35 Fun and Easy Writing Prompt Ideas for First Graders + 12 BONUS Prompts— After spending a year in kindergarten balancing the importance of play with the basics of life in the classroom, first grade students are ready to begin reading and writing in earnest.
First graders are often just beginning to write in sentences, but that doesn’t mean that you should avoid journal writing with them. These early learners are ready, willing, and often excited to write — they just need to be given the opportunity to do so.
If you want to include journaling into your first-grade curriculum, you will want to use first grade writing prompts that are designed to inspire young writers to think creatively and to write effectively. While there are a lot of writing prompts available for elementary students in general, it is best to focus on those that are specifically created with first graders in mind.
These prompts will be simple enough that 1st grade students can read them independently while still requiring students to think critically about a specific subject or idea. So get to it and use these first-grade writing prompts in your classroom to help your students become strong and confident writers.
Journal Starters & Journaling Prompts for First Graders
- A special birthday for me is…
- A special birthday for an adult is…
- What is your favorite time of day? Explain why?
- I’d like to see…
- The biggest thing I ever saw
- If toys could talk what would they say?
- I am proud of myself because…
- What I know about rabbits is that…
- Tell about one thing you do really well?
- Insects, insects everywhere!!! Describe what you see!
- I’m happy when…
- This is how I think plants grow.
- My adventure would be
- I am afraid to __________ because
- What is your favorite room in your home and why?
- Describe your best day ever?
- What does a super-fun day look like to you?
- Climbing trees is…
- I wish trees could __________ because…
- I want to be a __________ when I grow up.
- The perfect place in the whole wide world is…
- What can you do to help you feel better when you’re feeling blue?
- Walking in the rain is…
- Noisy times and quiet times are…
- For lunch today I…
- If I were a raindrop I’d…
- I like to make __________ because…
- I am always kind to __________ because
- My favorite stuffed animal or toy is…
- What would happen if it really did rain cats and dogs?
- If I could choose a different name, I would choose __________ and this is why…
- Let’s go __________. Describe your adventure in detail.
- What would happen if animals could talk? What questions would you like to ask them?
- Imagine that you can become invisible whenever you wanted to? What are some of the things you would do.
- What would you do if you were in the middle of the ocean and your boat springs a leak?
12 NEW Bonus First Grade Writing Prompts
- Write about your favorite thing to do on recess.
- Think about your best friend. What makes that person a good friend?
- When you are upset or angry, what do you do to feel calm?
- Take a nature walk. Write about what you observe.
- Do you like to read books for fun? Why or why not?
- If you have a pet, write a descriptive paragraph about your pet. If you do not have a pet, write a descriptive paragraph about a pet you would like to have.
- Write a journal entry introducing your family. Remember, every family is unique and special in its own way.
- If you could take a vacation, would you go to a place with a beach, a forest or a mountain range?
- There is a lot of technology in your classroom and in your home. Which devices do you like best? Which devices are not your favorite?
- Look outside and observe the weather. Write about the weather that you see. Predict what the weather will be tomorrow.
- Write about one of your important family traditions. Describe what this tradition means to you.
- Do you play a sport? If so, which one? If not, which sport or activity would you like to try?
First-grade students may be beginner writers, but that doesn’t mean that you have to stick with only the most basic concepts and ideas. You can use journal writing as a supplement to any subject in a year one classroom, including math, science, reading, and more.
Many students love the freedom that they have when writing in a journal, and giving first graders a safe space to learn how to express their own ideas is very empowering.
While the goal of any writing assignment is to help students improve their writing skills and build upon the foundation that was established in kindergarten, it’s even better when you give students a task that teaches them to love writing.
First-grade writing prompts will help your students discover the joy that writing can bring. When students love to write, they will find it easier to strengthen and improve their writing skills in the years ahead.
Encouraging your first graders to write daily will help them establish a foundation that they will build upon throughout their entire elementary school experience. These are just a few first-grade writing prompts to get you started.
And, don’t forget to remind your students to keep on writing…
Links & Resources
- 37 More 1st grade writing ideas
- Grade 1 printable writing worksheet and prompts
- 1st grade writing curriculum
Benefits of Journal Writing for Kids
I love journaling because it’s such a fun, creative activity—but also because it’s an incredibly valuable educational tool when used in the classroom.
When kids write regularly, they improve their basic language skills in grammar, reading, and spelling. Students who write more frequently tend to be stronger readers and more adept at composing sentences, paragraphs, and essays.
Ultimately, journal writing helps students develop strong written communication skills that will serve them well throughout their entire lives.
The ability to communicate effectively will help students as they navigate friendships in their tween and teen years, when they write essays for high school and college admissions, and later on as they begin applying for jobs and entering the workforce. Communication skills are truly a stepping stone to success.
Writing also encourages kids to explore their imaginations and to reach deep into the furthest corners of their creativity. Whether they’re interested in poetry, story-telling, or self-reflection, children have great creative potential and will learn valuable ways to express themselves through journaling.
Finally, a journal is a safe space where a child may fully express his or her own thoughts without fear of judgment or embarrassment. This space is especially powerful for young students who need somewhere to form their own ideas and to become their own people.
By offering students a place to express themselves freely, you can show them that their ideas matter—and that what they have to say is important and deserving of attention.
As you can see, journaling has so many educational benefits—as well as simply being so much fun. Introduce your students to regular journaling this year (aim for at least two to three sessions per week), and watch as their minds expand and their creativity flourishes!
Until next time, write on…
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From the Archives—
The following was the original intro text 😬 published along with these prompts—
Enjoy this fantastic listing of 1st Grade Journal Writing Prompts. Use them, share them, and have fun with them. Above all, just be sure to get and keep your precious students writing in their journals this school year.
Journaling is a rewarding activity for people of all ages, and it’s one of the best ways to show kids that writing can be fun and full of imagination!
Personally, I love journaling so much that years ago I wrote and published two kids journals and started JournalBuddies.com so that I could share this joyous activity with others, too.
I am rarely at a loss for something to write about in my own journal, but for young kids who are just getting started, a little nudge in the form of a writing prompt is the perfect way to get those creative juices flowing. Journal prompts offer a simple starting point for kids who aren’t sure what they should say, making it easy and inviting for anyone to begin writing.
If you want to instill the love of writing in your first-graders, this fantastic list of journal writing prompts will surely prove to be a valuable tool in your classroom this year.
Above all else, I hope that journaling will become one of your and your students’ favorite activities, just as it is mine. It’s a rewarding, creative hobby that truly offers great joy and freedom.
And remember—in the spirit of helping others discover the excitement of journaling, I am always adding new posts with journal prompts and writing ideas for kids of all ages. Check out my website to discover more creative journaling ideas and story starters for kids in elementary school to adults. But first—please enjoy these 35 first-grade journal writing prompts that will give your students the chance to imagine, reflect, and dream as they write!