It is a well-known fact that students lose much of what they have learned during the summer break. The exact numbers can see enormous variation from individual to individual. Still, Scholastic says 3rd graders to 5th graders lose an average of 20 percent of their annual gains in reading and 27 percent of their annual gains in mathematics.
As such, there is much to do once summer break ends. First-week-of-school writing prompts can play a part in that process. Here are 50 first-week-of-school writing prompts that might help:
1. What Was Your Greatest Success Last Year?
The Mayo Clinic and other resources agree that positive thinking makes for healthier living. As a result, it might be beneficial to start by reflecting on past successes.
2. What Do You Want to Learn This Year?
Similarly, it might be beneficial to encourage students to focus on what they want to do rather than what they don’t want to do.
3. What Is the Most Memorable School Project You’ve Ever Done?
Presumably, the most memorable school projects are also the ones that students feel the strongest about.
4. Would You Want to Re-Do the Most Memorable School Project You’ve Ever Done?
It could be interesting to see whether they would re-do these projects if they had the opportunity.
5. If You Could Learn Any Skill, What Would You Learn?
Some skills can be learned with ease. Others, not so much. Still, it is best to start thinking about these things sooner rather than later.
6. Describe a Place You Visited During the Summer.
If people are still thinking about the summer, they might as well put that reminiscing to productive use.
7. What Is Your Dream Summer Break Destination?
One person’s dream vacation can be very different from another’s. Thanks to that, this writing prompt could yield some fascinating results.
8. What Is Your Nightmare Summer Break Destination?
Someone’s nightmare vacation could make for even more interesting written pieces.
9. Write a Letter to Your Past Self.
Instructions can give structure to assignments. As such, something more freeform might pose a challenge for students.
10. Write a Letter to Your Future Self.
This writing prompt serves much the same purpose, though it is focused in a different direction.
11. Describe an Animal Living in Your Neighborhood.
World Bank says more people live in urban areas than not. Despite this, it shouldn’t be impossible for students to think of something living in their neighborhood. Granted, these animals might not be the most glamorous. Still, they can serve as good subjects for this writing prompt.
12. Describe a Plant Living in Your Neighborhood.
This could be a tougher question depending on exactly where students live.
13. What Is Your Favorite Animal?
Many people find animals interesting. Due to that, this writing prompt could help the ink flow from their literal or metaphorical pens.
14. What Animal Best Represents You?
It can be fascinating to see people’s reasons for comparing themselves to their chosen animals.
15. Imagine You Are an Animal in a Zoo. What Do You Think About Your Life?
Verywellmind points out that empathy is an excellent skill to have. This is a chance to practice seeing from someone else’s perspective. Of course, animals don’t think like humans in every respect, so there is a bit of handwaving involved in this scenario.
16. What Is Your Favorite Kind of Weather?
This should be an easy topic to write about.
17. What Is Your Least Favorite Kind of Weather?
With that said, it might be more enjoyable for students to grumble a bit about the weather.
18. Have You Ever Taught Anyone Anything?
We can learn from the strangest of things. As a result, students should be capable of thinking of something.
19. How Do You Think Teachers Feel About the End of Summer Break?
Once again, it can be a good idea for students to get some practice with empathizing with others.
20. How Would You Introduce Yourself to a Class If You Were a Teacher?
Planning out something can also help interested individuals do the real thing when it comes up.
21. What Is Your Dream Job?
Students have been known to produce entertaining answers when asked about their dream jobs.
22. Describe What Someone with Your Dream Job Does.
Of course, students don’t necessarily have a clear idea of their dream job. Get them to do some research on the issue.
23. Describe How Someone Can Get Your Dream Job.
Learning to get a dream job can also give students something to aim for in the long run. Simply put, the more they know about the steps they need to take, the higher the chance of them aiming for those end destinations. Dreaming big can be a beautiful thing.
24. Do You Like Group Work?
Some people like group work more than others. There is nothing wrong with either opinion.
25. What Do You Do When There Is a Disagreement During Group Work?
Still, students would do well to learn how to settle things when they disagree with their group members. Fortunately, UC San Diego and other resources offer suggestions for resolving such issues. Unfortunately, they might be a bit too advanced for younger students.
26. Do You Prefer Taking Charge or Letting Someone Else Do So During Group Work?
Self-reflection is critical for gaining self-knowledge.
27. Do You Enjoy Gym Class?
Once again, there is nothing wrong with some people liking gym class more than others.
28. Do You Think Schools Should Have Gym Class More Frequently?
Physical education is essential. Curiously, The Atlantic has argued that gym class might not be the best way to provide it to students.
29. Do You Think Recess Should Be Longer?
Presumably, most students would answer in the affirmative.
30. Would You Prefer More Recesses or a Longer Lunch Break?
The answers should become more wide-ranging when trade-offs are introduced to the scenario.
31. What Is Your Favorite Subject?
This is yet another easy writing prompt, which isn’t necessarily a bad way for students to warm up.
32. What Is Your Least Favorite Subject?
Asking about least favorite subjects serves the same purpose.
33. Would You Rather Study What You Enjoy All the Time?
Some people are so dedicated to specific subjects that they would be better served attending specialty schools. This could be a way to get students thinking about these options.
34. If You Were in Charge, How Would You Set the Start and End Dates For Breaks?
Drawing up alternate school schedules can allow students to exercise their sense of creativity.
35. If You Were in Charge, How Would You Handle the First Day of School?
Similarly, the chance to plan out the events of the first day of the school year serves the same purpose.
36. Are You Ready For the New School Year?
Students may or may not be ready for the return to school. Either way, they should put themselves in a better position to handle it by thinking about their state of preparedness.
37. What Is Your Earliest Memory?
Science Daily says the average age at which people form their earliest memories is two-and-a-half years old. Granted, that takes some priming, so students’ responses might not go back so far.
38. Is There Something You Want to Remember Forever?
People care about different things at different stages of life. Still, they have memories they treasure at every point along the way. Responding to this writing prompt could help them cement those memories.
39. Is There Something You Want to Forget?
Humorous responses are as good a way to answer this writing prompt as anything else.
40. What Is Something You Want to Experience For Your To-Do List?
It doesn’t hurt to start drawing up to-do lists sooner rather than later. That is particularly true because people can always revise them along the way whenever they change their mind about something on it.
41. What Is Going On in Your Community?
Students can be surprisingly attentive to the things going on in their communities. If not, well, there is always research. People won’t always have the luxury of researching topics that get a great deal of coverage on a regional, national, or international scale. Sometimes, they are going to have to look up information on more local matters. This assignment could be a good way to introduce them to the places they should look and the resources they should consult.
42. If You Were in Charge, How Would You Improve Your Community?
This writing prompt can get students to reveal much about the things that concern them.
43. Is There Anything You Can Do to Improve Your Community?
Most people don’t have much influence in the grand scheme of things. Even so, they aren’t helpless to change their community for the better. If nothing else, there is always the option of volunteering for various nonprofit organizations. Indeed, Happiness.com states volunteering comes with meaningful benefits for the volunteers, meaning that it can serve self-interest as well.
44. How Do You Feel About Homework?
There is something of an ongoing debate about homework. After all, it doesn’t have any inherent value. Instead, it only matters if it can help people remember lessons better. As such, there is plenty of room for a good debate on the matter.
45. Do You Prefer Tests or Essays?
Tests might be painful because they have such a huge impact on overall grades. However, they are fast. In contrast, essays are drawn-out, particularly if people are struggling to express their thoughts through words. Due to this, it seems perfectly reasonable for people to go either way on this question.
46. How Do You Study?
Studying is critical for academic success. However, people can do so in more and less efficient ways. Understanding how they study is the first step to figuring out whether they could improve.
47. What Are Some Ways You Could Study Better?
Studying harder is critical. Even so, people should do their best to study smarter. If students want the best results, they should look into ways to improve their study habits. Different people respond to different methods. As such, the development of studying skills is a very personal process.
48. What Is the Best Time of the School Year?
Anyone who has gone to school should have no problem recognizing the general changes in their peers’ general attitudes throughout the school year. They might agree with the latter about the best and worst parts of the school year. Alternatively, they might have their thoughts on the matter, which can veer off in very different directions.
49. Write a Story From the Perspective of Someone Who Feels the Opposite of What You Do About Going Back to School.
Storytelling calls for its own set of skills. Despite this, practicing one kind of writing can improve students’ abilities to write in other ways. As a result, asking them to do a bit of storytelling could be surprisingly educational by getting them to do something new and unusual. Requiring them to imagine the perspective of someone with the opposite opinion is just a good way to get them to practice their empathy.
50. How Can You Start a School Year Right?
Ultimately, students are going to have to contend with the fact that a new school year has begun. Due to that, it would be wise for them to start the year right. Unfortunately, doing so is much easier said than done, which is why some brainstorming on the matter could prove helpful in the long run.
You can also read:
- 50 Writing Prompts for 7th Graders That Aren’t Boring
- 75 Fourth Grade Writing Prompts That Aren’t Boring or Lame
- 50 Kindergarten Writing Prompts that Aren’t Boring
- 50 Awesome Summer Writing Prompts for Kids
- 50 Awesome Creative Writing Prompts for High School