Free writing is a form of creative writing in which the emphasis is not on style or topic, but rather on the writer’s ability to maintain flow and resist the urge to edit.
Free Write Ideas for Young Writers
Freewrites are more challenging than one might think, even for young writers who instinctively want to look back through their writing to:
- Check that the storyline is consistent
- Make sure the prose sounds the way they want it to
- Round out characters and themes in upcoming pieces
… and otherwise follow the rules of creative writing that they’ve been taught up to this point.
Yet free writing is more a brainstorming exercise than real “writing”, a way of getting thoughts down on paper without spending time weighing the validity of those thoughts.
As such, it is the educator’s responsibility to convey this emphasis on non-judgment during the writing process, even though the student should be writing full sentences and paragraphs as with any other form of writing. Give students instructions and additional tips such as:
- Don’t wait to get started – begin as soon as I say “go!”
- Try to write continuously, putting down your thoughts as they come
- Use a pen rather than a pencil – no erasing!
- Make an effort to keep your pen on the page rather than lifting and editing
- Explore any and all related (or unrelated) thoughts that pop into your head
Having gotten the basic instructions out of the way, it’s time to give students a topic. This is usually guided, a pre-writing tool that will help them with a “real” writing project. It could be fiction or nonfiction. Use these free writing topics to encourage students to plan for upcoming stories or essays, explore their ideas, and become better wordsmiths today!
35 Free Write Topics for Kids
These free write and journal prompts are great from elementary school, middle school, and high school students! All you need to add is a blank page for them to fill up with their creative ideas!
- It’s time to pitch your new policy idea to the president. Record your thoughts on your idea and how you will present it.
- What is the best place about where you live?
- What makes a friend?
- You’ve just boarded a rocket ship headed for Mars. Record your thoughts and feelings.
- Turn Ancient Greece into a story setting.
- Your character comes into a massive inheritance. What do they do first? What are their plans and concerns?
- You will be creating a conversation between an evil dragon and a brave knight. What will they discuss? Don’t worry about dialogue; just record their thoughts.
- It’s the best day of your life. What does it look like?
- You get to ask your parents for anything. What do you ask for? What words or phrases will you be sure to include?
- What does it mean to be a parent?
- You have just been shipwrecked. Where are you and what is it like?
- Turn Medieval China into a story setting. Choose a specific location, such as the Forbidden City or the Summer Palace, or somewhere rural.
- You run the classroom. What will change?
- How does politics work?
- What does it take to run a farm successfully?
- If you became president, what would you do or change?
- It’s time to publish your world-famous magazine. What goes into this issue?
- A reader is meeting your character for the first time. What is that character like?
- You’re pitching a new product to a crowded boardroom. What must you be sure to include?
- Why do we have police?
- The biggest goals in your life include …
- If you got locked inside your favorite store or fun center overnight, what would you do?
- You’re climbing on a plane to a foreign destination. Where is it and what will you do there?
- You are about to die a hero’s death. What has happened and how will you meet your fate?
- Why do we write?
- What is the meaning of art?
- You have just achieved your dream job. What is it and what do you do all day? If you’re not sure what your job is, write about several without judgment.
- You have just overheard a fascinating conversation you weren’t supposed to know about. What happened? Why were you eavesdropping?
- Which person do you admire above all others? What have they done and why are you impressed?
- As you walk through a mist as dark as night, the thoughts swirling through your head become almost as dark. What are they?
- There’s only one door in the castle you can’t unlock. Do you know where it goes? Do you want to get in? What do you do?
- Invent a new mythological creature and describe it in as much detail as possible.
- You live in a different century. What century is it, where do you live, and what is your life like?
- How does your character feel about their best friend moving away?
- You become friends with a genie. What are your first thoughts?
We hope your students will love these fresh ideas for free writing!
Related Resources and Links
Until next time, free write on…
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