I am a first year teacher, and I am teaching 6th grade. I am very excited planning for the year, but I am struggling to create motivating writing prompts for 6th graders. Please share any examples or prompts that went over well with the students and inspired them to write! Thanks!
One year during Halloween time I worked on a descriptive writing with a fellow teacher. The job of the students was to draw a picture of a monster. I explained that the monster could be friendly or mean, it could be big or small. They had to create a much detail as they could for the monster. After they drew their monster they had to write a descriptive paper describing the monster in detail. I explained that their writing would go to a student in another class. The other student would have to draw the monster that was described as they read it from the paper. I would ask the students do you think that you would draw your monster exactly from what you wrote down on your paper. I explained that the students would not show their drawing of their monsters until they end.
On the day of our compare and share, my fellow teacher and I exchanged the writing of the students. My students had to illustrate the other students writings. We then arranged at a designated time to go and compare the drawings. We would hold us the written paper and ask the student who received the paper to show us their drawing. Then we would ask the author to show us their original drawing. It was great to see how some were different and some were almost identical. We gave away prizes for the most identical.
I think that I would have done a few different things. There needs to be a way to organize the writing and correspond it to the drawings. I might number the writings and have my students write their names on the drawings. Not sure yet. Also, I think that I would take the most identical drawings and read the descriptive paper to the class. Maybe take one that showed too many differences and read that too. It would be a good example to see what good descriptive writing should look like.
What do your parents like best about you?
Why is honesty the best policy?
Is there ever a time when honesty is NOT the best policy?
What is the best lesson your parents ever taught you?
What is a surprising fact about you?
What do you like on your pizza?
What would you do if someone gave you a gift you didn't like?
What is the best gift you ever gave to someone?
What is the best gift you ever received?
What would you do if you went to dinner at a friend's house, and they served something you didn't like?
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?
Who is your funniest friend?
What is the funniest thing you ever saw (not on TV and not in a movie)?
Who is the adult you most admire (choose someone you actually know--no actors or professional athletes)?
What is the best book you ever read?
What is the best movie you ever saw?
How do you know when someone is your friend?
Describe your idea of a perfect weekend.
What is one rule you have to follow that you just hate?
What is your most hated chore?
If you could change one thing about this school, what would it be?
If you could tell the principal one thing, what would you tell him?
What makes you angry?
What is something you think is unfair?
Why is it important to do well in school?
Why is it important to have good manners?
If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island and could take only 2 people with you, which of these would you choose:
Going back to the deserted island, if you could bring only two things with you, what would you bring? There is no electricity on this island.
Why is it important to be respectful?
Those are a few of the prompts I use. I start every class with a journal response to a prompt. Once you've gathered your prompts, write them down or put them on the computer or something, and recycle them so you don't have to scramble for them every year.
For each of these, you have to add the "why?" or the "explain." Otherwise, some kids will just write a sentence, answering the question. We want to know the WHY behind their answers.
I also start each day with a writing prompt - I call them journal questions. This is a dialogue between my students and me. I don't grade it but I write a quick comment back everyday. It really helps me know my students as individuals. MaryTeach's questions are along the line of what I use and I bought "The Book of Questions for Kids." Lots of good questions, however, I usually steer away from any invasive question about their parents. Ha!
I am the only ELA teacher for my grade, so I would have to swap with another grade level...maybe it could work. Certainly gonna print your idea and put in my file.
musiclvr6446: Because I teach 5 ELA classes, I begin class each day with a journal topic (I type it up for the month and the kids put it in their binder). At the beginning of the year, I spend some time reviewing an acceptable paragraph (topic sentence that rewords the prompt, 3 detail sentences, and a closing sentence.) This is the standard I use throughout the year. I randomly call on students to share their journals for a journal grade using the criteria above as a rubric. Journals are a perfect tool to assess writing skills at the beginning of the year as well as a wonderful way to get students on task at the beginning of class.
I am at a small school and have a multiaged classroom. When I do a project like the monster one, I collect the descriptions and then pass them out to other students in the classroom. This works if I separate them while they are completing the drawings and papers, and collect the drawings so they can't share them until after we done.
My name is Daizee Kiazyk and I am in sixth grade. Some of the writing prompts my teacher did was a movie we watched, what happend, why we liked it, and would we reccomend it to anyone. It was fun. Some others that we did was, famous sayings like actions speak louder than words. That was fun too. One other that everyone liked was, best relitive of the year. Good luck!
i am a 6th grader and i love writing about horses ancorouge your studens to practice writing about what they love and tell them that they have to atlease give it a try and god will help them god bless you