Kids can find their own writing topics! Here’s how.
Here are some ways to help kids find their own writing topics. As always, model first before you ask your students to try a new strategy. Then practice the new strategy together before you ask them to do it on their own!
- Have each student create an expert list. Show them how to make a list of things that they know a lot about and could write something about. They could write about family members, places they’ve been, interests, etc.
- Instead of brainstorming major topics, ask your students to brainstorm about times that they felt certain emotions – happy, excited, surprised, etc.
- Teach your students how to use a writer’s notebook as a place to record writing ideas even when they are not at school.
- Draw a large heart on a piece of paper and make a heart map. Invite them to divide it into sections, writing about things that are important to them on each piece of the heart.
- Students sometimes think that once they’ve written about a topic, it’s “used up.” Show them how to write about an old topic in a new way. A story could become a poem, an information book, etc.
- Teach your students to look through old pieces of writing to get inspiration for new writing ideas.
- Invite your students to write a list of the “ten best things” that have ever happened to them (or “ten really good things”). Next, have them star the items they could write more about.
- Start with storytelling. Tell true stories from your own life (preferably when you were the same age as your students). Put your students in partners or small groups to tell their own stories. Show them how these oral stories can become written ones.
- Make a class chart of “things we can write about” and add to it regularly. Refer students to the chart when they are stuck.
- Teach students a variety of ways to use a writer’s notebook: writing memories, observations, descriptions, opinions, questions, and more.
Grab a free pack of printables that will help your students find their own writing ideas.
Thank you! Your content really inspire me. I’m from Indonesia and run a non profit organization. I share some of your content to our urban poor moms to inspire them teach their children. Keep writing 🙂
Heather Groth, Customer Support
That is fantastic, Mediana! Thank you for your work!
i have actually learnt alot through these teachings. i really appreciate each one of them and apply them.
I’m glad this helped you, Mirriam!
Hi! Thank you so much for your great ideas! I’d like to email this post, is there a way to do this? I can see the sharing option (Facebook, google, pinterest), but not finding the email option.
Thank you so much,
No, there isn’t really a way to do this. You would just have to copy the link at the top and email that. Or cut and paste the content into an email.
Gia F Lee
I am just starting in K….
Your site has really been a great help to rethink strategies and understand processes. I was just reading about the differences between writing center and topic writing.
I was surprised to see that the teachers in my school did not understand prompts vs no prompt writing, and how to get students to write on their own without telling them what to write.
(I’m 46, a mom of 4. a past VP in banking, a grad student with a dream come true position…and your site is the BOMB!)
Thank you for what you share and teach through sharing.
Thank you so much for your kind words, Gia, and I’m so glad to hear that you’re interested in moving your students beyond writing prompts!
Thank you for this.
You’re very welcome, Amaka!