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Second Grade Writing Prompts
Children in second grade are just beginning to develop their writing skills. By second grade, students should start expressing opinions , recounting narratives, and providing step-by-step instructions in their writing. These second grade writing prompts capitalize on age-appropriate topics to spark students’ creativity and engage them in the writing process.
Narrative Essay Writing Prompts
In their narrative pieces, students should recount a real or imagined event or sequence of events. Their writing should include describing details that indicate thoughts, actions, or feelings. They should conclude their narrative in a way that provides a sense of closure.
- Kindness Counts. Write about a time that someone did something kind for you. What did they do and how did it make you feel?
- Special Day. Describe a special day that you and your best friend shared. What made it so memorable?
- Left Out. Have you ever felt left out? Write about what happened.
- Diaper Days. Write about something you remember from when you were a baby or toddler.
- Rainy Day Fun. It’s raining outside and your best friend is over to visit. What do you do?
- Happy Memories. Write a story about one of your happiest memories.
- Switch-a-roo. Describe what it would be like to switch lives with anyone in the world for a day. Who would it be and what would you do?
- School Sleepover. Imagine that you’re trapped in your school alone overnight. Tell what happens.
- Fly-on-the-wall. You wake up and discover that you’re a fly for the day. What do you do?
- Right and Wrong. Tell about a time when you were tempted to do the wrong thing, but you chose to do the right thing instead.
- Scary Stories. Write about a time when you were scared.
- Menu Madness. Imagine that you’re in charge of the school lunch menu for the week. What meals would you include?
- Wild and Wacky. Imagine your class is on a field trip to the zoo and one of the animals starts talking to you. What does he tell you?
Opinion Essay Writing Prompts
Second graders should write opinion pieces that introduce their topic and provide reasons to support their opinion, using words such as because and and to connect their reasoning. The paper should include a conclusion sentence.
- Fun and Games. What is your favorite game to play? Why is it better than other activities?
- Bedtime Tales. What is the best bedtime story your mom or dad has ever read to you? What made it the best?
- Travel Stops . If you could choose to stay in a tent, an RV, or a fancy hotel while traveling with your family, which would you choose and why?
- Playground Fun. What is the very best piece of equipment on your school’s playground? What makes it the best?
- Exotic Pets . If you could choose any wild animal for a pet, what would you choose and why?
- Study Choice. Your teacher has asked you to decide what topic the class studies next. What do you pick and why?
- Favorite subject. Which school subject is your favorite and why?
- Yucky or Yummy. Write about a food that you like but most people don’t. Why should people give it a chance?
- Play Time. Should your school give kids a longer recess time? Why or why not?
- Digital or Print. Which is better for reading , a printed book or a tablet?
- Allergies. Are you allergic to anything? Why is it important for people to know about your allergy?
- Drinks. Do you like milk? Soda? Lemonade ? Name your favorite drink and give three reasons why it’s your favorite.
- Best Day. What is your favorite day of the week? Write an essay including three reasons why that day is the best.
Expository Essay Writing Prompts
Expository essays inform the readers about a specific topic. Second grade students should introduce their topic and provide facts, definitions, or steps to develop their point.
- School Day . You have a younger sibling who hasn’t started school yet. Tell him or her about a typical school day.
- Class Pet. Your class gets to choose a classroom pet for the year. Name an animal that you think would make a good choice and explain its needs (such as food, habitat, temperature).
- Favorite Food. What is your favorite food? Describe it as if no one else has ever seen or tasted it.
- Seasonal Fun. Pick a season, like summer or fall, and describe your favorite activity during that season.
- If You Build It. Think of a time when you saw something being built (like a house, a new road, or even a snowman). Explain the stages of the building process.
- Famous Firsts. Think about a famous first like the first person to walk on the moon or the first person to sail around the world. Explain why this first was so important.
- Famous People. Choose a famous person and explain what he or she did to become famous.
- Past Parties. Think of the best party you’ve ever attended and explain what made it the best.
- Favorite Film. Choose your favorite animated film of all time and explain why you love it.
- Bedtime. Explain why it’s important to get plenty of sleep every night.
- Funny Pet Tricks. Describe an unusual trick that your pet can do.
- Holiday Happenings. Select a popular holiday and explain why or how people celebrate it.
- Smelly Tale . Every place has different smells, good or bad. Describe two or three smells you associate with your home or school.
Research Writing Prompts
Students should also produce research-based writing by reading books on a topic and writing a report, recording science observations, or using provided materials to answer a question.
- Turtle Power. Why do turtles have shells?
- Digging Dinosaurs. Choose your favorite dinosaur and write a report including interesting facts about it.
- Under the Sea. Learn more about one interesting animal that lives in the ocean. Write a paper about what you learned.
- Places for People. Choose a unique home (such as an igloo or a mud hut) and explain why it's suited for the environment in which it is found.
- Space. Choose one of the planets in our solar system and give five interesting facts about it.
- Science. Write an observation from a recent science lesson such as how plants grow or what makes up the water cycle.
- Famous people. Write a report about someone you are studying in your current history lessons.
- How Is It Made? Choose an everyday object (like LEGO bricks or toilet paper) and find out how it’s made.
- Desert Dwellers. Pick an animal that lives in the desert and write 3-5 interesting facts about it.
- Creepy Crawlies . What is the difference between arachnids and insects?
- Where in the World? Choose a state or country to research. Include 3-5 facts about the place in your report.
- What’s the Difference? Choose two similar animals, such as a horse and a mule, a crocodile and an alligator, or a leopard and a cheetah. Explain how to tell them apart.
- Sleep Habits . Some animals sleep standing up. Bats sleep hanging upside down. Birds sleep in trees. Choose an animal, bat, or bird and explain how they sleep without falling.
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20 Prompts for Narrative Writing That Spark Creativity
Using prompts for narrative writing motivates kids and gets them excited to write. Read on to learn more about narrative writing, mentor texts, ideas, and assessments. Plus you will find 20 fun prompts for narrative and personal narrative writing. These will be sure to spark student’s creativity and imagination!
What’s Narrative Writing?
Narrative writing tells a story using a beginning, middle, and end. It includes elements such as characters, setting, problem, and solution. The author’s purpose is usually to entertain or teach a lesson. Narrative writing can be fact or fiction but the process is the same. When it’s a real story from the author’s life, it is considered a personal narrative.
Examples for Narrative Writing
There are so many wonderful examples of narrative writing. Some are even written as personal narratives. Below you will find a list of mentor texts for elementary school. It’s helpful to immerse students in the genre before and during a narrative writing unit. These books model different strategies that kids can try in their writing.
Narrative Writing Mentor Texts:
- Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
- Come on, Rain! by Karen Hesse
- Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts
- Fireflies! by Julie Brinckloe
- Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
- Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall
- Enemy Pie by Derek Munson
- Blackout by John Rocco
Narrative Writing Teaching
There are many features to include in narrative writing, but it depends on the grade level being taught. For the lower grades, it’s important to start with the concept of beginning, middle, and end written in sequential order. Then you can expand to the introduction, body, and conclusion using details. Other important elements are character, setting, problem, and solution. As the student’s abilities increase the number of sentences will grow and expand to paragraphs.
For the older grades, you can introduce plot structure. It follows the beginning, middle, and end format but on a higher level. This story arc includes exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. Use the diagram below to see how these features overlap.
Topics for Narrative Writing
The possibilities are endless when it comes to narrative writing ideas. Kids can create a fiction piece or write about an experience in their life. Check out some writing prompt ideas below for narrative and personal narrative writing. You might also like this blog post about opinion writing prompts: 20 Prompts for Opinion Writing That Motivate Kids
Writing Prompts for Narratives
- I was taking my friend’s picture in front of the volcano when all of a sudden . . .
- What if you were given 3 wishes but couldn’t use them on yourself. Tell a story about what you would wish for and why.
- Write a story called, “The Luckiest Day of My Life.”
- Imagine you went to the zoo and could take home any animal for the day. Tell a story about your time together.
- Write a silly story that uses these words: airplane, grapes, elephant, and book.
- You have just been shrunk down to the size of an ant. Write a story including the good and bad things about being so small.
- Think about your favorite character from a book. Tell a story about getting to meet them for the first time.
- What would happen if you lived during a time when there was no electricity? Write a story about your school day.
- Finish this story: The pirates set sail on their ship in search of . . .
- Suppose you were teacher for a day. Write a story about the changes you would make.
Writing Prompts for Personal Narratives
- Have you ever been so proud of yourself for learning something new? Write a story about a time this happened.
- Write a story about a time you felt your heart race. What happened and how were you feeling at the end?
- What was your most memorable vacation? Tell a story from part of that trip and why it stands out in your mind.
- Have you ever done something you knew would get you in big trouble? Write a story about a time this happened and how you felt about it.
- Write a story about the strangest thing that has ever happened to you. Why was it so unusual?
- What was your most memorable moment from this year? Write a story telling why it’s so special.
- Tell a story about a time when you were so excited and couldn’t wait for an event to happen.
- Write a small moment story about a time you had with your favorite person.
- Write about a time that you lost something important. Tell whether or not you found it.
- Think about the worst day you ever had. What made it so terrible and did it get better by the end?
Rubrics for Narrative Writing
I often hear from teachers that one of the most difficult parts of teaching writing is how to assess it. Assessments should be accurate and helpful for both the student and teacher. When it comes to narrative writing, there are many different approaches. Some teachers prefer to do a more informal assessment for daily writing pieces and then a formal assessment for the final copy. Informal assessments can be completed with written comments or student-teacher conferences.
It would be very difficult to use a rubric for every narrative writing a student completes in their notebook. Instead, most teachers prefer to choose one to three writing pieces to assess with a rubric. These assessments are ideal for benchmarks, progress reports, and report cards. Below you will find three types of narrative writing rubrics. Check out this blog post to learn more about student-friendly, teacher-friendly, and time-saving rubrics: 3 Types of Writing Rubrics for Effective Assessments
Narrative writing enables kids to be creative and use their imagination. They can write a fiction story or about a real event from their life. Writing prompts are a helpful tool to get kids engaged and ready to get started. Did you grab your Free Writing Prompt Guide yet? I love using prompts for morning work, writing time, centers, or as a homework assignment. The possibilities are endless! Be sure to try these prompts for narrative writing with your students!
Genre Based Prompts
20 Prompts for Opinion Writing That Motivate Kids
- What is Narrative Writing
- A Complete Guide to Narrative Writing
- Personal Narrative Writing for Elementary School
- Narrative Writing: How to Teach a Story Arc That’s as Exciting as a Roller Coaster
Holiday Writing Prompt List to Inspire Kids
3 Distance Learning Tips
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I specialize in helping elementary teachers with writing resources, tips, and ideas. My goal is to save teachers time and energy so they can be vibrant inside and outside of the classroom! Read More
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