Yes! We have for you two incredible lists of imaginative writing prompt ideas— With imaginative writing prompts, you can create a safe space in your classroom where your students are willing to open up and write pieces that are serious, silly, emotional, compelling, or downright funny. Take a look.
Yes! Inspire your students with our imaginative writing prompts to help them get started.
Even though they will be using their own imagination in order to write their next creative writing text, many students need a topic to get started. These prompts will not only inspire them, but they also will help them focus on developing specific writing skills as they explore individual genres.
But first, let’s quickly explore…
What is Imaginative Writing?
Children are often eager to use their imaginations and many seem to live in their own little world full of creatures and characters that they have created themselves. As an educator, the trick is to harness this natural ability to imagine a wide variety of scenes and settings and help young students translate those wild ideas into their writing.
Imaginative writing is a process that requires students to think creatively, and to rely on their own imaginations in order to compose a volume of poetry, personal essays and works of fiction.
Imaginative writing is most often defined as fiction writing, as it encourages the writer to use their imagination in order to dream up a plot, scene and set of characters. However, it’s not exclusive to the fiction genre, as many have found ways to incorporate imaginative writing into a memoir or a creative nonfiction piece.
Ok, get to it and use our list of topic ideas and imaginative writing prompts in your classroom to get those creative juices flowing!
28 Imaginative Writing Prompts for Elementary Students
- Write a short story about a classroom on another planet. Describe what it might look like, what they students would need to do each day and the lessons they would learn.
- Write a descriptive paragraph about the mind of genius. What thoughts do you think go through the minds of geniuses?
- Think about a personal experience that you had recently that made you feel upset or frustrated. Now, imagine what you would do if you were in that situation again. Write a draft personal memoir.
- Imagine that your main character is a Chicago native who has recently moved to New York for a new job. Write about what you think their first day would be like in one of the largest cities in the United States.
- How would you describe a perfect pig? Write a descriptive journal entry about this topic.
- Your two main characters have been walking for a long time on a hot day. Suddenly, they see a giant jam sandwich sitting on a nearby picnic table. Write about what they will do next.
- Imagine what it might feel like to make a purchase that you regret. Write a short story about this topic.
- Write about a child who wins the sweepstakes on the cereal box. Their chances were one in a million!
- Your short story begins with a mom who is driving a moving truck. Imagine where she is heading and why she is heading there.
- His name was Tim, and he had just arrived in Hollywood, though not in the usual manner…
- They thought they were choosing Halloween costumes. In reality, however, they were selecting their new identity.
- Write a short story about an 8-year-old character who lives in London during the 19th century. Think about the differences between then and now, and imagine what life might have been your character.
- Tallahassee is known for its heat, humidity, and alligators. It’s also the home of Florida State University. Write a short story that is set in Tallahassee.
- Your main character fell asleep while reading some recent books about Ancient Egypt. This nap led to a mysterious dream with an eerie hieroglyph message.
- She had found herself in the middle of a jungle, with only a few natural resources available to survive. What was she going to do next?
- The buzzards had arrived, and that could only mean one thing.
- He was a runner, not a musician. What was he supposed to know about writing a good verse? This was going to be a long assignment…
- Your main character has been faced with a challenge. They must figure out how to cross a bridge of sand successfully.
- A collection of essays has been scattered throughout various regional theaters. The team of student detectives would have to work together to find the essays and solve the puzzle.
- Write a story about an instructor who asks his class to turn in complete drafts in just one day. Imagine what it might be like to be one of the students. Also try to imagine the perspective of the instructor.
- Imagine what it would be like to not be able to get the material goods you need. Write a journal entry about this topic.
- Many children’s books focus on a common theme. What are some themes that you have noticed? Practice the craft of creative writing by writing your own piece about one of these common themes.
- Write a short story from the perspective of the sea lions that live on Pier 39 in San Francisco.
- The main character in your story just found out that their best friend won a national book award. Write an essay describing how your main character feels.
- She had just stepped into a dress made from raw silk. She had never felt so beautiful in all of her life…
- Write a short story about a group of women writers at Northwestern University who uncover a secret that will change everything.
- Write a story about a young student who finds a collection of personal essays from a long-lost relative.
- Imagine what it might be like to be an author of plays. Write about what a day in their life might be like.
I hope you enjoyed this list of imaginative writing ideas. May they inspire loads of creative writing text and ideas in your young writers.
Now check out this list of…
20 MORE Imaginative Writing Prompts
- Write a story in which the main character is a purple, one-eyed monster.
- Write a journal entry about an imaginary friend that you had as a child. How did you picture this friend? When did you talk to your imaginary friend? Do you still spend time with your imaginary friend?
- Close your eyes and picture a beautiful vacation destination. Write a story that takes place in this spot, and don’t forget to use a lot of describing words.
- Write a fictional adventure story that features both you and your best friend as the main characters.
- Think about the animals that live at the farm. Do you think they ever talk to one another? What sorts of things do you think they do together when the farmers go to sleep at night? Write a story about how you imagine life at the farm to be like for the animals.
- Imagine that you traveled through time and landed in the future. You meet your future grandchildren, and they take you to their school. What is it like? How is their futuristic school the same as yours? How is it different?
- Imagine that the main character in your story shrank to the size of an ant. What would happen to your character? How would life be different now that they were so small?
- Write a story about an astronaut who is taking their first rocket trip into space. Where are they heading? What is it like to be catapulting into space and leaving Earth behind?
- What do you want to be when you grow up? Write about what you imagine a day in the life would be like if you had this job.
- Imagine that you landed on a deserted island, and you find a treasure map. Where does the map lead you? What sort of treasure do you find at the end? What do you do with it?
- Write a story about a character who can make themselves invisible whenever they want.
- Imagine that you got left behind on your class field trip to the museum. What do you do overnight?
- Imagine that you became a character in your favorite movie. What do you do? Do you change the outcome of the film?
- Write a story about two characters who lived on another planet and are just discovering Earth for the first time.
- Write a poem from the perspective of your favorite animal.
- Imagine that it’s the middle of the summer, and you can do whatever you want. How would you spend your day?
- Imagine that you are an arctic explorer, and write a journal entry that is similar to a daily log.
- Write a story about someone who attends a concert and ends up meeting their favorite band.
- Think about a major decision that you made. Now, write a story imagining what life would be like if you had made a different choice at that time.
- Imagine that one day you wake up, and you are the most famous person in the world. What is it like to be famous? Do you like it?
A child’s imagination is not necessarily limitless. All too often, children get to a point where they stop relying on their own imagination, which can prevent them from thinking creatively — particularly when they write. By encouraging students to pursue imaginative writing and working to continue to grow their imaginations, you can ensure that they constantly have a treasure trove of ideas to rely on for their creative writing. If they can imagine it, then they will always have a natural urge to continue writing!
Powerful Imagination is the Pathway to Great Fiction
Children of all ages have vivid imaginations. From the time children can begin to express themselves, the adults around them can tell that they are dreaming big dreams and conjuring up exciting ideas that they will one day share with the world.
As children grow from preschoolers who play pretend into kids who can read, write, and express themselves, it’s important for teachers and parents to encourage them to use their imaginations while they write.
Imaginative writing allows children to think creatively and express themselves freely.
When they are writing a story, some poetry, or a journal entry that encourages them to use their imagination, they are given free rein to write about the things that they love and the ideas that they are considering. Bonus: they are also learning specific writing skills and having fun at the same time!
Use Your Personal Experience to Inspire Your Writers
The style of imaginative writing will vary based on the age of the students and the writing skills that they are focusing on in the classroom environment. If you want to introduce the concept of imaginative writing in your class, then the first thing you should do is provide students with imaginative writing and creative writing examples.
You could write an imaginative writing piece yourself and really allow yourself to stretch your imagination. By showing the students that you are confident in your own ideas, they will feel more comfortable using their own imaginations as they write!
Imaginative writing in the elementary classroom is one of the best ways to make writing fun for young students. When they enjoy the writing process, they will be more open and willing to try new writing techniques and styles in the future.
A Few Final Thoughts
From the first draft to the last, a piece of imaginative writing is a form of personal genius, and your classroom is no doubt full of creative writing geniuses.
That’s why I suggest…
When your students have completed their imaginary writing pieces, encourage them to share their stories and entries with the class.
By sharing their own ideas and hearing those of their classmates, they will see just how far the imagination can reach when it is put to the test. They will know that when they keep on writing, they will always come up with new and innovative ideas!
More Imaginative Writing Resources
- 33 Imaginative Writing Ideas
- 49 Story Starters & Writing Ideas for Elementary Kids
- 60 Fictional Story Ideas to Spark Your Imagination
- Characteristics of Imaginative Writing
Oh… and for those more practical and less imaginative writers, check out these resources:
- 15 Personal Journal Ideas (includes a free printable)
- 50+ Superb Memoir Ideas
- 50 Creative NonFiction Ideas
Until next time, keep on writing…
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