Writing is an excellent way for students to learn grammar, familiarize themselves with new vocabulary, and improve their spelling. As a parent or teacher, you can make this learning process fun and rewarding by finding exciting ways to encourage your child or students to write. One genius way to do this is to use writing prompts, which unlock creativity. These story starters inspire children to be creative, remember certain events in their lives, and get inspired to write.
By second grade, students are quickly expanding their reading and writing skills and can string together more than a few sentences here and there. You can harness this grown by sparking their imagination and making them excited to write. The following 2nd Grade Writing Prompts are designed to help seven or eight-year-olds think through imagines or real events and emotions and come up with narratives. They are fun and creative and will most definitely resonate with this group of students.
What Is a Writing Prompt?
According to Written Word Media, prompts are topics that inspire writers and elicit creative writing. They push you to find a direction for your narrative by laying out random and inspiring ideas and scenarios. Depending on the curriculum and teaching style, school writing prompts can be funny, thought-provoking, exciting, etc.
Why Should You Use Writing Prompts?
Think of writing like a muscle – it grows stronger the more you flex it. Writing is a skill that only improves with time and practice and writing prompts are an excellent way to encourage this in students. Moreover, even adult writers use writing prompts to work through writer’s block or challenge themselves to write regularly. They jump start ideas in your mind, helping you write meaningful stories. Therefore, you should use writing prompts with your students or kids because they help them:
- Express their emotions, thoughts, and ideas.
- Build self-confidence.
- Tell their own stories and develop a voice.
- Understand literacy concepts and skills
- Continually grow their writing skills.
Now that you know why writing prompts are important, let’s start with general prompts that are more simple and straightforward. Try not to use too complicated words or ideas or vague terms as you could intimidate reluctant writers. Instead, focus on encouraging creativity through the following:
50. What is your favorite meal? Describe it. What does it include? Why do you like it?
49. What is your favorite holiday memory? What did you do and how did you feel?
48. When was the first time you got in trouble? What happened? How did you feel?
47. Describe the most fun vacation you have had. Where was it? What did you do?
46. What chores do you have to do at home? How do you do them?
45. Remember a time when it was very cold. What happened? How did you feel?
44. Describe a scary dream you had? How did it make you feel? What was it about?
43. Remember a time someone made you feel really special. What did they do?
42. When was the best day you have had at school? What happened?
Journaling is an effective way of expressing your thoughts and ideas and second grade is the ideal time to teach kids to journal. At this stage, pupils are writing individual sentences rather than paragraphs but journal prompts can challenge them to expand their thoughts. Here are some suggestions:
41. Describe your oldest memory. How does it make you feel?
40. What is one thing you are very good at? Why do you like it?
39. If you got a chance to talk to the president, what would you tell him?
38. If you could invent a holiday, how would people celebrate?
37. Talk about someone you love.
36. When was the last time you were very tired? What had you done?
35. Do you prefer summer to winter? Why? Why not?
“What If” Fiction Writing Prompts
Like most children, second graders have a vivid imagination. “What If” prompts can help develop their fictional writing skills by helping them imagine what they would do, react, or say in certain scenarios. Some “what if” questions that make great writing prompts include:
34. What if you could go back in time and live with dinosaurs? How would you feel?
33. What if houses had no roofs? How would life be different?
32. What if school was canceled for a year? What would you do all day?
31. What if it started raining your favorite food? What would you do?
30. What if you woke up with superpowers? What would you do?
29. What if your pet could talk? What would you talk about?
28. What if your sibling turned into a dog for a day? How would you spend your time together?
27. What if aliens joined your school? Would you make friends with them?
26. What if you switched places with your teacher for a day? How would class be different?
Creative Writing Prompts
Creative writing prompts are like “what if” writing prompts in that they foster imaginative writing. However, they are less restrictive and can cover everything from aliens in outer space to rewriting famous tales. Consider the following creative prompts:
25. Rewrite “Little Red Riding Hood” from the perspective of the wolf.
24. Write a story about a man who lives on Mars. How did they get there? What do they do?
23. Describe the color “blue” without using the word “blue”.
22. What would your life be like if you turned into a fish? What would you do every day?
21. Make up a story about how mountains are formed?
20. There once was a little girl who ate nothing but carrots. What happened to her?
19. A portal has opened in the middle of your living room. What happens next?
18. You find an old trunk in your basement. What does it contain? Who did it belong to?
17. Write a story without using the letter “E”.
16. Write a story about the first man to discover fire. What was he doing?
15. Write a story about a blanket, a squirrel, and a jar of pickles.
Fun Writing Prompts
Second graders are imaginative and energetic and writing propels them into new worlds. However, they are also very excited and can easily get bored with the classroom curriculum. Resilient Educator recommends that teachers keep their lessons fresh and engaging to promote enthusiastic learning and response. You can do this through the following fun writing prompts:
14. If your toys could talk, what would they say?
13. Do you think animals talk to each other when you are not looking? What do they say?
12. If you had to plan the perfect birthday party for yourself, what would it entail?
11. If you could make a movie about anything, what would it be about?
10. You wake up one morning to find everything is blue, including you. What do you do?
9. What is your real-life superpower? Describe it?
8. If you could have any animal in the world as a pet, what would it be?
7. Invent a new day of the week. When is it? What is it called? When is it? What do people do on this day of the week?
Persuasive Writing Prompts
Pupils like to debate and argue. As a teacher or parent, you can nurture this inclination into critical thinking skills through persuasive writing prompts. These prompts challenge second graders to think through and argue their points and present clear cohesive reasoning for their thoughts and beliefs. They also create the perfect atmosphere for spirited debates and increased learning. They include:
6. What is your favorite breakfast food? Write a commercial for it that would convince someone else to try it.
5. Write a letter to your best friend and convince them to read your favorite book.
4. Why should your teacher allow you extra minutes of recess?
3. Argue whether children should be allowed to stay up late on school nights.
2. Through a letter, convince your parents to let you get a pet. Why is that pet better to keep than other pets?
1. Convince someone else to do your chores for you.
Tips for Teaching Second Grade Writing
Teaching writing to second graders requires appropriate strategies and some patience. Although it may seem easy for second graders to write, these pupils are still learning basic writing skills required to form paragraphs, sentences, and words. Here are some tips to help you teach your second graders to write:
Review Pre-Writing Basics
Early in the second grade year, you should review first grade lessons with your students. Teach them some pre-writing skills to help them develop stories, essays, and paragraphs. Additionally, this is the time to introduce them to different writing styles and audiences.
Journals are an efficient way of practicing writing skills. They help students record their thoughts and get more comfortable with writing sentences and stories. While you may not be able to read your students’ journals every day, have them spend a few minutes writing in them every day. Use the journal prompts provided here to vary the topics and sharpen their skills. Every week, assess the journals and identify and address any weaknesses in your students’ writing skills.
Emphasize the Hook
The hook refers to the beginning of a story and is the first sentence that catches the reader’s attention. Before delving into paragraph structure, teach you students how to develop their story from a captivating hook and build up to their points.
Worksheets are important learning tools that help students explore new information, lessons, and ideas. Typically organized by skill and grade level, they contain questions and prompts that can improve your students’ writing skills. They can work through the exercises and apply the learned skills in their writing assignments through the writing prompts.
What is the difference between opinion and persuasive writing?
Opinion writing involves setting down a story or narrative explaining your beliefs and thoughts and why you believe the things you believe. On the other hand, persuasive writing is about convincing the reader that your thoughts or opinions are correct. Opinion writing is more relaxed while persuasive writing can be charged and emotional because the student is defending their stand.
What literary skills do second graders have?
At second grade level, students are learning to write different compositions, including letters, reports, stories, and journal entries. They are also exploring a wide range of topics and polishing writing skills like legible writing, punctuation, and proper capitalization. While they will get some things wrong, they will show more progress, usually moving to more accurate spelling from invented spelling. Handwriting is also more automatic at this stage so students can focus less on the mechanics of writing and more on the content. Finally, Reading Rockets explains that second graders should be able to write a narrative with a begin, middle, and end.
Should second graders have spelling problems?
Second graders will eschew invented spelling for more accurate spelling, especially for words on the provided vocabulary list or word wall. There will be some misspellings with newer words and teachers should be able to identify these as either part of the normal literacy development or signs of a possible learning disability. If you have concerns about your child’s spelling, you can consult a reading specialist.
By second grade, pupils are beginning to construct longer, more detailed narratives. These 2nd Grade Writing Prompts can help them develop their descriptive writing and storytelling skills and creativity. As is the case with all writing prompts, you are obligated to inform your students to avoid disclosing illegal or dangerous things in which they or people they know might be involved or you will have to file a report. You can also give your pupils the option of indicating “PERSONAL” above their entries if they do not what anyone else to read them. The goal is to provide the pupils with a free, creative space.