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30 Descriptive Writing Prompts

Descriptive Writing Prompts to Teach Kids about Storytelling— Storytelling is a long and time-honored tradition. Plus, it’s one that is especially enjoyed and practiced by younger writers. Although people of all ages do tend to love stories, too. Now…

Kids Descriptive Writing Ideas

An absolutely wonderful way to get students accustomed to telling GOOD stories is through the use of descriptive writing prompts.

And do we have some good ones for you!

Yes, Here You’ll Find Writing Ideas for All

Use the ideas on this list and in the other wonderful resources you’ll find here with your Elementary, Middle School, High School, College Students, and writers of all ages.

You see…

From exciting retellings of the day’s most important events to poring over their favorite chapter book series, people of all ages love sharing stories. That’s why storytelling is such a fantastic way to get your students interested in writing. 

I mean you don’t want writers who are bored by the prospect of writing about something that does not interest them. Instead, you want your writers interested in the art of composing and drafting sentences to create an engaging descriptive paragraph — and then another and another.

Yes! You can help and encourage them to do so by having them create an entertaining story that is fun to write and read. Indeed, fun and enjoyment are two of the main reasons writers write better stories.

Good Prompts to Inspire Your Writers

In our list of descriptive writing prompts, students will learn about storytelling by practicing their own story writing and by examining the characters in some of their favorite books and TV shows. 

From imagining brand new characters to coming up with new plotlines for some of their favorite familiar faces, kids will learn how to construct compelling new narratives—and practice their writing skills along the way. 

Use these 30 wonderful prompts in your class lesson plan, assignments, or elsewhere to help your kids learn more about descriptive writing. Now, have your writer grab that laptop, get to writing, and enjoy the fun of writing a fabulous, descriptive story.

30 Descriptive Writing Topics & Prompts for Kids

  1. Rewrite your favorite book into a short story in your own words.
  2. Write an original story using only the characters from your favorite TV show.
  3. Write an original story using only the characters from your favorite movie.
  4. Write a story about a family’s kitchen faucet that poured out chocolate instead of water.
  5. Write a story about how you and your best friend originally became friends.
  6. Think about an animal shelter and tell the story of one of the animals becoming adopted by a family.
  7. Imagine that the appliances in a family’s kitchen could talk when the family was not present.  Write a story about what they would have to say to each other.
  8. Write a story using the plot from your favorite book, but insert yourself and some of your classmates to replace all the characters in the story.  Think about how the story changes when the personalities of the characters are different.
  9. Write a story about a family who has a tree with dollar bills for leaves in their backyard.
  10. Think of one of the characters from the last story you wrote and write a brief biography of him or her.  What does the character look like?  What is his or her favorite thing to do?  What is the character’s dream job?
  11. Write a story about a kid and the principal at his or her school trading places for one day. What was it like for both of them? Did they like their different roles?
  12. Write a story about a chef who creates a new recipe that everyone loves and can’t eat enough of.
  13. Write a story about a cat and dog that do not like each other, yet must overcome an obstacle together, helping each other along the way.
  14. Write a story about a flying buffalo that wants to travel to the moon.
  15. Write about the adventures of a monkey and an elephant that are best friends.
    Writing Prompts for Storytelling
  16. Write a story that begins with the phrase, “I was just sitting at the baseball game, minding my own business when suddenly a wild __________ appeared.”
  17. Write a story that begins with the phrase, “No one really understands why I always run when I see a __________.”
  18. Write a story that begins with the phrase, “Every day when the bell rings, the first thing I think of is __________.”
  19. Write a story using at least three of the following five things: a bicycle, a tube of lipstick, a pizza, a hedgehog, and a tennis racquet.
  20. Write a story using at least three of the following five things: a lamp, a banana, a movie theater, a baseball cap, and a pony.
  21. Write a story using at least three of the following five things: a pair of skis, a notebook, a basketball player, a waffle, and an eraser.
  22. Write a story about a summer camp where all the characters are animals.  What activities will they do?  Which animals are the counselors?
  23. Write a fictional story about one of your parents as a kid.  Use other real characters like your grandparents, aunts, and uncles, but make up the setting and plot.
  24. Write a story where the main character gets locked in the grocery store overnight. 
  25. Write a story about a little boy or little girl who was the king or queen of their country.
  26. Imagine that you and three of your best friends suddenly discover you can fly.  Where will you go?  What will you do?
  27. Write a story where the main character receives a mysterious letter in the mail.  What does the letter say?
  28. Write a story about a day in the life of a boy or girl who is much stronger than everyone around them.
  29. Write a story about a new baby who is born and can speak in full, intelligent sentences right away.
  30. Write a story about yourself 10 years in the future—but give yourself one trait, like, or dislike that is the complete opposite of one that you have now.  Explain how you got to this point in the story.

No doubt you’ll have good luck inspiring your writers with that list of ideas. But, just in case, here are some more for you…

The Go-To Favorites Prompt List

For those reluctant writers or non-writers, we suggest you use the time-tested favorite writing prompts. They are simple ideas that nearly every writer can answer without much effort. Plus, they are an excellent way to get those creative juices flowing for writers of all skill levels.

  • Favorite food
  • Favorite movies
  • Favorite novel
  • Favorite toy
  • Favorite season
  • Favorite movie
  • Favorite holiday
  • Favorite pet
  • Favorite place
  • Favorite hobby
  • Family member
  • Childhood memory
  • Favorite person
  • Favorite restaurant
  • Best/Fav Birthday
  • Poem or Poetry 

Turn this list on its head and write about your least favorite instead.

Descriptive Essay Topics

In another blog post, we offer a list of descriptive essay topics to help students see that writing can be enjoyable when they are writing about something that is relatable. Here is a sample of topics from that list of ideas:

  • Describe your best friend (or your girlfriend, boyfriend, or…) and the feelings that you have when you spend time together.
  • Describe a favorite vacation destination or the perfect vacation.
  • Describe your own experience that changed your life.
  • Write an essay describing how you felt on the first day of school.
  • Write about an object that makes you think about a good friend.

3 Key Benefits of Descriptive Writing

Descriptive writing isn’t just about setting the scene and making the reader feel like he or she is there—it also has a number of other important benefits, including:

1. Make Your Writing Sing

Adding detailed turns of phrase to an otherwise stagnant piece can make the whole thing sing a little louder—and ultimately makes the work a lot more entertaining to read. 

No one really wants to hear about “the great pizza [you] had for dinner last night” if that’s all you say about it.  But if you instead talk about how “the gooey, stringy melted cheese was sinfully delicious and covered in oily, perfectly crisped pepperoni,” things become much more vivid and interesting.

2. Teach Students to Be More Observant

You can’t write descriptively if you aren’t paying attention—which is why descriptive writing practice is such a good way to help students learn to be more observant. 

By asking students to stop and pay attention to the little details they usually just ignore, you give them the opportunity to slow down a little and better take in the world around them.

3. Improve General Writing Skills

Finally, descriptive writing is also a fantastic way for students to improve their general writing skills.  Adding in fresh, new details helps kids learn to use more varied language and to convey their stories and characters more effectively.  Perhaps their grammar will improve, too.

It’s also a great way to work in additional facts and aspects of a situation that might otherwise be difficult to include.

You can learn even more about the essentials of this form of writing in our Descriptive Writing Teacher’s Guide article.

Until next time, write on…

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Jill
journalbuddies.com
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Kids Storytelling Writing Prompts
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