Science Writing Prompts

Examples of Creative Writing Prompts for Science

Science writing prompts provide a powerful way to help students understand and apply scientific knowledge. Explore the intricacies of nature, earth, and space with writing prompts for science. The following creative writing ideas are designed using the RAFTS technique, outlined elsewhere on this site. Visit this page for more detailed tips on writing across the curriculum. These seven examples are based upon standards from the National Academy of Sciences(NAS) content areas. Use them as models for developing your own science writing prompts, drawing from your current units of study. Armed with time, resources, and the right information, students can use a prompt to compose an informative, interesting, creative piece that demonstrates scientific understanding.

Science Writing Prompts:

Physical, Life, Earth, and Space Sciences

Hardness of Minerals
  • Role: you
  • Audience: your classmates in science class
  • Format: poster with descriptive captions
  • Topic: the hardness of ten minerals, their uses, and where they are generally found
  • Strong Verb: design and create
In science, you are studying the uses of common minerals. Design and create a poster with descriptive captions that discusses the hardness of ten minerals, their uses, and where they are generally found. Present your poster to your classmates.

Ecosystem Plays
  • Role: owner of a garden supply store
  • Audience: third grade teacher and her students
  • Format: one-act play or skit
  • Topic: the importance of producers, consumers, and decomposers in a garden ecosystem
  • Strong Verb: demonstrate
You own a garden supply store. You have been asked by a close friend, a third grade teacher, to create an enjoyable activity to help her students learn about ecosystems. Write a one-act play or skit for her class to perform. Include parts for producers, consumers, and decomposers that demonstrate how these roles interact in a garden ecosystem.

The Water Cycle
  • Role: drop of ocean water
  • Audience: yourself
  • Format: trip diary or log
  • Topic: the water cycle
  • Strong Verb: record and document
You are a drop of ocean water that is beginning the journey through the water cycle. Write an imaginative diary, complete with maps and illustrations, to record and document your voyage as you evaporate from the ocean, travel through the atmosphere, rain upon the land, and return to the ocean.

Science Writing Prompts:

Science as Inquiry and Technology and Science in Social and Historical Perspectives

Funding Medical Research
  • Role: medical scientist
  • Audience: prospective donors
  • Format: fundraising letter
  • Topic: contribute money for research
  • Strong Verb: persuade
You are a medical scientist who is working to discover cures for different diseases. Your research requires special equipment and materials that are quite expensive. Write a fundraising letter to possible donors, persuading them to contribute money to your work.

Household Help
  • Role: you
  • Audience: engineering team
  • Format: drawings with labels and descriptions
  • Topic: a housecleaning machine
  • Strong Verb: explain
You are entering a mechanical design contest. You designing a machine that cleans the whole house! Create drawings of your machine, complete with labels and captions that explain how it works. If you win the design competition, an engineering team will build your machine.

Controlled Growth
  • Role: concerned citizen
  • Audience: city planner
  • Format: persuasive letter
  • Topic: reservoir isn't large enough to supply all the new homes and businesses under construction
  • Strong Verb: alert and persuade
As a concerned citizen, write a letter to the city planner, alerting him to the fact that the local reservoir isn't large enough to supple water to all the new homes and businesses under construction. In your letter, make a case for controlled growth and better urban planning.

Greatest Scientist of All Time
  • Role: you
  • Audience: scientist from a past era
  • Format: written interview
  • Topic: the greatest contribution to science
  • Strong Verb: write and document
You have the opportunity to travel in a time machine into any past era of history. Choose a date and place to meet the person who, in your opinion, has made the greatest contibution to science. Write out the interview questions you will ask this scientist and document his or her answers. You will publish your interiew when you return to the present.

Science Writing Prompts: Additional Suggestions

From other sources can you develop a good prompt? Science writing flows naturally in the following formats, and you can use any or all of these to create additional science writing prompts:
  • lab and research reports
  • science journals and notebooks
  • descriptive, colorful posters and observations
  • detailed charts and graphs
  • creating hypotheses, writing directions, and outlining predictions
  • interacting with science magazines and biographies of influential scientists
  • unit essay questions
  • defining and illustrating vocabulary
Thinking and communicating as a scientist goes a long way in helping students understand and explain the workings of our fascinating world. Science writing prompts help your classes do just that!

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