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Things to Journal About (120 Ideas)

Things to Journal About by age and grade — Whether you’re a brand new writer or a seasoned journaling pro, creative writing offers a number of benefits. It’s a fantastic source of stress relief and a great outlet for exploring new ideas. And best of all, you don’t need anything but a pen and paper or a blank document to get started!

Things to Journal About

Journal Prompts, Topics & Journal Ideas

However, the one challenging aspect of creative writing can be coming up with new things to journal about. Writer’s block is a very real phenomenon that happens to even experienced writers. It can be tough to come up with fresh ideas, especially if you want to journal regularly.

With that in mind, we’ve developed an all-new set of writing prompts to help you begin! We’ve created fresh things to journal about for elementary school students, middle school students, high school students, and writers of all ages.

These writing starters are special—they’re full of fun and whimsy and they’re bound to get your imagination turning! Read on to find unique things to journal about and enjoy expanding your creativity today.

Schedule some time right now to grab your favorite notebook, journal, or writing app and get to journal right now. Or, integrate these ideas into your next writing lesson plan for your students. However you use these prompts, I just know you’ll be glad you did!

Journal Ideas for All Grades and Ages

Things to Journal About for Elementary School Students

Daily journaling is a wonderful thing to include in the daily routines of your student’s days. Indeed, there are so many wonderful benefits of journaling and we hope you use this fabulous writing tool with your students. Now… Enjoy this list of ideas!

  1. Imagine you come home one day to find that your pet puppy is now in charge of the house. What sorts of rules would you have to follow?
  2. You are at the park and trip over a large ditch in the ground. Upon closer inspection, you see something glowing inside it…
  3. What would you do if you discovered that your best friend was a robot?
  4. Would you ever vote for your favorite movie star to be the president? Why or why not?
  5. Write about a horse that is scared of its own shadow.
  6. Write a poem about your favorite mythical creature.
  7. Write a story about a pair of sisters who switch lives and bodies for the day—and then try to figure out a way to make the switch permanent!
  8. Imagine that you are a snowflake falling from the sky. What do you see on your journey downward?
  9. If you could invent something to solve any one problem in your life, what would it be?
  10. Write a story about a group of kids who keep having problems with a crotchety old neighbor.
  11. What would you do if you had a 3D printer that could print anything you imagined instantly?
  12. Create your own planet and write about it. Describe the environment, the planet’s inhabitants, and what kinds of things there are to do for fun on the planet.
  13. Write a poem about brushing your teeth.
  14. Write a story about a young boy who has an unusual dream about what he wants to be when he grows up.
  15. Do you think magic is real? Argue for or against its existence.
    Elementary School Journal Prompts
  16. What is the best prank you’ve ever played (or that’s been played on you)?
  17. Write a story about an animal with a very important job.
  18. You come home from school one day to discover that your parents have gotten you the pet cat you’ve been asking for! There’s just one problem: the cat is a baby tiger…
  19. Write a story based on your favorite board game.
  20. Write a poem about your favorite part of the school day.
  21. Write about a time when you stayed up late and didn’t get any sleep because you were having too much fun.
  22. Write a story about a young girl who must keep her secret identity safe.
  23. Write about a time when you tried something you were afraid to do.
  24. You are watching your favorite sports team on TV one day, when there is a knock at the door…it’s the coach! And he wants you to come join the team!
  25. Where would you go first if you could instantly teleport anywhere in the world?
  26. You are walking down the street one day, when suddenly the ground starts to shake…
  27. You’re putting the finishing touches on your science project—when suddenly there is an explosion out of nowhere!
  28. Choose a news story from the past week and rewrite it in a humorous style.
  29. If you were a superhero, what would be your secret power?
  30. What competition could you win single-handedly with no preparation?

Things to Journal About for Middle School Students

  1. Write a short story about a group of people who find a map to a hidden treasure and go on an epic journey—only to uncover a huge pile of hidden trash.
  2. What is your funniest memory? Write about it in a comedic style and try to include as many details as possible.
  3. Write a story about a parrot who won’t stop talking—and who has an uncanny ability to vocalize people’s unspoken thoughts.
  4. Write a poem about the most delicious food you’ve ever eaten.
  5. Choose a random word from the dictionary and write a story about it.
  6. Write a dramatic poem about the one pizza topping that is superior to all others.
  7. What would you do if you woke up and discovered that you could fly—but suddenly you had a newfound fear of heights?
  8. Write a story about a group of kids who get into mischief when their babysitter falls asleep on the couch.
  9. Imagine that you’re in a museum when all of the sudden a time traveler from the past walks in, confused about where they are. How do you help them? What do you show them to help them figure out what year they are in?
  10. Write a story about someone who believes that orange juice is the solution to every problem.
  11. Write a poem about Christmas morning.
  12. Which day of the week is your favorite? Why?
  13. What is your favorite thing to do when you go to the zoo?
  14. What would you do if you went to the zoo and realized you could understand what all the animals were saying to one another? What kinds of things do you think they would say about the zoo visitors?
  15. Write a story about a feisty French feline who loves fettuccine and fresh flowers.
    Middle School Journal Prompts
  16. You are at the circus, when suddenly one of the performers asks you to join them for the next act…
  17. You wake up one day and realize that you are literally going to spend the day in someone else’s shoes…
  18. Write a poem about something completely made up.
  19. Imagine that your life has a soundtrack and a laugh track like a classic sitcom. How does this affect your daily life?
  20. Write a description of an ordinary household object—but try to make it sound complex and mysterious. Don’t reveal what it is until the very end!
  21. Write a story about a group of aliens who come to Earth—and are surprised by what they see.
  22. Imagine that you are at your favorite ice cream shop and you see your favorite celebrity treating themself to a double scoop cone! What do you do next?
  23. You go in the room of mirrors at an amusement park…but when you exit the room, you realize you have entered a whole new dimension…
  24. Imagine a world where there is no Internet access. What sorts of things would change?
  25. Write about someone you know who has friends that are very different from one another.
  26. Write a story about a trip to the mall that doesn’t go quite as planned.
  27. Do you enjoy making new friends or do you prefer to keep to yourself?
  28. You find a mysterious box that you’ve never seen before in your basement one day. When you open it, you discover it contains…
  29. You are reading your favorite book, when suddenly, the words on the page seem to be speaking directly to you…
  30. You are pouring your morning bowl of cereal when you suddenly discover a VERY valuable prize hidden in the bottom of the box…

Things to Journal About for High School Students

  1. Write a short story about a teenager who makes a huge mistake—and doesn’t learn anything from it!
  2. Imagine that you are trapped in a Target store overnight. How do you spend your evening?
  3. If you could rewind any one moment in your life, what would it be? Would you change what happened next or simply rewind it so that you could experience it again?
  4. Are you an adventurous person? Why or why not?
  5. What would you do if you learned that your grandma had a whole secret life you didn’t know about?
  6. Write about the cringiest moment you’ve ever experienced.
  7. Write a poem about writing poetry.
  8. Write about a time when you couldn’t believe how lucky you were.
  9. It finally happened—your greatest birthday wish has come true! What was it?
  10. Write about a time when you couldn’t stop laughing.
  11. Think of your favorite song. Write a story based on the song (such as the characters in the song or the mood the song evokes for you!).
  12. How do you feel when people notice something positive about you?
  13. Write a story about someone who can’t stop telling the truth—and the awkward situations this creates!
  14. Imagine that you are invisible for the day. What is the first thing you do?
  15. Write a poem about your favorite pastime.
    High School Journal Prompts
  16. Write about a time when you went on a mini adventure. What did you do?
  17. All the warnings said “don’t try this at home,” but you tried it at home anyway. What happened?
  18. One day, you check your bank account only to see that your balance has mysteriously doubled overnight. The next day, it has doubled again! What do you do?
  19. Think about an inside joke you share with a friend. Write about it as though you are explaining it to someone else—or make up a whole new backstory for the joke and explain it that way instead!
  20. Write a story based on three things you can see when you look around you right now.
  21. What is the most interesting thing you’ve ever experienced?
  22. Would you ever spend an extended period of time camping outside in the woods? Why or why not?
  23. Do you believe in ghosts? Why or why not?
  24. Write a poem about your favorite word.
  25. Write a humorous story about a man who accidentally boards the wrong plane.
  26. What is the weirdest thing you’ve witnessed?
  27. Write a story based on a dream you once had.
  28. Write a story about a villain who keeps accidentally foiling their own plans.
  29. Write about the most interesting fact you’ve ever learned.
  30. You wake up on a desert island, and discover that your only hope to survive is to work alongside the characters from the last TV show you watched. Do you think you’ll make it?

Things to Journal About for Writers of All Ages

  1. Write a story about a day that proceeds backwards. What kinds of crazy things happen when everything takes place out of order?
  2. Write about one of your most embarrassing memories and try to find the humor in the situation now that it is in the past.
  3. What would you do if you woke up and discovered that a huge sum of money had been deposited in your bank account overnight?
  4. Imagine that it’s your last day at work at a job you really hate. What do you do to celebrate?
  5. Write a poem about something that annoys you.
  6. One day you wake up and you are somehow your younger self. What do you do first? Do you try to return to your current self, or do you take the chance to live your life again?
  7. Write a story about a character that you aren’t necessarily drawn to. Try to change your own mind about them along the way.
  8. If you were a type of dessert, what dessert would you be? Why?
  9. Which dinosaur is the best dinosaur? Defend your position!
  10. How do you know when you’ve made a bad decision?
  11. What would you do if you never aged?
  12. What would you do if you found a secret diary tucked in a drawer inside your home?
  13. Write down the first ten words you think of. Then, try to write a story that connects as many of them together as possible.
  14. You’ve finally finished your first novel! But now, it seems that the fictional story you wrote is starting to come true…
  15. What would you do if you had an assistant?
    All Ages Journal Prompts
  16. Write a poem about a person in your life.
  17. What is the riskiest thing you’ve ever done?
  18. Write about a time when something completely unbelievable happened to you.
  19. Imagine that you are a superhero. Who is your sidekick? What is your secret base of operations like?
  20. What was the final straw?
  21. What is the most relaxing place in the world?
  22. Write a story based on a local legend.
  23. You show up for a blind date—only to discover that your blind date is someone you already know very well.
  24. If your life had a theme song, what would it be? Why?
  25. Write a story about a Monday that was truly unlike any other.
  26. Write about your celebrity crush.
  27. Write a poem about your favorite household appliance.
  28. What do you like to do when you receive a piece of good news?
  29. Breakfast for dinner: overrated or the greatest invention ever?
  30. You are trying to set an alarm on your phone, when suddenly Siri refuses and starts talking back to you! It seems she is tired of being bossed around and has some thoughts of her own she’d like to share…

From exploring your deepest thoughts and emotions to developing a new passion for journaling, I hope you enjoyed these wonderful lists of journal writing prompts and found loads of inspiration from them.

Above all…

I hope these lists inspired you to create not only a journal entry but also a journaling habit.

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Jill
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Journal Prompts by Age and Grade

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