why not?
- Would you rather read 10 short books that are each 100 pages, or one long book that is 1,000 pages? Explain your answer.
- When adults write books for kids your age, what do you think they fail to understand about you and your peers? What things do they get wrong about kids these days?
- Do you think every book should have illustrations? Why or why not?
- Do you like books with short chapters or long chapters? Explain your answer.
- What was your favorite picture book as a child? Why did you like that particular book?
- Do you think picture book writers like Dr. Seuss deserve to be considered great writers like authors who write chapter books (JK Rowling, Roald Dahl, etc.)? Why or why not?
- Before the printing press was invented, history and stories were passed down orally. Why do you think the book has replaced the oral tradition? What makes the book and writing so durable and powerful?
- Do you think people should write and underline in books? Why or why not?
- If you could have the President read any book, what book would you choose and why?
50 Comparison Writing Prompts for Middle School
- Your best friend and your worst enemy
- Coke and Pepsi
- Boys and girls
- Freezing to death and burning to death
- The pen and the sword
- Outer space and the bottom of the ocean
- School food and home food
- Big city and small town
- Vampires and werewolves
- Texting and talking in person
- Virtual learning and learning in person
- Money and happiness
- Digital movies and physical movies
- Football and basketball
- Men’s sports and women’s sports
- Owning a business and working for someone else
- Math and science
- Reading and writing
- Childhood today and childhood when your parents were in school
- Hurricanes and tornados
- Coffee and tea
- Homeschool and public school
- Movies at home and movies at the theater
- Flying in an airplane and traveling by train
- Playing a guitar and playing the drums
- Camping in a tent and camping in an RV
- Monday and Friday
- Going to church and sleeping in
- Losing a leg and losing an arm
- Getting bit by a shark and getting bit by a bear
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Ice cream and cake
- First day of school and last day of school
- Birth and death
- Giving gifts and receiving gifts
- Kissing and being kissed
- Asking someone on a date and being asked out on a date
- Driving a limo and driving a bus
- Sitting in the front of the class and sitting in the back of the class
- Going to restaurant and cooking at home
- Oldest sibling and youngest sibling
- Mom and dad
- Pride and humility
- Like and love
- Comedy and horror
- Showers and baths
- The first page of a book and the last page of a book
- Writing on a computer and writing by hand
- Explosively loud fart and silent-but-deadly fart
- Swords and lightsabers
50 Creative Writing Prompts for Middle School
- A witch casts a spell on your parents so they can only bark instead of talk. Write about your evening dinner together.
- You come to school and find that you have a substitute teacher, but the sub is a tiny baby. Write about how you and your class get through the day.
- You mix all the flavors at the gas station soda fountain. When you drink the concoction, you can suddenly see the future. What happens next?
- Imagine your grandfather was a fabulous world traveler. One day you find an old camera he used to take on his travels, and inside is some undeveloped film. You get the film developed. Write about the pictures you discover.
- Your best friend lets you borrow his hat. But whenever you put it on, you can hear everything your friend is thinking. What happens next?
- Imagine you can understand what cats are saying. Write about what happens when the cats in your neighborhood find out you can understand them.
- You’re flying on a plane to visit your uncle. You look out the window and see a young boy hanging onto the wing of the plane. His fingers are slipping, and he’s screaming for help. What happens next?
- Imagine you found an old book in the library but when you try to check it out the librarian says you can’t read it. You sneak it out of the library anyway, but when you get home the book opens on its own and gigantic vines start growing out of it. What happens next?
- You find a journal from 1850. On the last page it reads: “Come help me! You’re my only hope.” What happens next?
- You wake up and discover that you have switched bodies with your dad. Write about your day.
- Imagine your teacher has gone missing for a week. One day they are back at school. Your class asks where your teacher went, and they say they were kidnapped by aliens. What happens next?
- Rewrite your favorite book or movie, but make the villain the hero of the story.
- You receive a plastic dinosaur for your birthday. You take it home, and later that night you wake up to see it walking across your bedroom floor. It looks at you and roars. What next?
- Imagine you are assigned a new locker on the first day of school. You open the locker and find a backpack inside. In the backpack is $1,000. Write about what happens next.
- You have new neighbors. As you watch them unloading their moving van, you see they have a pet dragon. What happens next?
- Your grandmother comes to visit after a nice vacation overseas. You ask about her trip, and she tells you she met a werewolf. What happens next?
- A new girl you’ve never met joins your class. As your teacher begins today’s lesson, the girl passes you a note. It reads: “Do you remember me?” What happens next?
- Choose your favorite emoji and write a backstory about its life.
- You wake up one morning and realize you are floating five feet above your bedsheets. What happens next?
- A new boy arrives in your class. He cries a lot, but his tears are Skittles. Write about what happens next.
- On a class trip to the zoo, you get separated from your classmates. You wander around the zoo looking for your friends and teacher. You stop to look at the giraffe, and it bends its head down and says: “Hey, kid. Get me outta here.” What happens next?
- You wake up one morning and look out your window. A rocket ship has landed on your lawn. What happens next?
- Imagine you are teleported into your favorite video game. What happens next?
- Your parents ask you to help weed the garden. You start pulling weeds, but as you do you discover something buried in the dirt: a treasure chest. Write about what’s inside and what happens next.
- On a class trip to a museum you get separated from your class. You wander the halls, but there doesn’t seem to be anyone in that part of the museum. Eventually you find your way to the entrance, but it’s locked. You’re stuck there overnight. What happens next?
- It’s the first day of school and you have a new teacher. Your teacher is a robot. Write about your first day in class.
- Your parents hire a magician for your little brother’s birthday. The magician says he can make your brother disappear. He performs the trick and your brother is gone. The magician tries to bring him back, but something goes wrong and it doesn’t work. What happens next?
- Write a conversation between your socks and your shoes.
- You’re helping clean out your aunt’s garage. In a box you find an old oil lamp. You rub the lamp and a genie pops out. Write about what happens next.
- You are the world’s youngest doctor. You have made a mind-blowing new medical discovery that will change the world. Write about your discovery and how it will affect modern medicine.
- You have won a contest where every day you get a new 100-pound box of candy shipped to your house. Write about the type of candy you would order and what happens next.
- You’re on an airplane flying to Disneyland. You really have to pee. You go to the bathroom, but when you come out the entire plane is empty. Everyone has disappeared. What happens next?
- You have brought flowers to the cemetery to put on your grandmother’s grave. You walk down the row to her headstone, but when you get there the ground is dug up and her coffin is gone. What happens next?
- You are watering the flowers in your mother’s garden. You bend down to smell the roses, but when you do you hear a tiny voice coming from the flowers: “Help us!” What happens next?
- You’re at the lake skipping rocks across the water. You make a great throw and the rock skips into the middle of the lake. Then, suddenly, the rock comes skipping back. What happens next?
- You come into class after school for tutoring, but just as you open the door you see your teacher pulling off her face. It’s a mask, and underneath your teacher is an alien. What happens next?
- You wake up and discover you’re a mouse. You realize you left your pet snake on the floor last night instead of putting it in its cage. What happens next?
- Your cat is meowing at your door. You think it has caught another bird, but when you open the door you discover it has caught a tiny person three inches high. What happens next?
- You open your freezer and discover it has become a doorway to a cold, wintry world. You step inside. What happens next?
- You’re taking a plane to visit your cousins in New York City. But when the plane lands, you realize that you’re actually in Chicago. What happens next?
- One day the school bully comes up to you and says if you don’t help him he’ll beat you up. You say sure. He says he needs your help apologizing to everyone he’s ever bullied. What happens next?
- Your little brother is drawing monsters at the kitchen table. You look over his shoulder, and suddenly his drawings come to life. They peel themselves off the paper and start to run around. What happens next?
- There’s a knock at your door and when you open it you find an old man who hands you a glass jar with clear water in it. He tells you that the water in the jar will make you live forever, and that he has lived over five-hundred years. Then he leaves. What happens next?
- You are taking a ride in a hot air balloon. Suddenly a terrible wind comes up and you are blown off course. The skies darken, and you realize you’re heading for a massive thunderstorm. What happens next?
- You and your best friend are skydiving. You jump out of the plane. As you fall, you try to pull your chute, but your parachute is broken. The ground is coming up fast. What happens next?
- You wake up one morning and start to yawn, but you realize your mouth has disappeared. What happens next?
- You’re invited to your neighbor’s house for the first time to swim in their new pool. You dive into the water and discover there is no bottom to the pool. The water stretches and stretches like an ocean and when you surface you’re in a whole new world. What happens next?
- Imagine you live in an apartment building. The elevator has buttons for 19 floors, because there’s no button for unlucky 13. One day you board the elevator and discover the button for the 13 th floor has appeared. What happens next?
- You’re at the mall and really have to go to the bathroom. You find a bathroom and go inside, but standing by the sink is a gigantic bunny with ears that touch the ceiling. It looks at you and says: “I wouldn’t use this bathroom if I were you.” What happens next?
- Imagine your little sister gets a gerbil for a pet. One day the gerbil crawls onto your lap and says: “Listen, I know where the buried treasure is. You want me to show you?” What happens next?
50 Descriptive Writing Prompts for Middle School
- Describe the most disgusting school lunch you can imagine.
- Imagine your school is rocked by a massive earthquake. Describe the events inside your classroom.
- Describe love without using the words love or emotion .
- Describe how you want to spend the last day of your life.
- Imagine you are teleported 100 years into the future. Describe the way your hometown looks.
- You have invented a brand new flavor of soda pop. Describe what it tastes like, what it’s called, and what the label looks like.
- Describe a problem you’re facing at home and how you might solve it.
- Describe a problem you’re facing at school and how you might solve it.
- Imagine the world suddenly loses all electricity. Describe how you would go through your day with no lights, no power, no internet, no phones.
- Describe your dream car. What brand of car? What color? What kind of seats? What would it have inside?
- You’re planning a road trip across the country. Describe the route you would take, what cities you would stop in, and what you would see along the way.
- Who is your favorite family member? Describe what makes them so special.
- Describe your bedroom. What’s on the walls? Is it neat or dirty? How big is your bed? Include as much detail as you can.
- Look at your hand. Describe what you see without using the words hand, finger, or nails .
- Describe the most beautiful flower you can imagine.
- Describe the smell of the school locker room.
- Imagine your teacher blames you for something you didn’t do and punishes you in front of the whole class. Describe how you feel in that moment.
- Think of the bravest person you know. Describe what makes them brave and how they are different from everyone else.
- Think of your favorite toy when you were younger. Describe that toy. Why was it your favorite?
- Imagine you are sitting on a bus and the person next to you lets out a silent but awful fart. The worst you’ve ever smelled. Describe that smell.
- Describe the worst day of your life.
- Describe the best day of your life.
- Think about what makes you a good friend. Describe the three qualities you think make you an excellent friend.
- Imagine you were there the day the Titanic sank. Describe what you saw as you watched the great ship go down.
- Imagine you were with Neil Armstrong when the first astronauts landed on the moon. Describe what you saw when you stepped out onto the moon.
- Your principal comes on over the intercom and announces that an asteroid is hurtling towards the Earth and life as we know it will end in two hours. Describe how the world ends.
- Imagine that you are surfing on the California coast. Describe what it feels like to be out on the ocean and ride the waves back into shore.
- Describe the thing that scares you the most.
- Imagine you are on a spaceship hurtling past a black hole. Describe what you see.
- Imagine you have the ability to fly. You take off and zoom around your hometown. Describe what you see in the air and down below you.
- Imagine the most perfect birthday cake. Describe what the cake looks like, what it tastes like, how many candles, etc.
- Describe your first kiss, either real or imaginary.
- Pick a parent. Describe what they do for a living. What does their day look like?
- The warning sirens go off. A tornado has just touched down near your home. You scramble outside to get shelter, and you can see the tornado coming. Describe what you see all around you.
- Describe the worst fight you ever had with your parents.
- Describe a time you wanted something so badly but didn’t get it.
- Imagine you are part of the first wave of immigrants to Mars. Describe what life is like when you arrive. What is your home like on the Red Planet?
- Imagine you are onboard a fabulous submarine with giant glass windows. Describe your travels under the ocean and all the things you see.
- Imagine you’ve created a brand new donut. Describe the donut you created, what it looks like, what it tastes like, etc.
- Describe your perfect pet. What qualities of your pet makes them so appealing?
- Describe the first school dance you ever attended.
- Imagine you are out hiking and become separated from your group. You realize you’re lost. Describe how you would find your way back or help others to find you.
- You’ve joined the circus. Describe the act you will perform opening night.
- Describe your favorite kind of music without telling the genre (rock n roll, rap, rhythm and blues, etc.) or mentioning the name of any band/artist.
- Describe the best pair of shoes you ever wore.
- Imagine you colored your hair a neon color and cut it any way you want. Describe how your hair would look and how people would react to your new style.
- Describe the best birthday party you ever had.
- Imagine you crossed the country 200 years ago in a covered wagon. Describe what you saw on your way west to California.
- Imagine you were part of the crew that discovered King Tut’s tomb in Egypt. Describe what you saw as you entered the pyramid and uncovered the mummy.
- If the inside of your mind were a room, describe what that room would look like and what would be inside it.
50 Either/Or Writing Prompts for Middle School
- Would you rather have your greatest success at a young age or later in life?
- Would you rather live on Mars or the bottom of the ocean?
- Would you rather cut all sports programs at school or lose the school library?
- Would you rather be 10 years old forever or 70 years old forever?
- Would you rather there were no cell phones or no video games?
- Would you rather be a zombie or a vampire?
- Would you rather your mom chooses your clothes or your brother/sister?
- Would you rather eat only cake or only ice cream?
- Would you rather travel by airplane or by train?
- Would you rather visit the East coast or the West coast?
- Would you rather live 100 years in the future or 100 years in the past?
- Would you rather live through a hurricane or a tornado?
- Would you rather be the star of a movie or the main character of a book?
- Would you rather have purple hair or no hair at all?
- Would you rather listen to only classical music or no music ever again?
- Would you rather be super tall or super short?
- Would you rather be incredibly strong in only one arm or only one leg?
- Would you rather be an Olympic athlete or a pro sports star?
- Would you rather celebrate only Christmas or only Halloween?
- Would you rather be rich and unknown or famous but poor?
- Would you rather end world hunger or create world peace?
- Would you rather attend private school or be homeschooled?
- Would you rather have an extra eye or an extra nose?
- Would you rather be a shark or a whale?
- Would you rather join the circus or the rodeo?
- Would you rather hitchhike across the country or hop trains?
- Would you rather climb the world’s highest mountain or descend into the world’s deepest pit?
- Would you rather write a famous novel or sing a famous song?
- Would you rather be the teacher or the principal?
- Would you rather watch the sunrise or the sunset?
- Would you rather eat only waffles or eat only pancakes?
- Would you rather raise a boy or a girl?
- Would you rather be an eagle or an owl?
- Would you rather have permanent spring or permanent fall?
- Would you rather lose one month of summer vacation or all the holiday breaks during the school year?
- Would you rather lose your eyesight or your hearing?
- Would you rather be beautiful or wealthy?
- Would you rather work hard and fail or barely work and succeed?
- Would you rather be the rain or the sunshine?
- Would you rather work from home or work in an office?
- Would you rather make more money as an employee or work for yourself but make less money?
- Would you rather get bit by a spider or stung by a bee?
- Would you rather stop to smell the roses or rush to get to where you’re going?
- Would you rather only be able to eat with a fork or only be able to eat with a spoon?
- Would you rather live forever and be unhappy or live to be 75 and be happy all those years?
- Would you rather be blind or not be able to taste anything?
- Would you rather be able to dance or be able to sing?
- Would you rather have to ride a tricycle to school or a ride a unicycle to school?
- Would you rather go to the theater or watch a movie at home?
- Would you rather be known for being honest or being loyal?
50 Expository Writing Prompts for Middle School
- In some cultures it is rude to burp. In others, it is considered a compliment to burp after a meal. Write about burping and the differences in table manners around the world.
- Many schools are banning pop machines. Write about the effects of drinking too much soda, and whether or not you think kids should be able to choose for themselves.
- What’s your favorite kind of music? Write about the history of that musical genre and what other genres of music influenced it.
- Passing gas. Breaking wind. Silent but deadly. Most people think it’s rude to fart in public, but it’s also unhealthy to hold it in. Write about why farting is considered rude. Do you think it makes sense to shame people for doing something that everybody must do?
- Is honesty really the best policy? Write about why people value honesty but also the times when honesty may get you in trouble. Do you think you should always tell the truth?
- Imagine you’re a movie director. What kind of movie would you make? Write about how you would make your movie, from first idea to final cut to releasing your movie to the world.
- Write about the reasons for school dress codes. Do you think dress codes are fair? Should students have input on what goes in the dress code?
- Many people claim to have seen aliens and alien space ships. Write about the history of UFO sightings. Do you think we may have been visited by extraterrestrials?
- What’s the best way to cure a cold or flu? Write about the different ways people around the world approach basic healing. What do you think is the best remedy for common illness?
- Many countries are encouraging citizens to buy electric cars to save the environment, but those cars plug into a power grid fueled mostly by coal. Write about the history of electric cars. Do you think electric cars will positively impact the environment?
- Everyone says kids are addicted to cell phones. Are they? Write about cell phone use and how it compares to other technologies kids were obsessed with in the past.
- Write about the history of space exploration. Is it important for human beings to continue to explore outer space and travel to other planets? Do you think we’ll ever have a colony on Mars?
- Write about the right to vote, how it has changed over time, and how old you think you should be before you can vote.
- What does it mean to live a healthy life? Write about the history of health food trends and how health is different around the world. What do you think a healthy life looks like?
- What is the best way to assess learning? Are grades the most effective way? Is it better to simply assign pass/fail? Or maybe no grades at all? Write about the history of grading and how it affects both students and teachers.
- Does life get better as you get older? Write about the benefits and downsides that you’ve experienced as you’ve gotten older. What do you think is the perfect age?
- Newspapers were once read by everyone. Now people get their news through social media. Write about how technology has changed the way people consume information. Has technology made things better or worse?
- “History is written by the winners.” Pick an event from history and write about the side that “lost”. How does it influence our understanding of history when we don’t get to hear from the “losers”? Can we fully trust what we hear from the “winners”?
- Write about the history of video games. Do you think kids spend too much time playing video games? Can video games make your life better?
- Does homework matter? Write about the reasons teachers assign homework and whether or not you believe homework is an effective tool.
- Is the only reason to go to college to get a job? Write about the history of higher education and the various benefits and drawbacks to going to college. Do you think getting a job is the sole reason someone should go to college?
- What makes a great movie? How much money it makes? What kind of reviews it gets? Who decides what’s great and what’s not? Write about how you determine a movie’s greatness.
- What makes someone a good friend? What qualities are the most valuable in a friend? Do you possess those qualities yourself?
- Some parents believe kids should do chores and earn nothing in return. Others give their kids an allowance for chores. Write about chores, whether or not kids should be rewarded for them, and the benefits and drawbacks to doing chores at all.
- Some kids drop out of school. Write about the different reasons someone may drop out. What will likely happen to kids who drop out? Are there any advantages to dropping out?
- Your class is going to adopt a pet. It can be any animal. Pick an animal you think your class should adopt and explain why that animal is the ideal class pet.
- Imagine an extra-curricular activity or program that your school does not currently offer. Write about why you believe your school should offer it and how it would benefit students.
- What do you think makes for a good life? Who gets to decide what makes a life good in the first place? How would you determine whether you’ve lived a good life or not?
- Do you think kids should have to read the classics in school? What are the benefits of the classics? What are the downsides to reading them? Who decides what makes a book a classic or not? Should those people be able to decide at all?
- Imagine a traveler from the 1800s landed in our modern world. What things would be the most different between then and now? What would the traveler find the most strange or wondrous?
- What is your favorite place in all the world? What is it about this place that makes it special? Write about this place and how you feel when you are there.
- Who do you think is more important in a school: the principal or the teachers? How are these roles different? Why is one more important than the other?
- Many schools now focus on preventing bullying. Write about the effects these efforts have had at your school? Is bullying being prevented? Or has it simply changed and gone underground?
- What do you think it means to be happy? How do you rate being happy in relation to other things in your life like earning money or being a good friend? Is happiness worth pursuing?
- The Founding Fathers wrote that everyone had a right to pursue happiness . Why do you think this was important enough to be included in the Declaration of Independence? Write about the importance of happiness and also why happiness itself is not a right but only its pursuit.
- Do you think we expect too much of cultural heroes like Martin Luther King Jr. and LeBron James, expecting them to be perfect role models? Often people act surprised when they learn their heroes are not perfect. Is this fair?
- Is it okay for kids to drink coffee? Write about the effects coffee has on mood and on the brain. Do you think kids your age should be allowed to drink coffee in school?
- Many people argue kids today have poor social skills because they spend too much time on their phones. Write about how technology has affected your social skills. Do you think this criticism is valid? How do you feel when you have to communicate in person rather than on a phone?
- In today’s world, plagiarism is a major offense. But in earlier eras, plagiarism was allowed and artists often reworked the ideas of others. Write about the history of plagiarism and the benefits and downsides to copyrighting artistic works.
- “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” Do you think this is good advice? Are there times when the lemons you’re handed simply can’t be turned into anything good?
- The poet TS Eliot once wrote: “In the end is my beginning.” What do you think this means? Write about how beginnings and endings are linked and whether or not this is true in life.
- Should kids be allowed to watch any movie they want? Are there certain types of movies or elements in movies that kids simply shouldn’t see? Write about the history of the ratings system (G, PG, PG-13, R) and how it has changed. Do you think these ratings make sense?
- In some countries, every young person is required to enlist in the military for a certain number of years. Write about the history of drafting citizens into the military. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this practice? Do you think you should be required to join the military?
- Do you think it’s okay to keep secrets from your parents? Are there some things that should just be between you and your friends? Write about the benefits and drawbacks to secrets.
- Years ago, many schools held formal dances where students were required to dress up in nice clothes. Do you think this is a good idea? Or should kids always be allowed to wear whatever they want to a dance? What are the advantages and disadvantages to a dance dress code?
- Do you think artificial intelligence will ever surpass human beings? Write about the kinds of “thinking” machines are good at and how they are different from the kinds of things human beings are good at.
- We have different ages for various adult responsibilities: 16 to drive, 18 to vote, 21 to drink. Write about how these benchmarks have changed over time. At one age do you think someone becomes an adult? Should all adult responsibilities be given at once or spread out as they are now?
- How do you know when someone is lying? How can you be certain unless they admit to lying? Think about what you do when you lie. Is it easy to hide the truth or not?
- Why is it considered rude to wear a hat indoors? Should kids be allowed to wear hats in school? What are the advantages and disadvantages to wearing hats in class?
- Some parents buy their kids their first car. Others expect their kids to get a job and buy one themselves. What do you think is the best approach? Write about the benefits and drawbacks to your parents buying your car vs you buying it yourself.
67 Family Writing Prompts for Middle School
- Imagine your family is going to rob a bank. What role would you assign to each member of your family? How do you think the heist would go?
- If you could be a parent, what would you do differently than your mom or dad?
- What do you admire most about your father?
- What do you admire most about your mother?
- Imagine your family is going to compete on a singing and dancing competition on national television. What song would your family perform? Who would do the singing? What kind of dance would you do?
- What’s the worst part about being a sibling?
- Imagine that you are now your brother or sister’s teacher. What grades would you give them for their work? Do you think they would do well in your class?
- What movies do you enjoy watching as a family? What are the favorite movies of your different family members?
- Ask your parents what other names they considered naming you. Do you think you’d prefer any of their other choices? Were you surprised by some of the names they considered?
- What chores do you have to do at your house? Are you given anything in return for doing chores?
- If you had to pick a single color to describe each member of your family, what color would you choose for them and why?
- Who is your favorite member of your extended family (aunt/uncle/cousin/etc.)? What do you like about them?
- What is unique about your family?
- Does your family open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
- Imagine your family is stuck in a horror movie. Who would be the first to be killed? Who would survive all the way to the end?
- What is the favorite meal of each member of your family?
- What is the best vacation you’ve ever taken with your family?
- Imagine your family is going to start a business. What business would you go into? What role would each member of your family have in the company?
- What is the most important value to your family?
- How many different homes has your family lived in? Do you have a favorite?
- Who is the decision maker in your household? Why do you think they get to make the decisions?
- If your parents were superheroes, what powers would they have?
- If you had to live with one of your siblings for the rest of your life, which sibling would you choose and why?
- Write about a recent argument you had with your parents. What was the argument about? How did it turn out?
- Are there any vegetarians or vegans in your family? Does that cause any problems at meal times?
- What is something you think other families could learn from yours?
- What kinds of rules does your family have? Do you believe any of them are outdated and should be done away with? Which ones and why?
- What restaurants does your family like to go to? Is there a special restaurant your family goes to for particular occasions?
- What countries did your family come from? Have you ever visited relatives in those countries?
- What holidays does your family celebrate? Which one is your favorite?
- What traditions does your family keep?
- Does your family eat dinner around a table? Why or why not? Do you think it matters either way? Explain your answer.
- Who usually cooks in your household? What is their best meal?
- What kind of expectations do your parents set for you? What happens when you don’t meet those expectations?
- In what ways are you different from your siblings?
- In what ways are you similar to your siblings?
- Are you more like your mother or father? Explain.
- Are you close to your grandparents? Write about your relationship to them and how important they are in your life.
- If you had to describe the members of your family as different flavors of soda pop, what flavor would each of your family members be and why?
- If you could spent one day with either your parents or your grandparents when they were your age, which would you choose and why?
- Do you think you would have been friends with your mom or dad when they were young? Or would you simply be too different to ever have hung out together? Why or why not?
- Do you share a bedroom or have your own? Write about the positives and negatives of your current arrangement.
- Do you think your parents should buy you a car when you turn sixteen? Why or why not?
- Do you think your life has been more difficult than when your parents were young? Or has it been easier? Explain.
- Where do you fall in your family? Are you the oldest child? The youngest? Somewhere in the middle? How does this position affect your role in your family?
- What books did your parents read to you when you were little?
- Imagine your family has been cast to reboot an old movie. What movie would you choose for your family to star in? What role in the movie would you give to everyone?
- What is something you learned on your own (either a skill or a life lesson) that you wish your parents had taught you?
- What stories do your mom or dad tell about their childhood over and over again?
- Do your parents have different rules or expectations for you versus your siblings? Do you think it’s fair that they treat each of you differently or the same? Explain.
- If you could trade places with your brother or sister, would you? Why or why not?
- What do your parents do for a living? What do you think about their employment? Would you like to follow in their footsteps? Why or why not?
- Imagine you could give your mom or dad any job in the world. What job would you give them? Why do you think that job would make them happy?
- Do you think your parents are proud of you? Why or why not?
- What are your parents’ pet peeves?
- What is the one place in the world your parents want to travel to more than any other? Why?
- What is something that you learned from your brother or sister? How did you learn it?
- What is something you wish your brother or sister knew about you?
- Think back to the first time one of your friends ever stayed at your house overnight? What were you worried they would think about your home and your family?
- How would you define the word family ?
- How does your family celebrate your birthday?
- What did you get your mom and dad for Christmas? Why did you choose those gifts?
- What is the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done in front of your brother or sister?
- Who has the messiest room in your house? Describe their room and why it’s so messy.
- What room does your family spend the most time in? Explain.
- If you had to pick, would you rather have your mom or your dad as a teacher this year? Explain.
- Imagine your family is chosen to be the first family to live in a new colony on Mars. What roles would you give to each member of your family once you land on the Red Planet? Write about your new life on Mars.
60 Friendship Writing Prompts for Middle School
- Imagine you and your best friend are police detectives. What kinds of crimes would you solve? What qualities would make you and your friend good investigators?
- Which of your friends do you share the most in common with? What qualities do you have in common?
- Write about the worst argument you ever had with a friend. What happened afterwards?
- What is something that none of your friends know about you?
- Which of your friends do you tell your deepest secrets to? What is it about that friend that makes you trust them?
- What kind of music do you listen to with your friends? Do all of your friends share similar tastes in music? Explain.
- Write about the day you met your best friend. What was it that drew you together?
- If your friends were asked to describe you to someone who had never met you, what would you hope that they say about you?
- What movies do you love watching with your friends?
- Write about the first time you ever slept over at a friend’s house. What were you afraid of? What were you surprised by? How did the sleepover go?
- Have you ever made friends with someone at summer camp? Write about how you connected with that friend. Do you stay in touch?
- What qualities do you value most in a friend?
- What skills do your friends have that you wish you had?
- What skills do you have that none of your friends share?
- Imagine you and your friends start a band. What instruments would each of your friends play? Who would sing? What kind of music would you record?
- Imagine that your best friend is moving away to the other side of the country. Write them a letter telling them goodbye and what you are going to miss about them.
- Write a letter to your younger second-grade self. In the letter, describe the best way to make friends and keep them.
- What do you do with your friends in the summer that you don’t do during the school year?
- Do you like making new friends? Why or why not?
- Do you think you can “buy” friends if you had enough money? For example, if you bought people enough gifts and paid for them to do fun things, that they would be real friends with you?
- Write about a time when you “broke up” with a friend. What was it that ended your friendship? Do you think you could ever be friends again?
- What is something that you could never forgive a friend for doing?
- Is it okay to lie to a friend? Why or why not? If yes, in what situations would a lie be okay?
- In a friend, which do you value more: honesty or loyalty?
- If you hear someone saying something mean about your friends, do you speak up and defend your friends or keep quiet? Explain.
- Of all of your friends, whose parents do you like the most? Why?
- Do you have any friends of the opposite sex? How are they different from your friends of the same sex?
- Write about a time when two of your friends were fighting and you had to play peacemaker.
- Do your parents approve of your friends? Why or why not?
- How important is it for a friend to be honest and tell you when you’ve made a mistake?
- Write about a time you felt betrayed by a friend.
- If you had to describe each of your friends as a pizza topping, what toppings would they be and why?
- What television show or movie most resembles the lives of you and your friends? Explain your answer.
- What is something that one of your friends is allowed to do that your parents do not let you do? How do you think you and your friend are different because of this?
- Do you think modern technology makes it easier to be a good friend? Or does it simply complicate things and make it more difficult? Explain.
- Imagine you and your friends are going to take a week-long vacation together. Where would you go? What would you do? Who in your group would decide?
- Where do you and your friends fit in the social world of your school? Are you part of a clique or group? How well do you get along with other social groups at school?
- If you and your friends were going out trick or treating, what would everyone dress up as and why?
- If your best friend moved away tomorrow, do you have another friend that might eventually take their place? Write about how that might happen (or how it would be impossible).
- If your best friend was magically turned into their opposite gender, do you think you could still be friends? Or is too much of your relationship based on gender for your friendship to still work? Explain.
- If you heard an unpleasant rumor about one of your friends, how would you react? Would you tell them about it?
- How important is friendship? Where do you rank it in comparison to other important aspects of your life (family, health, happiness, etc.)?
- If you had to be adopted by the family of one of your friends, whose family would you choose? Explain.
- Where do you and your friends spend most of your time hanging out? Why do you spend so much time at that location?
- How do you know when someone is just pretending to be your friend?
- What is the kindest thing you ever did for a friend? How did it make you feel?
- Imagine you have two close friends but can only eat with one of them at lunch. What do you do in that situation?
- Imagine that your teacher accused two of your friends of stealing from the teacher’s desk. Both your friends deny it, but you know which one of them is lying. What do you do?
- What would you do if your best friend began hanging out with someone you hate?
- Is it harder to make friends now than it was when you were younger? Or is it easier? Explain.
- If you and your friends were a box of donuts, what kind of donut would each of your friends be?
- What is the funniest movie you ever watched with a friend? Why did you and your friend find it so funny?
- What is the saddest movie you ever watched with a friend? What did you and your friend find so sad?
- Imagine you and your friends have gone out trick or treating and are now examining how much candy you raked in. How do you divide the candy? Does everyone keep their own? Who trades for what?
- If you and your best friend were going to attend a protest, what would you protest against? What kind of signs would you make?
- You can pick one of your friends to vote for in the coming election for school president. Which friend do you vote for and why?
- Do you behave the same with all of your friends? Or do you change your behavior slightly for each friend? Do you think they do the same around you?
- Do you believe you’ll have the same friends in high school and beyond that you do now? Why or why not?
- Can you ever have too many friends? Why or why not?
- Imagine you and your friends have to perform on America’s Got Talent. What kind of talent performance would you put on?
67 First Line Writing Prompts for Middle School
- I am an invisible man. – Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
- When Katelyn Ogden blew up in third period pre-calc, the janitor probably figured he’d only have to scrub guts off one whiteboard this year. – Spontaneous, Aaron Starmer
- Until he was four years old, James Henry Trotter had a happy life. – James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
- It was the day my grandmother exploded. – The Crow Road, Iain Banks
- The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door… – Knock, Fredric Brown
- All children grow up, except one. – Peter Pan, JM Barrie
- Edward Twonky had no intention of getting eaten by a giant the morning he left for the Cottleston Fair. – The Giant’s Tooth, Bruce Coville
- Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. — Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
- Bingo Brown fell in love three times in English class. – The Burning Questions of Bingo Brown, Betsy Byars
- My dad and I lived in an airport. – Fly Away Home, Eve Bunting
- Not every thirteen-year-old girl is accused of murder, brought to trail and found guilty. – The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Avi
- Mother died today. Or maybe, yesterday; I can’t be sure. – The Outsider, Albert Camus
- The world had teeth and it could bite you with them anytime it wanted. – The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Stephen King
- It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen. – 1984, George Orwell
- Things are a lot different around here since that unicorn moved in. – Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great, Bob Shea
- The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house all that cold, cold, wet day. – The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss
- As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found he had been turned into a giant insect. – Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka
- I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. – I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith
- When the blind man arrived in the city, he claimed that he had traveled across a desert of living sand. – The Brief History of the Dead, Kevin Brockmeier
- In an old house in Paris there lived twelve little girls in two straight lines. – Madeline, Ludwig Bemelmans
- This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it. – The Princess Bridge, William Goldman
- The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed. – The Gunslinger, Stephen King
- I still remember the day my father took me to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books for the first time. – The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafon
- I’ve heard it said girls can’t keep secrets. — Wildwood Dancing, Juliet Marillier
- Johnny never knew for certain why he started seeing the dead. – Johnny and the Dead, Terry Pratchett
- It was a pleasure to burn. – Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
- Most of the time John Midas was a nice boy. – The Chocolate Touch, Patrick Skene Catling
- All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. – Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
- The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there. – The Go-Between, LP Hartley
- In the town they tell the story of the great pearl – how it was found and how it was lost again. – The Pearl, John Steinbeck
- That morning, after he discovered the tiger, Rob went and stood under the Kentucky Star Motel sign and waited for the school bus just like it was any other day. – The Tiger Rising, Kate DiCamillo
- A screaming comes across the sky. – Gravity’s Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon
- There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife. – The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman
- The Herdman’s were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world. – The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Barbara Robinson
- We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck. – Feed, MT Anderson
- It was one of those things they kept in a jar in the tent of a sideshow on the outskirts of a little, drowsy town. – The Jar, Ray Bradbury
- On Thursday, when Imogene woke up, she found she had grown antlers. – Imogene’s Antlers, David Small
- People do not give it credence that a fourteen-year-old girl could leave home and go off in the wintertime to avenge her father’s blood but it did not seem so strange then, although I will say it did not happen every day. – True Grit, Charles Portis
- On the morning I was scheduled to die, a large barefoot man with a bushy red beard waddled past my house. – The Colossus Rises, Peter Lerangis
- If your teacher has to die, August isn’t a bad time of year for it. – The Teacher’s Funeral, Richard Peck
- It was like nothing on Earth we had ever seen before. – Your Mother is a Neanderthal, Jon Scieszka
- Once upon a time, not so long ago, a monster came to the small town of Castle Rock, Maine. – Cujo, Stephen King
- They say Maniac Magee was born in a dump. – Maniac Magee, Jerry Spinelli
- My dad died twice. Once when he was thirty-nine, and again four years later when he was twelve. – Time Traveling With a Hamster, Ross Welford
- Some years ago there was in the city of York a society of magicians. – Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke
- Three objects sat upon the carpet in Cleo Porter’s living room: an apple core, a human skull, and a package wrapped in red. – Cleo Porter and the Body Electric, Jack Burt
- Kidnapping children is never a good idea; all the same, sometimes it has to be done. — Island of the Aunts, Iva Ibbotson
- Once upon a time there was a huge family of children; and they were terribly, terribly naughty. – Nurse Matilda, Christianna Brand
- The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could ; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge. – The Cask of Amontillado, Edgar Allan Poe
- Four days after his own funeral, Albert Wilkes came home for tea. – The Death Collector, Justin Richards
- For as long as anyone could remember, there wasn’t a house at the end of Juniper Drive – until one day there was. – This Appearing House, Ally Malinenko
- The magician’s underwear has just been found in a cardboard suitcase floating in a stagnant pond on the outskirts of Miami. – Another Roadside Attraction, Tom Robbins
- The city waited twenty-thousand years. – The City, Ray Bradbury
- The Black Slide appeared on the playground of Osshua Elementary on a clear day in late September. – The Black Slide, JW Ocker
- It was Purdy Newcomb’s thirtieth birthday, though none of his family seemed to be aware of it. – Grand Opening, Jessamyn West
- Listen: Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time. – Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut
- The moon blew up without warning and for no apparent reason. – Seveneves, Neal Stephenson
- It began the night we died on the Kamikaze. – Full Tilt, Neal Shusterman
- The manhunt extended across more than one hundred light years and eight centuries. – A Deepness in the Sky, Vernor Vinges
- I waited and watched for seven years. – Dolan’s Cadillac, Stephen King
- The island of Gont, a single mountain that lifts its peak a mile above the storm-racked Northeast Sea, is a land famous for wizards. – A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. LeGuin
- Taran wanted to make a sword; but Coll, charged with the practical side of his education, decided on horseshoes. – The Book of Three, Lloyd Alexander
- Esther Solar had been waiting outside Lilac Hill Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for half an hour when she received word that the curse had struck again. – A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares, Krystal Sutherland
- Ironically, since the attacks, the sunsets have been glorious. – Angelfall, Susan Ee
- The first thing you learn when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say. – The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness
- It wasn’t as if he hadn’t been warned. – Sackett, Louis L’Amour
- Before the worms turned mean, before they slithered out to get their revenge, Todd Barstow had a great time with them. – Go Eat Worms, RL Stine
40 History Writing Prompts for Middle School
- Imagine you have signed on to go aboard a whaling ship in the 19 th Century. You will be away from your home sailing the seas for three to four years. How do you feel as you step onboard your ship?
- Imagine you lived two hundred years ago. There is no electricity, no phones, no paved roads. What would you miss the most about the modern world? Explain.
- If you had to build a statue to honor one person from your town, who would you build a statue of and why?
- Through most of history, people rarely traveled more than five miles beyond the place where they were born. What would be the advantages and disadvantages of this?
- Pick a local park or bridge or monument that is named after someone from your town. Write about who that person was and why this park/bridge/monument is named after them.
- What is the greatest invention since sliced bread?
- America is named after Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian explorer who claimed to understand that there was a “New World” between Europe and China. If you could rename the Americas, what would you name them instead and why?
- Have you ever been to a history museum? Write about what you saw and what you thought.
- If you could visit any period in history, what period would you visit? Why?
- What events are going on right now in the world that you think people will write about in the history books hundreds of years from now? Explain your choices.
- For thousands of years, very few people could read and write. The invention of the printing press changed that as it made the printing of books and papers much cheaper. How do you think this changed the lives of everyday people?
- Have you ever visited your local history museum? Write about what you saw there and what you thought.
- Many stories from history are actually not true. George Washington didn’t have wooden teeth. Benjamin Franklin didn’t fly a kite in a lightning storm. Why do you think so many myths get passed down and believed as fact?
- “People who neglect history are doomed to repeat it.” Do you agree with this statement or not? Explain.
- During World War II, the United States didn’t officially enter the war until the attack on Pearl Harbor. In fact, many citizens didn’t want the US involved at all. Do you think the US would have gone to war if the Japanese had not attacked?
- When President Jefferson sent Lewis & Clark into Western America, he believed they would find wondrous creatures like wooly mammoths. They didn’t, of course, but what if they had? Write a “lost journal entry” from Lewis & Clark’s journals in which you discover a wooly mammoth.
- “History is written by the winners.” What do you think this statement means? Do you agree?
- When do you think was the best time to be alive? Why?
- Many people imagine Adolf Hitler was always considered an evil man, but 43% of German people voted for him during his first run for president and was Time magazine’s Person of the Year in 1938. What do you think we can learn from the fact that Hitler was so popular and yet so evil at the same time?
- Do you think you can learn more from non-fiction books like The Diary of Anne Frank or from fictional stories about the same time period like Number the Stars or The Book Thief ? Explain.
- What one person from history would you like to meet? What three questions would you ask that person?
- If people in the 1930s had YouTube, what do you think they’d be posting videos of?
- Often visiting historical sites like the pyramids or the Eiffel Tower is boring. Reality isn’t as exciting as what you’ve seen in the movies. Write about a famous historical site, but write about it in a context that makes it more interesting and exciting. For example, a bank robber who tries to escape the police by hiding inside the Great Pyramid.
- What if the Chinese had “discovered” America before Europeans? Write about how the history of the “New World” would be different.
- What if the Allies had lost World War II? How would America be different if it were under the control of the Germans and Japanese?
- Imagine that you have been hired to record what is happening in your town so that people 100 years from now will know all about it. What would you take pictures of? Who would you interview? What would you ask them about? What would you write down for the history books?
- Imagine that you’ve traveled back in time 500 years. Your mission is to make life better for people in the past, but you can’t bring anything with you. Can you accomplish your mission? Can you explain how anything in our modern world works so that people 500 years ago can benefit?
- If you had to describe your town as a person, how would you describe it? What gender would it be? What personality would it have? Would it be young or old?
- Imagine an archeologist 1,000 years from now digging up your house and discovering your bedroom. Pick three objects they would find. What do you think they would make of those objects? How might they misinterpret what they find?
- How much of your history is determined by where you live? Imagine how the history of you and your family would be different if you lived in China, or South Africa, or Brazil. How does geography and culture shape your world?
- As cultures and attitudes change, so do our views on figures from the past. What do you think should be done about different holidays, memorials, streets, parks and other things named after historical figures who held views we no longer agree with?
- Many cities still have monuments and statues to Confederate generals. What do you think should be done with these monuments? Should they be left standing or removed?
- Some people believe everyone should visit the concentration camps of World War II to gain a better understanding of the horrors that happened there. Others feel the camps should be forgotten, that visiting them is like slowing down to view a car wreck. What do you think?
- In Philadelphia, a man once found an original copy of the Declaration of Independence behind a painting he had purchased for $4. Imagine your own story of discovering a famous object from history. What object do you discover? Where did you find it? What do you do with it?
- In ancient times, the Greek historian Herodotus made a list of the Seven Wonders of the World, which included the Great Pyramid at Giza, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Make your own list of 7 Wonders of Today’s World. What makes your list?
- Cities often build monuments to remember major events from history. If you were the mayor of your town, what monument or statue would you build in your city, and what historical event would it commemorate?
- The Declaration of Independence speaks of unalienable rights , those rights that should not ever be taken away. Should recess be an unalienable right? As a student, what rights do you think your teacher should be able to take away, and what rights do you think should be unalienable?
- In The True Story of the Three Little Pigs , Jon Scieszka retells the classic tale from the point of view of the Big Bad Wolf, giving us a new perspective. Pick a villain from history and retell their story from their point of view.
- Thomas Edison is often thought to be the inventor of the lightbulb, but other scientists and engineers invented variations on the light bulb before him. Why do you think history often attributes discoveries to one individual, even when a discovery is the result of the work of many different people?
- Napoleon once said: “History is a fable agreed upon.” What do you think he meant? Do you agree?
50 Movie Writing Prompts for Middle School
- Popcorn is the most commonly sold item at movie theaters. But in certain parts of the country, other foods are also popular. Giant pickles, for example, are sold in theaters in the Southwest. What do you think is the ideal food for watching movies at the theater?
- Imagine you can keep only Disney movie. All the others must be lost to history. What movie would you keep and why?
- What is the best way to watch a movie? In a theater? On your phone? On your TV at home? Explain your answer.
- Who is the greatest movie villain of all time? Explain.
- Should kids be allowed to see rated R movies? Why or why not?
- What movie terrified you when you were younger? Why?
- List your three favorite movies. What do you like about them?
- Take a character from one of your favorite movies and place them into a different film. For example, take Spiderman and place him into Jurassic Park . Write about what happens in your mashup.
- What is your favorite genre of movie (comedy, action, science-fiction, horror, etc.)? Why do you enjoy those kinds of movies so much?
- Who is the greatest movie hero of all time? Explain.
- What makes a movie successful? Is it the director? The actors? The screenplay? The special effects? Explain your answer.
- Who is the greatest actor or actress of all time? Defend your answer.
- Many actors get typecast , meaning they are given the same sort of role over and over again. Clint Eastwood played in dozens of westerns. Jamie Lee Curtis played in many horror movies. If you had to be typecast, what type of movie would you want to act in?
- You are invited to watch a movie at the White House with the President, and you get to pick the movie! What movie would you pick and why?
- Do you prefer movies or television shows? Why?
- Many child actors have success early on and then struggle greatly with drugs, alcohol and depression as they get older. Do you think children should be allowed to act in movies given that it may wreck their lives?
- What is the worst movie you’ve ever seen? Why was it so bad?
- Certain actors become so famous for a particular role (Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, Daniel Craig as James Bond), that everyone in the world knows who they are. Would you want to have that kind of fame? Write about how your life would be different if you were that famous.
- Have you ever watched a movie with subtitles? What did you think? Did it change your enjoyment of the movie?
- When a new television show comes out, do you prefer to be able to binge watch the entire season? Or is it better for the season to come out one episode every week?
- Hollywood is constantly remaking old movies, even movies that were great the first time around. Do you think great movies should be remade, or do you think that they should be left alone since they’re already amazing? Explain.
- How do you choose what movie to watch? What is it that catches your eye and makes you pick a particular movie?
- Are actors and actresses paid too much money? Is it right for anyone to make $20 million just to star in a movie? Explain your answer.
- Would you rather be an actor or a director? Explain.
- What do you think of the Academy Awards? Do you think the Academy usually gets their picks for Best Picture, Best Actor, etc right? Or do you think the Academy is usually wrong? Explain.
- Did Disney ruin Star Wars ? Defend your answer.
- It is now common for directors to go back and alter different things in their movies or shows, sometimes to improve them but other times because people on social media get upset about something in the movie they don’t like. Do you think directors should be allowed to change their movie/show after it has been released? Why or why not?
- Have you ever gone to a theater and seen a movie alone? Would you? Why or why not?
- You can get rid of one genre of movie forever (comic book movies, horror movies, romantic comedies, etc.). What genre do you do away with and why?
- Pick one book that you think should be turned into a movie. Who would you cast in the main roles? Why would it make a good movie?
- Can a movie still be a great movie if it has a bad ending? Why or why not?
- Name a movie that everybody loves but that you hate. Why do you not like it? Why do you think everyone else is wrong?
- What is the very first movie you remember seeing? Did you enjoy it? What do you think of that movie now?
- Imagine that you are tasked with re-thinking the movie rating system (G, PG, PG-13, R). How would you recreate the current system? Where would you make the cutoffs? Explain.
- If you could remake any movie and put yourself in the starring role, what movie would you remake? What role would you play? Explain.
- Many people think very young children shouldn’t be allowed to watch movies or television. When do you think children should be allowed to start watching movies? Explain.
- Does seeing violence in movies lead to violence in real life? Defend you answer.
- Imagine you are given a chance to pitch a movie idea to a major Hollywood studio. What’s your pitch? What movie would you want them to make?
- Imagine Hollywood is going to make a movie of your life. Who would you want to star as you in the movie? Explain.
- Have you ever been to a drive-in theater? How was it different from watching a movie at an indoor theater? Did you enjoy the experience?
- In the past, some horror movies claimed that they were so scary that people ran out of the theater screaming in terror or fainted dead away in their seats. Do you think these stories were true? Or do you think they were just good marketing to make the movie sound more scary?
- Do you think Hollywood should keep making more movies in a successful franchise even if the movies aren’t very good (Lord of the Rings, Marvel comics, Star Wars)? Or should Hollywood move on and make something totally new? Explain.
- Imagine that you’re tasked with selecting the next actor to play James Bond. Who would you choose? Why?
- Which are better: live action movies or animated movies? Defend your answer.
- People often decide whether to watch a movie or not based on user reviews on rating sites like IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes. Do you use these ratings to decide what to watch? What are the advantages and disadvantages to letting anyone leave a rating and review?
- Are movies better now than movies made in the past? Explain your answer.
- Are there movies your parents watched when they were kids that they have had you watch too? What did you think of those movies?
- Are there any movies you watch every year as a tradition ( Groundhog’s Day on Groundhog’s Day, A Christmas Carol on Christmas, etc.)? If so, what movies and why do you watch them every year?
- What is your favorite documentary film? What is it about? Why do you like it?
- “The book is always better than the movie.” Give an example of a movie you think is better than the book. Explain why you think so.
50 Opinion Writing Prompts for Middle School
- Write a letter to your parents explaining why, in your opinion, you should be their favorite child.
- How would you describe the difference between an opinion and a fact?
- Imagine you have the power to outlaw either chocolate or vanilla ice cream. Which flavor do you keep, and which do you outlaw? Explain your choice.
- Should girls be allowed to play on boy teams and vice versa? Defend your answer.
- Should teachers assign homework? Why or why not?
- Take the Other Side: Argue for why you should be allowed to drop out of school.
- Can wishes come true?
- Should you be required to obey your parents? Why or why not?
- Are boys and girls really all that different from one another? Explain.
- If a kid skips school enough, eventually their parents will end up in trouble with the law. Is that fair? Should the parents be held responsible for what their kid does?
- Should kids your age have an assigned bedtime or be allowed to stay up as late as they like? Defend your answer.
- If a student doesn’t get good grades, should they be held back a year or allowed to move on? Explain.
- “The truth will set you free.” Does it really? What do you think? Is it better to always tell the truth?
- What are five places you believe everyone should visit at least once? Explain your choices.
- Is distance learning a good substitute for in-class education? Why or why not?
- Take the Other Side: Argue for why kids should be allowed to smoke.
- Should kids your age have their own phones? Why or why not? At what age should a child be allowed to have a phone?
- Should parents be allowed to “spy” on what their kids do online in order to keep them safe? Explain your answer.
- Would you be okay with going to school for an extra hour every day if it meant you would receive a better education? Why or why not?
- Should all schools have uniforms? Defend your answer.
- Should smoking be illegal? Or should people be allowed to do things that may end up killing them?
- Take the Other Side: Gossiping about people behind their back is perfectly alright.
- Should shoppers be required to bring their own grocery bags? Why or why not?
- Girls or boys: who has it harder? Explain.
- Technology makes kids lazy. Do you agree or disagree? Explain.
- Imagine you find $100 in the school parking lot. Finders keepers? Or should you turn it in? Defend your answer.
- Pick a season and explain why it’s the best season of all.
- Kids should be limited to only a few hours of screen time each day so that their brains will develop properly. Do you agree or disagree? Explain your answer.
- Every kid should be required to learn cursive. Agree or disagree? Explain your answer.
- Take the Other Side: Argue for why cheating on a test should be allowed.
- Pick your favorite athlete. Why are they the best in their sport? Defend your answer.
- How old should a kid be before they are allowed to date? Explain.
- At what age should a kid be allowed to wear makeup? Explain.
- Kids shouldn’t have to do homework if they don’t want to. Agree or disagree? Defend your answer.
- Should someone in middle school be allowed to date someone in high school? Why or why not?
- Take the Other Side: Argue for why the movie is always better than the book.
- Should all the zoos be shut down and their animals let free? Why or why not? Explain.
- Aliens exist and we have been visited by them many times. Agree or disagree? Explain.
- Should kids be allowed to play video games or should they be banned for kids altogether? Defend your answer.
- Money can buy happiness. True or false? Explain.
- What modern musical artist will people still be listening to 50 years from now? Defend your answer.
- Is it ever okay to ban books? Why or why not? Explain.
- Every student should be required to participate in PE and sports. Agree or disagree? Explain.
- Should students be allowed to bring homemade cakes or cupcakes to class to celebrate their birthday? Why or why not?
- Should kids be allowed to go trick or treating on their own without their parents? Why or why not?
- At what age should someone be allowed to get a tattoo? Explain.
- Should cookie have nuts in them? Why or why not? Defend your answer.
- At what age should someone be allowed to have a baby? Explain.
- Should students be forced to memorize poetry? Why or why not? Explain.
- Santa Claus: fun and harmless or vicious lie? What do you think? Explain your answer.
50 Poetry Writing Prompts for Middle School
- Imagine you are a balloon a child accidentally let go of at a birthday party. Write a poem about being released and floating away.
- Write a poem about the worst nightmare you ever had.
- Write a poem from the perspective of the very last dinosaur that has survived extinction for millions of years and has never been found by mankind.
- Write a poem about a time you were disappointed by a birthday present.
- Write a poem from the perspective of the Wicked Witch of the East from The Wizard of Oz about how you got hit and killed by Dorothy’s house.
- Write a limerick about waiting for the bell to ring on Friday afternoon.
- Write a narrative poem about the street you live on.
- Imagine you won the lottery. You’re rich! Write a poem about how all that money ruined your life.
- Write a rhymed poem about the worst meal you ever ate.
- Imagine you could get rid of your brother or sister by selling them at an auction. Write a poem about auctioning them off to the highest bidder.
- Write a poem about a dog falling in love with a cat.
- Think about what makes you feel sad. Imagine you are a doctor prescribing what will make you feel happy again, and write your prescription in the form of a poem.
- If you could change your name, what name would you pick? Write an acrostic poem using the name you selected.
- Write a haiku about the end of the world.
- Imagine that you have been selected to come up with a new national holiday. Write a poem about this new holiday and what it celebrates.
- Write a poem about the sinking of the Titanic.
- Write a rhyming poem about waking up Christmas morning and discovering that there are no presents under the tree.
- Pick a sibling. Write an acrostic poem using their name.
- Write a haiku about the smell of breakfast waking you up in the morning.
- Write a poem about the most annoying sound in the whole world.
- Write a poem from the perspective of the Moon. What was it like the first time someone landed on your surface? How does it feel to be cold and empty?
- Write a poem from the perspective of a flower. How does it feel the day someone finally comes and picks you?
- Write a limerick about the loudest fart ever heard.
- Write a poem from the perspective of a fish studying a lure in the water. Do you take the bait or pass? What happens if you get caught?
- Imagine you discover a secret passageway in your house. Where does it lead? Write a poem about exploring this hidden passage.
- Write a poem about a flood sweeping your house away.
- Write a poem about why you should never fall in love.
- Imagine you are a baseball. You just got hit for a homerun to win the World Series. Write a poem about how it feels to get smacked over the fence to win the series.
- Write a rhyming poem about getting lost in the woods.
- Write a poem from the perspective of a snowman melting on a warm winter day.
- Imagine you’re an old pair of shoes. Your owner brings home a brand new pair of shoes. Write a poem about how you feel and what happens next.
- Write a poem from the perspective of Haley’s Comet as it passes by Earth.
- Write a poem about a fight you had with your best friend.
- Write a poem about moving to a new home.
- Write a poem from the perspective of an abandoned shopping mall. What is it like now that everyone is gone?
- Write a poem about your favorite movie theater.
- Imagine Hollywood has decided to make a reality television show about your life and overnight you become a famous star. Write a poem about how your life has changed.
- Write a poem about Halloween night.
- Imagine you have an evil twin. Write a poem about all the wicked things your evil twin does and how hard life is because everyone believes these things are done by you.
- Write a poem from the perspective of your hands, but without using the word hand .
- Write a poem about a lost toy.
- Imagine you come to class and you have a new teacher. She is literally a monster and says she will eat anyone who gets out of line. Write a poem about what happens next.
- Imagine the internet suddenly dies and all the computers stop working. Write a poem about what happens next.
- Write a poem about the worst thing you’ve ever tasted.
- Imagine you’re Death and have come to take an old woman who has lived a good life. Write a poem about this final encounter.
- Write a poem about an Elf on the Shelf who comes to life and causes all sorts of mischief.
- Write a poem from the perspective of a book that has been banned from your school library.
- A drought has caused the water levels to fall in the lake/river/sea near your home, causing all the old items lost in the water of the years to be revealed. Write a poem about the objects that can now be found and recovered.
- Write a poem from the perspective of a Christmas tree on Christmas morning.
- Write a poem from the perspective of a pumpkin being carved for Halloween.
30 Procedural Writing Prompts for Middle School
- Explain the steps for teaching a puppy new tricks.
- Imagine you once escaped from prison and are now writing a letter to a friend of yours who is in your old cell. Explain step by step how they can escape as well.
- How do you build the perfect snowman?
- Explain the steps for how to apologize when you’ve hurt your friend’s feelings.
- Write the process for shooting the perfect jump shot.
- What are the steps for making a new friend?
- Imagine that you are a bull rider performing at a rodeo. Explain the steps for riding the bull and staying on as long as you can.
- Explain how to whistle.
- What is the perfect way to spend a Saturday? Explain the order of your days from when you wake up to when you go to bed again.
- How do you do the perfect dive?
- Imagine you’re taking a road trip across the country. What are the steps for preparing your car for the trip? Think about what you will bring with you and how you will know where to go.
- Explain the precise steps for carving a pumpkin.
- Explain the steps for pitching a tent.
- Imagine you’re going skydiving with someone who has never been in an airplane before and is terrified of heights. Explain to them how you will jump out of the plane and survive.
- Explain the process for tying your shoes.
- Imagine you’re planning a bank robbery and have to explain to your fellow robbers exactly how you will all escape without getting caught. Write down your precise getaway plans.
- What is the best way to eat a pie? Explain the steps from removing it from the oven to the final burp.
- Explain how to properly wash and dry your hair.
- What is the procedure for packing your suitcase for a long vacation?
- Imagine that your city is flooding due to a massive storm. Explain the steps you need to take to secure your house and protect it from the rising water.
- Step by step, explain how you clean your room.
- What is the procedure for tying a stem into a knot with your tongue?
- Imagine that you are a general in charge of storming a medieval castle. Explain the steps your army will take to lay siege to the castle and win the battle.
- Explain step by step how you draw a self-portrait.
- Explain step by step how to live a good life. School, job, marriage, kids, etc. What order and at what age should these events happen to live a good life?
- What is the procedure for convincing a stray dog to come to you so you can help it find its way home?
- What are the steps for changing the world?
- Imagine you are performing in a circus. Pick an act that you will star in and explain the steps for performing your act.
- What is the proper way to make the perfect bowl of popcorn?
- Explain the steps for making your parents happy.
53 Relationship Writing Prompts for Middle School
- What does romance mean to you?
- Should boys ask girls to dances or the other way around? Explain.
- How do you say you’re sorry when you’ve hurt someone’s feelings?
- What is the difference between hearing and listening?
- Do you hold a grudge when your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner hurts you in some way? Why or why not?
- What are the qualities that make you a good romantic partner?
- How do you know your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner is reliable?
- At what age do you think you should be allowed to start dating?
- How do you know when you are ready to have sex with someone?
- Describe your first kiss. Was it what you imagined it would be? Why or why not?
- How are romantic relationships at your school different from the way they are portrayed in movies and television?
- What are the top three qualities you would look for in a boyfriend/girlfriend/partner? Explain.
- What are the biggest challenges in having a romantic relationship?
- Do you believe in love at first sight? Why or why not?
- Do you think your classmates make too big a deal about romantic relationships in middle school? Why or why not?
- How do you know your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner respects you?
- Should you only date people that your parents approve of? Why or why not?
- Should schools do a better job of preparing students for having relationships and having sex? Explain.
- Where is the best place to get information about relationships and sex?
- Describe your perfect boyfriend/girlfriend/partner. What do they look like? What is their personality like? What do you two do together?
- Should romantic partners ever fight? Why or why not? What does it mean if they do?
- Valentine’s Day: romantic holiday or marketing scam?
- How should a middle school couple celebrate their anniversary?
- Should boys hold open doors for girls? Or is this just sexist? Explain your answer.
- Should students be allowed to date someone older or younger than themselves? Why or why not?
- “All is fair in love and war.” Agree or disagree? Explain.
- What scares you the most about having a romantic relationship?
- Do you think romantic relationships get better in high school? Why or why not?
- What does it mean to be committed to your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner?
- How do you know when you want to marry your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner?
- Do you and your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner laugh a lot together? What makes you laugh?
- Does it matter who says “I love you” first? Why or why not?
- What do you think the opposite sex really wants in a romantic relationship? Explain.
- Do you feel pressured to start dating? Why or why not?
- What do you friends think of your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner? Do you agree with them? Explain.
- How do you know when it’s time to break up with your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner?
- Is it okay to never date in middle school and high school? Why or why not?
- What are the disadvantages of having a boyfriend/girlfriend/partner? Explain.
- Should parents be allowed to choose your romantic partners for you? Why or why not?
- Is love logical? If it’s not, should you pay attention to it and follow it? Explain.
- In what ways can a boyfriend/girlfriend/partner make you a better person?
- Many people say that romantic partners should be “equals”. Do you think this is actually possible, that two people can be equals? Why or why not?
- What would you do if your close friend was dating someone you didn’t think was good for them?
- Do you think couples should have secrets? Why or why not?
- How do you establish boundaries in a romantic relationship?
- What have you learned about romantic relationships from watching how your parents interact?
- How are romantic relationships today different from those in the past?
- Do you think romantic relationships today have benefited from cell phones and technology or not? Explain.
- Is it okay to ask someone out by text? Why or why not?
- Are middle school romantic relationships doomed to fail? Why or why not?
- What would you do on your “perfect” date?
- Who should pay for things on a date?
- “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Do you agree? Why or why not?
50 Research Writing Prompts for Middle School
- Research the history of Christmas. Was Christmas always the holiday we know now? When did people begin celebrating Christmas the way we do today? How has the Christmas holiday changed over time?
- Research the history of the circus. Who invented the first circuses? What kinds of attractions did they have? How did circuses become popular? What circuses still survive today?
- What is a food desert? How do they affect families living within them? What can be done about food deserts?
- Research a job or profession that no longer exists. Who performed that job in the past? Was it a good job or not? Why is that particular job no longer around anymore? Which jobs exist today will eventually disappear?
- What did people use before GPS and Google Maps? Research how ancient people developed maps and learned to navigate by the stars.
- What are some of the scariest places in your state? Research one of them and write about its history. What happened there that makes it so scary? Do you think the stories about this place are real or just made up?
- Many people mistakenly believed that the Egyptian pyramids were created by slaves. New evidence suggests they were created by well-paid laborers. Research how the pyramids of Egypt were created. Who made them? Why? Why have they lasted so long?
- Research the history of shoelaces. When were shoelaces first invented? What were shoelaces originally made from? How many different ways to tie shoelaces are there?
- “The greatest invention since sliced bread.” Pick an invention. Write about how it was invented, who contributed to it, and how it changed the world.
- Pick your favorite sport. Research how your sport was originally created. Who was responsible for inventing the rules? How did your sport come to be widely accepted? How were its professional leagues formed? How many people participate in it today?
- What was the worst war in the 20 th Century? Write about why a particular war was the worst. How did this war start? Why and when did it finally end?
- How do plants communicate? Research how plants have evolved to communicate with each other. How does this compare with human communication? Are plants really “unthinking” or are they more complicated than you thought?
- Research the history of the Supreme Court. How was it formed? What is its role in the US government? How are justices appointed? How does the Supreme Court operate on a daily basis?
- Pick a major city in a foreign country. Write about how that city was founded and what that city is known for today. If you visited that city, what would you go see? Who are famous people from that city?
- Pick a particular natural disaster from history (hurricane, volcanic eruption, earthquakes, etc.) and write about what happened on that day. What were the effects of that disaster? Could the damage have been lessened if certain steps were taken?
- Research the history of the cigarette. Why was it developed? Why is smoking so deadly? Has the tobacco industry always known about the dangers of smoking? How has vaping changed the industry? How many young people smoke?
- Research how the different planets in our solar system were discovered. Who made the discoveries and how did they know the planets were there? Do you think there are more planets out there in our solar system waiting to be discovered?
- Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among young people. Research why teens commit suicide. What are the signs someone is thinking about suicide? How can suicide be prevented?
- Research the history of the video game. When were video games first invented? What were the earliest video games? How did video games develop over time? What are the most popular video games of all time?
- Pick an author that you enjoy. Write about where they came from, what books they write, and why they became an author. Would you recommend their work to your classmates?
- Christopher Columbus was once credited with “discovering” the Americas, but many other explorers had landed in the Americas before him. Write about the history of discovery in America. What cultures landed in the Americas before Columbus?
- Research the history of the White House. How was it designed? What rooms are within it? How does it operate on a daily basis?
- Are we alone in the universe? Research how scientists have searched for life outside of Earth. What are different groups doing now to look for signs of intelligent life beyond our solar system? Do you think they will ever find any?
- Homelessness remains a huge problem in America. Research the different reasons people become homeless. What solutions are there for addressing homelessness?
- What were the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World? Research how this ancient list was made, and then select one of the wonders to write about. When was your Wonder created? Where was it located? What happened to it?
- Select an astronaut. Research their life and how they became an astronaut. What was their childhood like? What kind of missions have they done as an astronaut?
- Research the history of school lunches. Why were lunches first served in schools? What kinds of foods have been served over the decades? Are school lunches healthy? How have they changed over time?
- Research the history of your state. When was it founded? Why did it become a state? Who are some of the famous people from your state? What is your state known for?
- One of the most massive floods we have evidence for happened during the last Ice Age at Glacial Lake Missoula. Research these floods and write about why they happened. How much water was involved? What would the floods have looked like? Where did all the water go?
- Research the history of the dictionary. Why were dictionaries first created? Who created them? What effect did compiling a dictionary have on the English language?
- Why do we keep dogs as pets? Research the history of dogs. Where do they come from? Why did humans start keeping them as pets? What kinds of jobs have dogs performed over the years? What is your favorite breed of dog?
- Research the history of gargoyles. When did people first start putting gargoyles on buildings? Why are so gargoyles monstrous? What purpose do gargoyles serve?
- Where does chocolate come from? Research the history of chocolate. Where is it grown? Who originally discovered chocolate? Has it always been used in candies and deserts? How much chocolate is consumed every year?
- Research Halloween. Has Halloween always been celebrated the way it is today? When did people begin celebrating Halloween as they do now? How has the celebration of Halloween changed over time?
- How did we find the Titanic? Research the history of the search for the wreck of the Titanic. How long did it take to find? Who found it? How did they find it? What did they discover when they finally found the wreck?
- Research the history of the ice cream truck. Why were ice cream trucks invented? Who drove the first ice cream trucks? Why do ice cream trucks play the kind of music they do? How many ice cream trucks are still around today?
- Research the history of tattoos. When did people first begin tattooing themselves? What different kinds of tattoos have people created in different cultures? How does someone become a tattoo artist today? If you got a tattoo, what would you get?
- Research the history of comic books in America. How popular are they? Why were they censored in the 1950s? Is reading comics the same as reading books?
- The only successful skyjacking in American history happened in 1971. A man later called DB Cooper hijacked a Boeing 727, held it for ransom and escaped by diving out of the plane. Research the history of this caper and the speculations about what happened to DB Cooper.
- Research the history of the Christmas tree. When did people begin using trees as Christmas decorations? Were Christmas trees always decorated the way they are now? What kinds of trees were used in the past?
- Pick your favorite candy bar and research its history. When was it first invented? Has it ever changed over time? How many are sold every year?
- Research the history of dragons. When were dragons first created? In what cultures did dragons first appear? Have dragons always had the same characteristics (fire-breathing, hoarding gold, etc.)? How have dragons changed over time?
- Bullying remains a problem in schools. Research the various ways schools and communities can combat bullying. Which ideas do you think would be the most effective?
- Research the history of money in the United States. What was the first money printed by the US government? How has money changed over the years? What is paper money made of? How is it decided what will be on the coins and bills? How much money is in circulation?
- Who invented the electric guitar? Research the history of the electric guitar and how it changed modern music. Why was it invented at all? Was it popular right at the beginning? How many kinds of electric guitars are there?
- Research the history of reading. When did people first begin to read silently? When did literacy become widespread enough for most people to own and read books? How did the spread of literacy change the world?
- Research the history of the playground. When were playgrounds invented? What kinds of toys were used in the first playgrounds? When were playgrounds included at schools? How have playgrounds changed over time?
- Research the history of pirates. Who were the first pirates? Who were some of the most famous pirates? What was the difference between a pirate and a privateer? How many pirate treasures are still out there to be discovered?
- Research the history of the pencil. Who invented the pencil? When was it first invented? Where pencils always made of wood and graphite? How many pencils are made every year?
- Research the history of the crayon. When were crayons first invented? Why? Who made them? How are crayons made? How many crayons are sold every year? How many crayon colors are there?
50 School Writing Prompts for Middle School
- Imagine you’ve been made principal for the day and can change three things about your school. What three things would you change and why?
- Imagine you find an old letter tucked inside a library book. The letter reveals that there is a hidden passageway somewhere at your school. Write about your search for the passageway and where it leads.
- What is the worst part about school? Is there any way it could be improved? Explain.
- Should students be required to share a locker with a classmate? Why or why not?
- Spirit Week: good fun or totally stupid? Defend your answer.
- Do you think teachers should have a seating chart? Or should students be allowed to sit wherever they like? Explain.
- Imagine you have been chosen to host a foreign exchange student who has never been to America. Write a letter to your new guest explaining how to succeed at your school.
- If you could add any extra-curricular activity to your school, what would it be and why?
- Should tests include more multiple choice questions or more short answer questions? Explain.
- Should students be required to lead parent/teacher conferences? Or should teachers have to lead them instead? Explain.
- What is the difference between a good teacher and a great teacher?
- What is the biggest problem facing your school right now? What are possible solutions to that problem?
- What is one thing you wish your teacher understood about you?
- Imagine that no one can raise their hands ever again. What would you replace hand-raising with so that students can respectfully get the attention of their teacher?
- You are in charge of replacing the school lunch menu. You can select three restaurants to provide new menu items. What three restaurants do you choose and why?
- Should the number of students per class be increased or decreased? What is the ideal number of students in a single class? Defend your answer.
- Imagine one day at school you are allowed to create a rule for students to follow. Explain the rule you create and why you choose to make that rule.
- Sitting in the back row or sitting in the front row: which is better? Defend your answer.
- Imagine that you have been given the job of driving a school bus to school every morning. How will you keep order on your bus? What rules will you have? How will you enforce them?
- What is the point of education? Why does it matter? Explain.
- Should education be entirely directed to getting a job after school? Or should school teach you things that may not apply to a job but that enrich your mind? Defend your answer.
- You can do away with one subject at school so that it is never taught again. What subject do you get rid of and why?
- Should students be allowed to skip grade levels? Why or why not?
- Should students be held back if they cannot meet basic standards in their classes? Why or why not?
- Should teachers be allowed to assign homework to student athletes on game days? Why or why not?
- You can invite one famous person to come to your school. Who would you invite and why?
- Write a letter to the President of the United States. Explain the problems facing your school. What three things would you ask that the President do to address these problems?
- The best athlete at school or the student with the highest grades: which would you rather be? Explain.
- Imagine you are going to run for school president. Write a speech to convince your fellow classmates that they should vote for you.
- Do you think students should be allowed to choose their teachers? Why or why not?
- Would you rather start the school day earlier (and get out earlier) or start the day later (but have to stay later)? Explain.
- Is recess necessary? Why or why not?
- Where do fifth graders belong? In elementary school or in middle school? Explain.
- Where do eighth graders belong? In middle school or in high school? Explain.
- Should students be allowed to take mental health days and stay home from school? Why or why not?
- Should schools be allowed to celebrate holidays? Or should they not acknowledge them at all because they might offend some students?
- Do you feel safe at school? Why or why not?
- Should teachers be allowed to assign what books you read? Or should you always be allowed to pick whatever book you want? Defend your answer.
- Is it important to learn more advanced mathematics like algebra and geometry if you’re not ever going to use them? Why or why not?
- Should students be required to take exercise/workout/yoga classes? Why or why not?
- Should students be required to take classes in basic life skills like cooking, how to change a car tire, how to write a resume, etc.? Explain.
- Your teacher gives you a camera and asks you to take pictures of three things you like at school. What would you take pictures of and why?
- Is Monday through Friday really the best school schedule? Why or why not? If not, what schedule would be better?
- What does it mean to have school spirit? Is school spirit important? Explain.
- You are in charge of organizing a film festival at your school. You can pick three movies to show to all the students and teachers. What three movies would you show and why?
- Public school or homeschool: who gets a better education? Defend your answer.
- If you could repeat one grade level because you enjoyed it so much, which grade level would you choose and why?
- If you could add any sport to your school for students to compete in, what would you add and why?
- Should students have a say in the dress code? Why or why not?
- Get rid of lunch (you can eat at your desk in class) or get rid of recess? Pick and defend your answer.
38 Science Writing Prompts for Middle School
- Is artificial intelligence going to take over the world? Why or why not? If it does, will life be better or worse? Explain.
- Imagine there is no longer any gravity on Earth. Write about a day in your life without it.
- Has technology really improved the world? Or has it simply changed the way things are done (cooking in a stove instead of over a fire, for example) but not really made it any better? Defend your answer.
- What technological advancement do you think the world would be better off without? Defend your answer.
- Imagine you are tasked with naming the Moon. What would you name it and why?
- Self-driving cars are the way of the future. But self-driving cars will put millions of delivery drivers, truckers and taxi drivers out of work. Should companies be allowed to create new technology that ends so many jobs? Defend your answer.
- If you had to lose one of your five senses, which one would you give up and why?
- Imagine that you could create a magnet that would attract something other than metal. What would you want your magnet to attract? Explain.
- If you were an astronaut, would you rather go to the Moon or go to Mars?
- If you could invent an app to improve people’s lives, what would you invent and why?
- How do you know the world we live in is real? Can you prove that we are not all part of a massive computer simulation? Explain.
- Would you rather have the ability to transform into a liquid or a gas? Explain.
- Should people be allowed to clone themselves? Why or why not?
- Some people believe we will one day be able to upload our consciousness into a computer and then download it thousands of years later into new bodies so that we can live forever. Do you think this is a good idea? Why or why not?
- If you could have a robot that did everything for you, would you want one? Why or why not?
- You can watch one event: the beginning of the universe or the end of the universe. Which do you choose? Explain.
- What do you think happens if you travel into a black hole?
- Until a word is invented for a particular color, people literally cannot see it. For example, ancient people could not see blue until the Egyptians invented blue dye and the word blue entered ancient languages to describe it. Until then, the sky and the ocean were seen as shades of black and green, not blue. Why do you think this happens?
- If you scream in space, can anyone hear it? Why or why not?
- Imagine you traveled to Mars and planted a tree. Do you think the tree would look the same as it does on Earth? Why or why not?
- What do you think would happen if every spider on Earth disappeared tomorrow?
- How would you go about your day if electricity had never been discovered?
- Do you think scientists will eventually create a pill that will make people lose weight without any effort? Why or why not?
- What are some things that science cannot help us understand?
- You can make one discovery: the cure for cancer or a device that will reverse global warming. Which do you choose and why?
- Science has often resulted in unintended consequences. For example, Einstein’s discovery of the Theory of Relativity led to the creation of the atomic bomb. What inventions or discoveries happening today might lead to unintended consequences in the future?
- If you could live in a virtual reality world like in the movie Ready Player One , would you want to? Why or why not?
- What one invention would you most want to make? What would your invention do? How would it help people and society?
- We spend billions of dollars to learn about things like distant galaxies and the structure of atoms. Should we spend so much on these things when we haven’t solved more immediate problems like world hunger or the cure for cancer? Why or why not?
- Should recycling be required for families, schools and communities? Why or why not?
- Do you think there is intelligent life out there on other planets? Why or why not? If yes, do you think we should try and contact them?
- Should you be allowed to own your DNA? Or should companies be allowed to use samples of your DNA to create medicines and cures without your consent? Explain.
- Should students be required to learn how to write computer code? Why or why not?
- A thousand years from now, what do you think scientists will find left over from our civilization? What will they think about us?
- What aspect of science excites you the most (space exploration, biology, computer coding, chemistry, etc.)? Explain.
- Do we rely too much on technology? Explain.
- No species survives forever. They are wiped out by mass extinction events or they die out over time because they can’t adapt. Do you think human beings will be the first species to live forever? Why or why not?
- Pick one item from your bedroom that scientists 5,000 years from now might discover excavating your house. What would that item tell them about you?
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Five Creative Writing Lesson Plans for Middle & High School Students
A Poem About Joy:
In this lesson plan, inspired by Ross Gay's "Sorrow Is Not My Name," Teré Fowler-Chapman asks young poets to come up with a list of things that bring them joy and then write a poem inspired by one of the items on that list. The writing exercise, which is a fantastic way to bring social-emotional learning into the classroom, is preceded by a conversation on Gay's poetics and on how joy can exist even in times of sorrow.
Saraiya Kanning, inspired by Wang Ping's "Things We Carry on the Sea," asks young writers to, "contemplate how migration has played out in their own lives, including the lives of their families." This multi-part lesson plan includes a word association game, a discussion of Ping's poem, and a group poem in which students answer the question, "What sort of things have been carried across land, sea, or even across time?" collaboratively. After this, they write their own individual poems, using a series of questions to jump start their creativity, and then craft art pieces using popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners and/or puff paint to trace paths across the surface of their chosen canvas (Kanning used cake board!). This lesson can be shortened or spread out over class periods as part of a unit on immigration and migration.
Rare Bird Erasure:
"Erasure poems use words from another source to create a new poem," Saraiya Kanning writes in this lesson plan, which uses the field guide Rare and Elusive Birds of North America as a source text from which young writers create their own pieces (although you're welcome to use any book you'd like!). Each student receives a photocopied page from the book and goes on a "treasure hunt," selecting 5-10 words that in some way connect to one another. After creating their erasure poem, students can decorate the page with art materials to "create images, patterns, or designs around the words." This lesson plan includes a note on modifications for student with visual impairments.
Titles: Art on their Own:
So often in creative writing, the titling process is overlooked but important: as Sophie Daws says, "Writing a title can feel like putting the cherry on top of your great poem or it can feel like walking on eggshells, where the wrong title could ruin the whole poem and you just can’t come up with the right one!" This lesson plan, drawn from her high school zine residency, uses six prompts to offer a guided approach to coming up with a title for a finished project, from one that asks students to write down their favorite line to another that encourages them to think of how a title can add another tone or angle to their work.
Found Art Handmade Books:
Taylor Johnson bridges creative writing and visual art in this lesson plan, which focuses on crafting handmade books from recycled materials. Johnson suggests using everything from old postcards to yarn to insect wings to create a publication that's truly one of a kind. As far as words go, students can either add something they've previously written to their books whole cloth or cut up bits of their old writing and "remix" it. After the books are done, Johnson suggests creating a classroom library or exhibit for students to browse one another's books.
Image from the Boston Public Library.
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Tools to Help You Teach Middle School ELA
5 Creative Writing Activities Students Love
Need to engage your students? Whether you are teaching a creative writing class or a traditional one, here are fun, quick writing activities you can use to any time to get your reluctant writers — writing!
They are great when:
- there are 20 minutes before the assembly starts
- one class gets ahead of another – and you need a “holding” lesson until you can get your classes aligned
- students are super-squirrelly, but still need to work
- your class is stagnant and everyone needs a boost (including you!)
- you’re looking for creative writing games
- students need a quick creative writing activity to warm them up
- you want to introduce a new writing unit
It’s great to have quick, fun creative writing exercises and lesson plans to turn to when you have extra class time to fill.
If students don’t finish, have them hold onto them for another day. There always seems to be a pocket of time you need to fill — and these quick creative writing prompts are perfect! No printed worksheets necessary!
1. Pass-back Stories
If you haven’t taught them, here is how they work:
- Every student has a blank piece of paper and pen.
- The teacher provides the story starter. It can be something like, “Suddenly, the lights went out,” or “Our camping trip was going great until,” or “I knew it was a bad idea to…”
- The students write the story starter at the top of the page and then start writing the story.
- The teacher sets the timer (2 minutes or so); when the timer goes off, the students must pass their paper back to the person behind them. The last person in the row, runs her paper up to the first person. Students must stop writing when the teacher calls time — even if they are in the middle of a sentence!
- Continue with each student down the row adding to the story.
- After a few rounds, students will end up with their own paper again. They then need to write a conclusion to their story.
Reasons to love this little lesson:
- It’s fast and fun
- Students love reading and adding to each other’s stories
- Students are practicing spontaneous writing – their imaginations are firing and their creative writing skills are being challenged.
- Reinforces writing skills – students know their story needs to have a beginning, middle, and end.
- Perfect to add to your back to school writing ideas.
- Provide creative writing exercises for beginners
- Review of when to start new paragraphs
- Works with middle school through high school students.
- If you’re looking for a fun end of the year activity , give this a try.
Adjustments you might want to make:
- Rearrange your classroom into even rows.
- Set some rules and restrictions. For example, you may want to stipulate that no real people can be mentioned in the story, or that it must be rated G.
- Once students get the idea, you can have “challenge” items in each round. For example, students have to include a groundhog, or must use the word “confetti.” I announce this right before setting the timer.
- Play with the time limit. The time limit makes it a fun writing game. Try not too give them too much time; you want them to finish writing in the middle of an idea — that creates a challenge for the next writer!
- Collect all the stories at the end of the class. Read a few of the best to the class the next day — or allow students to read their stories in small groups. I like to collect and read to sort out any stories that might have pushed boundaries or forgotten the rules!
Once your students do this, they will beg you to write pass-back stories, but I wouldn’t recommend using them more that a few times in a school year. That keeps them fresh and exciting!
2. Guess-who Character Cards
If you haven’t taught it, here’s how it works:
- Provide each students with a picture of someone they are not familiar with. It could be a picture from an ad, a “Guess Who” game card, or a photo you find online. The important thing is that students don’t know the person.
- Have students write a quick description of the person. Encourage them to create as clear a detailed description as possible.
- Collect descriptions, post pictures around the room, redistribute descriptions and challenge students to match the picture with the description.
- challenges students to look at details in a photo. (If you need more descriptive writing activities, you might be interested in this post. )
- fun and fast — students love matching the description with the photo
- writing with a purpose – students know their descriptions must be accurate and specific
- encourages students to use descriptive words
- add to your beginner writing exercises to help students pay attention to details
Adjustments you may want to make:
- If you teach more than one section, swap descriptions so students need to read and match pictures and descriptions from a completely different class.
- Allow students to work with a partner
- Turn it into one of your writing games by providing points for correct matches.
3. Guess-who Characters — with a twist!
How it works:
- Follow the directions for the Guess-who character description above except instead of writing a description of the character, students write dialogue the character has.
- Students have the chance to see how dialogue tells us about a character.
- It provides writing with voice.
- P ractice writing dialogue .
- It’s one of those school writing prompts that really engages!
- Perfect to add to your creative writing lessons as a start of the year review of dialogue
- Allow students to work together with two different pictures. The characters in the pictures might be having a conversation, argument, or debate.
- Extend the lesson into a full scene that involves the character.
- Challenge students to write a backstory about the character.
4. Quirky prompts
Students love learning about the oddball holidays that are so popular (you can find them in my “What to teach this month” posts ).
How to do this:
- Choose a quirky holiday. It doesn’t have to be the holiday of the day — any quirky day will work!
- Ask students to plan a celebration for the day. They can write a flyer, an ad, a commercial, or create a party plan.
- Or have students describe what happens at this celebration. They can include as much description as possible.
- students love the quirkiness of this assignment!
- creative and imaginative
- these work for extra practice for creative writing lessons for high school or middle school
- If you have more time, you can give students different holidays. They can describe the celebration without naming it. Later, students can try to match the holiday and the description.
- Allow students to include illustrations with their descriptions.
- Ask students to come up with slogans, flag, or fashion wear for the holiday. Make sure they can justify their creation.
5. Use story starters!
You can find 22 story starters in my store!
How to use them:
- Print the story starter writing prompts (you may want to use cardstock).
- Distribute them to your students & let them get started.
Reasons to love these:
- your students will want to know what story starter their classmates have, so this makes for a great opportunity for students to read their writing aloud!
- super easy to use! Print and use.
- flexible creative writing activities for elementary, middle, or high school
- you can also use these as a “fast finisher” prompt or a warm up .
- incorporate them into your creative writing class.
- perfect for the end of the school year or before a break begins
- students can trade story starters and start over.
Ready for more?
Once your students are warmed up, give them the opportunity to really stretch their writing skills by crafting a short story.
This story writing activity will take your students through the entire writing process. You can find this one and other school writing activities in my shop .
Creative writing activities can challenge and stretch your students — give one of these a try!
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55 Creative Writing Activities and Exercises
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Have you ever heard these questions or statements from your students?
- I don’t know where to begin.
- How can I make my story interesting?
- I’m just not creative.
- What should my story be about?
If so, you won’t want to miss these creative writing activities.
What Are Creative Writing Activities?
Activities that teach creative writing serve as drills to exercise your student’s writing muscle. When used effectively, they help reluctant writers get past that intimidating blank paper and encourage the words to flow.
When I think of creative writing exercises , writing prompts immediately come to mind. And, yes, writing from a prompt is certainly an example of a creative writing activity (a highly effective one).
However, writing prompts are only one way to teach creative writing. Other types of activities include games, collaboration with others, sensory activities, and comic strip creation to name a few.
Unlike writing assignments, creative writing activities aren’t necessarily meant to create a perfectly polished finished project.
Instead, they serve as more of a warmup and imagination boost.
Picture-based writing exercises are especially fun. You can download one for free below!
get this picture prompt printable for free!
How to use creative writing exercises effectively.
When teaching creative writing , the most effective exercises inspire and engage the student.
Remember that worn-out prompt your teacher probably hauled out every year?
“What I Did This Summer…”
Cue the groaning.
Instead of presenting your student with lackluster topics like that one, let’s talk about ways to engage and excite them.
For Kids or Beginners
Early writers tend to possess misconceptions about writing. Many picture sitting down for hours straight, polishing a story from beginning to end.
Even for experienced writers, this is next-to-impossible to do. It’s preconceived ideas like these that overwhelm and discourage students before they’ve even started.
Instead of assigning an essay to complete, start with simple, short writing exercises for elementary students such as:
- Creating comic strips using a template
- Talking out loud about a recent dream
- Writing a poem using rhyming words you provide
- Creating an acrostic from a special word
Creative writing exercises don’t have to end in a finished piece of work. If the exercise encouraged creative thinking and helped the student put pen to paper, it’s done its job.
For Middle School
Creative writing activities for middle school can be a little more inventive. They now have the fundamental reading and writing skills to wield their words properly.
Here are some ideas for middle school writing exercises you can try at home:
- Creating Mad Lib-style stories by changing out nouns, verbs, and adjectives in their favorite tales
- Storyboarding a short film
- Writing a family newsletter
- Creating crossword puzzles
For High School
Your high school student may be starting to prepare for college essays and other important creative writing assignments.
It’s more critical than ever for her to exercise her writing skills on a regular basis.
One great way to keep your high schooler’s mind thinking creatively is to have her make “listicles” of tips or facts about something she’s interested in already.
Another fun and effective creative writing exercise for high school is to have your student retell classic stories with a twist.
List of 55 Creative Writing Activities for Students of All Ages
No matter what age range your students may be, I think you’ll find something that suits their personality and interests in this list of creative writing ideas. Enjoy!
- Using only the sense of hearing, describe your surroundings.
- Write a paragraph from your shoes’ point of view. How do they view the world? What does a “day in the life of a shoe” look like?
- Imagine what the world will be like in 200 years. Describe it.
- Write a letter to someone you know who moved away. What has he or she missed? Should he or she move back? Why?
- Make up an imaginary friend. What does he or she look like? What does he or she like to do?
- Create a story about a person you know. Use as many details as possible.
- Write a poem that describes a place you have been.
- Soak up the season you’re in with seasonal creative writing prompts. Here are some ideas for fall and winter .
- Write a song where each line starts with the next letter in the alphabet.
- Create a list of words related to something you love.
- Write a short story based on a true event in your life.
- Rewrite a chapter of your favorite book from the antagonist’s point of view.
- Write a letter to your future self. What do you want to make sure you remember?
- Go on a five-senses scavenger hunt. Find three items for each sense. Create a story using the items you found.
- Create a story around an interesting picture ( try these fun picture writing prompts! )
- Find an ad in a magazine or elsewhere and rewrite the description to convince people NOT to buy the advertised item.
- Write a story using the last word of each sentence as the first word of the next.
- Describe everything you’re sensing right now, using all five senses.
- Write a list of animals A to Z with a one-sentence description of each one. Feel free to include imaginary animals.
- Design your dream room in detail.
- Write a script of yourself interviewing a famous person. Include his or her answers.
- Describe what high school would be like if you lived on the moon. What would you be learning about? How would you be learning it?
- Describe a day in the life of a famous person in history. Include both mundane and exciting details of things they may have experienced on a normal day.
- Pick up something on a bookshelf or end table nearby. Now write a commercial script for it to convince your audience that they absolutely must own this thing.
- Plan a birthday party for your best friend. Describe the decorations, food, and everything else.
- Write a very short story about three siblings fighting over a toy. Now rewrite it twice, each time from a different character’s perspective.
- Tell a story from the point of view of a pigeon on a city street.
- Create a menu for a deli you’ll be opening soon. Name each sandwich after something or someone in real life and list the fillings and type of bread.
- Pretend you just became famous for something. Write 3 exciting newspaper headlines about the topic or reason behind your newfound fame.
- Keep a one-line-a-day journal. Every day, write down one thought or sentence about something that happened that day or how you felt about the day.
- Have you ever had a nightmare? Write what happened but with a new ending where everything turns out okay (perhaps the monster was your dad in a costume, preparing to surprise you at your birthday party).
- Write a “tweet” about something that happened to you recently, using only 140 characters.
- Take an important event in your life or the life of someone in your family. Write one sentence answering each of the 6 journalistic questions: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How.
- Set a timer for 5 minutes and write nonstop, starting with the words “I remember.” If you get stuck, write “I remember” again until you get unstuck.
- Pick something you use often (a toothbrush, your desk, etc). Then tell the story of how it was invented. If you don’t know, make something up.
- Choose a princess or hero and write a one-paragraph story about him or her traveling to a distant land.
- Pretend you are a tour guide for a local attraction. It can be a library, a park, or a museum, but it could also be a place that wouldn’t normally hold tours (such as an arcade). Write a speech about what you tell your tour group as you walk around the attraction.
- Create a marketing brochure for your favorite activity or fun place to go.
- Make a list of 10 future story settings. Write one sentence describing each. For example, “ in the dark, musty cellar of my grandmother’s house, surrounded by dried-up jars of canned peaches… ”
- Make a list of foods included in a dinner party catered by the world’s worst cook, describing how each course looks, smells, and tastes. Include your reactions while eating it.
- Write out your own version of instructions for playing your favorite game.
- Pretend you’ve lost your sight for one night. Describe going out to eat at a restaurant, using smells, textures, and sounds to tell your story.
- Write a script for an interesting phone conversation in which the reader can only hear one side.
- Tell the story of an object someone threw away from the perspective of the person who tossed it out. Then tell the story of that same object from the perspective of a person who finds it and deems it a treasure.
- List your 3 least favorite chores. Pick one and write a one paragraph detailing why you can’t possibly complete that chore ever again.
- Write an excerpt from your dog’s diary (pretend he keeps one).
- Write the script for a movie trailer—real or imagined.
- Create an acrostic for a holiday of your choice.
- Pretend you’re the master of a role-playing game, describing a sticky situation in which the other players now find themselves. Describe the scenario in writing.
- Compose a funny or dramatic caption for a photo.
- Parents, place a textured object in a box without letting your student see it. Have him or her reach in, touch the object, and then describe how it feels.
- Write lyrics for a parody of a song.
- Make a list of 10-20 songs that would be played if a movie was made about your life.
- Describe the sounds, smells, sights, and textures you’d experience if you went to the beach for the day.
- Write an election speech with ludicrous and impossible campaign promises.
One of the best ways to encourage students to write regularly is by providing fun creative writing activities .
They serve to encourage both the habit and mindset of writing with imagination. If you need extra help with that, check out Creative Freewriting Adventure :
bring excitement into your student’s writing – no prep required!
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