Do you get tired of hearing students say “I don't know what to write about!”?
If so, look no further, because a writing prompt station is just what you need in your first grade classroom!
In this post, we cover:
- What is a writing prompt station?
- How do you set up a writing prompt station?
- Writing Prompt Storage
- Individual Prompts
- Full Page Prompts
- Book Rings
- Types of Writing Prompts
- Daily Writing Prompts
- Story Writing Prompts
- Letter Writing Prompts
- How To Writing Prompts
What is a Writing Prompt Station?
A writing prompt station is one where you provide students with a writing prompt to start their writing project or activity for the day.
You can assign a specific writing prompt for the day, or you can provide students with a multitude of prompts and let them choose the prompt for themselves.
Why Should You Use a Writing Prompt Station?
Writing prompt stations are effective for first grade because they provide students with the structure that they need with the creativity and freedom that they want.
A second benefit, and perhaps more important benefit, is that they require little prep and maintenance from you.
In a writing prompt station, you can set out a set of prompts and corresponding writing templates for several weeks at a time or even a month!
How to Set Up a Writing Prompt Station
As I mentioned earlier, how you set up your writing prompt station for your first grade classroom is totally up to you.
I opted for the lower maintenance choice which meant I set out a full set of writing prompts and their corresponding writing template pages at a time.
I've also used several different organization styles that you can see in the pictures below.
To organize your writing prompts, you can:
- cut them into individual prompts and leave them in a bucket
- Leave the prompts on a full page and display the page in a sign holder or on a bulletin board
- Use binder rings to keep individual prompts or full page prompts together
Daily Writing Prompts
Daily Writing Prompts are always a fan favorite for starting out a writing prompt station in first grade.
These prompts are for creative writing or other narrative writing forms.
I love how much creativity these writing prompts sparked in my first grade students!
These kinds of writing prompts include phrases like:
- If I could have one superpower, it would be _____ because…
- If I were a teacher, my one rule would be _____ because….
- If I could fly, I would go to _____ because….
One really important thing in all of these prompts is the word “because” at the end.
If you really want your students to grow as writers (and readers) they need to be in the habit of explaining WHY.
Adding the word “because” also ensure that students do more than simply fill in the blank!
Story Writing Prompts
Story writing prompts are very similar to daily writing prompts, but these kinds of prompts make the transition from writers writing about themselves to more of a narrative writing with a character, setting, problem and solution.
Story writing prompts are especially effective when you are teaching about story elements in your reading lessons!
It's easier (and saves time in your day) to be able to say “Remember in our reading lesson how we identified the problem and solution? Today in your writing, I want you to create a problem and solution in your own story!”.
Letter Writing Prompts
Letter writing prompts are always a class favorite. Students love writing letters to different people, but they often get stuck on who to write to outside of their friends and family.
I love to provide unique prompts for my students that not only give them ideas of WHO to write to, but also WHAT to write about.
Some of my favorite letter writing prompts include:
- Write a letter to a superhero about what kind of superpower you wish you had
- Write a letter to a dragon about what you think it is like to breathe fire
- Write a letter to your favorite cartoon character about why you like them
How To Writing Prompts
I usually save my How To writing prompts for the end of first grade once I know that students have had plenty of practice with sequencing a story and using transition words such as first, next, then and last.
I usually sprinkle in a few of these activities throughout the year in the form of life cycle writing during our science lessons.
One thing about How To writing is making sure that students think through ALL of the steps.
A fun activity is to “act out” the students writing in front of them. That way, if they miss a step, they can visually see where they went wrong. This is also a good activity for them to do with a partner!