Start a New Year with These January Writing Prompts!

Holidays have a nasty habit of breaking good habits! These January writing prompts will keep your students engaged in the good habit of daily pen-to-paper creative thinking. Browse through this selection from my own classroom, and click below for a copy. Make an overhead transparency for group use, or distribute individual copies for student journals.
  • Make one New Year's resolution. How will you establish a routine to keep it?
  • In the new year, what school subject will you promise yourself to improve? How will you do that?
  • Make a list of three people who need encouragement. How will you make their lives brighter and easier?
  • Bears and foxes hibernate for a portion of the winter. If human beings hibernated, how would your city or community be different than it is? Let your imagination run!
  • A package arrives in the mail. There is no return address, and you do not recognize the handwriting. Inside you find...
  • If you could talk to animals, with which animal would you have the most interesting conversation? What would you talk about? Why?
  • You have a friend who has never seen an ocean, a beach, or sand. Instruct this friend on how to build a sandcastle.
  • What's your favorite color? Why? Where would you like to see it used in your home?
  • Persuade your community why it's important to plant more trees and flowers and to keep the neighborhood clean.
  • Define the word "hero." What qualities make a person a hero to you. Give examples.
  • What's the funniest thing that ever happened to you?
  • What is your favorite type of book to read and why? Give examples.
  • Would you take a hot-air balloon ride? Would you do it if balloons were newly invented and you were one of the first people to go up?
  • What might countries do to avoid war?
  • If you could say "Thank you" to anyone, past or present, who would it be? What would you tell them?
  • What's your favorite fairy tale? Why? If you rewrote it, how would you change it?
  • Describe what your classroom would look like, if all the desks were only cleaned once a year. Use your imagination!
  • Describe the coldest day you can remember.
  • If you were a teacher, what three things would you most like your students to do to make your job easier?
  • "It was the discovery of a lifetime. And it all started on a rainy, dreary afternoon..."
  • What is your favorite sport to play and why? What is your favorite sport to watch and why?
  • Choose your favorite season and create a festival or celebration for it. Explain how and where you would celebrate this season.
  • What is your favorite pie? Describe it in such a way that everyone in class would want a piece.
  • If the bald eagle were not our national symbol, what other symbols might you suggest and why?
  • "A snowman has mysteriously appeared on your front step..."
  • Imagine that you have swapped lives and personalities with your best friend. What would it be like to live in your friend's world? What would it feel like?
  • If you had a million dollars, how would you spend it and why?
  • If you were President for six months, what decisions would you make and why?
  • If you won a round-the-world trip, where would you go and why?
  • Choose a celebrity-any celebrity. Daydream yourself into their world. Summarize your daydream in rich details and actions.
  • Invent a brand-new gadget. What problem does it solve? How does it work?
Click for a copy to add to your lesson plans.

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