First grade students are often reluctant writers.
Children of this age are typically 6-7 years old and have not yet developed the writing skills necessary to write a story.
However, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try.
Practice makes perfect, so the more engaged you can get your first graders with writing, the sooner they’ll develop those critical writing skills.
So, this article is for you if you’ve got some first graders, whether they’re your students or your children.
Below we’ve included over 40 1st grade writing prompts and story starters to help your young ones practice their writing skills and explore their imagination.
1st grade writing prompts
Share this simple list of first grade writing prompts in class to inspire your budding writer.
Naturally, children of this age won’t be able to craft a long story or explanation from the following writing prompts.
Their answers and stories may be just a few lines, and that’s fine. You don’t have to try to raise the next F. Scott Fitzgerald.
The writing prompts below will help your first grade children get their minds working and focused while improving their written communication skills.
First-grade narrative prompts
- What is your favorite memory? Who were you with? Where were you?
- Describe your favorite animal. For extra fun, don’t mention the animal’s name. Just describe everything you know about it. Pass your page to a friend, parent, or teacher, and have them guess the animal.
- If you can be any superhero, who will you choose to be? Why?
- Have you ever had an interesting dream? What happened in it?
- Describe your family. How many people are there? Do you have any brothers or sisters? Pets? Who is the funniest person in your family? Who is the smartest?
- What is your favorite time of year? Do you prefer Halloween, Christmas, or your birthday? What makes that time of year so special?
- Describe your perfect day.
- What do you like to do when the sun is shining?
- Describe your best friend. Who are they, and what makes them so special?
- Describe your ideal birthday party.
- What is your favorite food? Do you know how to make it? Who makes it for you?
- What makes a good friend?
- Who is your favorite cartoon character? Can you describe them? Where do they live? What do they look like? Are they funny? Are they powerful?
- Would you rather be a dog or a cat? Why?
- Do you have any pets? If yes, describe your pet. What type of animal are they? What is their name? And what makes them so special? If not, would you like a pet? What kind of pet would you like?
First-grade journal prompts
If you want to write, start with journaling – a helpful advice to build the skills of the young students. Use a writing prompt below or a combination of the following first grade writing prompts:
- If you can have any job when you grow up, what will it be? Would you like to be a doctor? A firefighter? A superhero?
- Do you like school? What do you like (and not like) about it?
- Do you do chores at home? Do you like to do them? What chores do you usually do?
- Do you prefer warm weather or cold weather?
- What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
- What is the last thing you do before you go to sleep?
- What is your favorite sport? Do you play any other sports?
- You have three wishes. What are they?
- Have you ever had a dream? What happened in it?
- Do you like music? Describe your favorite music. What instruments are used? Is there a singer?
- What are the three best qualities in a friend?
- How can we help others when they’re sad?
- How do you feel better when you feel sad?
- What’s it like to feel happy?
- You get to be the president of the world for a day. What do you change about it?
First-grade story starters
- Imagine a day when your parents leave you home alone. What do you do at home all day? Write about the entire day from when you wake up until you go to bed.
- Write about a day in the life of your pet.
- What would a superhero’s day look like?
- You become the teacher in your class. What rules will you change?
- Imagine you find a magic wand. What does it do? Do you know who it belongs to? Do you keep it?
- You get to choose anywhere in the world for a class field trip. Where do you choose and why?
- You meet a talking cow. What does she say?
- Write about a trip you would like to take with your family. Where will you go? How long will the trip last? Do you need to bring anything special, like tents, raincoats, or sunglasses?)
- Write a story about what pets do when no one home or everyone else is asleep.
- Think about a time when you stayed up late. What was happening? Was there a celebration?
- Write about a close friendship between a massive animal and a tiny animal.
- All the students at school are human, except for one – a lonely young monster cub named Oz. Write about Oz and his first day at school. Is he nervous? Does he like school? Does he make friends?
- Carlos and Lisa want to bake a cake for Pauline’s birthday. Her birthday is tomorrow, and they haven’t started yet! Write about their rush to find the ingredients and bake the cake by the end of the day.
Instilling the love of reading may encourage and inspire young minds to write their work later.
Journaling and writing stories are great ways for your first graders who love writing to become better writers.
First grade writing prompts help to engage with them as they think and write to guide them in the right direction, but it’s also wise to let them write freely.
Writing is a doorway to free creative self-expression; uninhibited children will express themselves in beautiful, funny, and interesting ways.
Some first grade writing prompts may also be suitable for second and even third graders.
Feel free to adapt any of the writing prompts above to a higher writing skill level to suit children of another age group.
Include these writing prompts in your lesson plans for early learners who love writing and take advantage of their impressionable young minds to develop their writing skills.