First Grade Writing Prompts

Learning To Write First Grade Writing Prompts
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In first grade, students are beginning to develop their writing skills for the first time. These students should work towards complex writing goals–i.e. composing a chronological narrative and expressing an opinion–but should be given flexibility in how that writing is produced. For example, first graders may construct a narrative by drawing a series of pictures, or convey an opinion by dictating their thoughts to a teacher.

These simple but creative first-grade writing prompts will help students begin to develop their narrative, informative, opinion, and research writing skills.

Narrative Essay Writing Prompts

Students in first grade will develop their skills in writing narrative essays by relating the details of a real or imagined event and placing the details in sequential order. They can also include their reaction to the event. 

  1. The Purple Crayon. Imagine that you have a magic crayon like the boy in Harold and the Purple Crayon. Describe something you would draw.
  2. Wings. Imagine that you are a bird or a butterfly. Write about what you might do in a day.
  3. Superpowers. Name one superpower you’d like to have and explain how you would use it.
  4. The Dumps. Think of a time when you were sad. What cheered you up?
  5. Scary Story. Do you remember a time when you were really scared? What happened?
  6. Family Fun. Does your family go on vacations together? What is your best memory from your last family trip?
  7. Lost. Have you ever been lost? What did you do and how did you feel?
  8. Shark Tales. What would your life be like if you were a shark?
  9. Movers and Shakers. Has your family ever moved to a new house? Describe the experience.
  10. Dressing Up. Imagine that you have a magical dress-up box that turns you into whoever you dress as. Who would you be?
  11. Teacher’s Pet. What if your teacher had a talking pet dragon and she brought it to school one day? Tell what you think would happen.
  12. After School. Describe what you usually do in the first half hour after you get home from school each day.
  13. Pet Dreams. What kind of pet do you have? Imagine a dream he or she might have and describe it.

Opinion Essay Writing Prompts

First graders can begin to develop their opinion writing skills by responding to a simple topic with their own thoughts and opinions. They should focus on understanding the concept of an opinion and providing basic justification for their own opinions.

  1. First is Fun. What is the most exciting thing about being in first grade?
  2. Must Read. What is one book that every kid should read and why should they read it?
  3. School Food. Name your favorite lunch in your school’s cafeteria. Why is it your favorite?
  4. Wild Side. What is your favorite wild animal and why?
  5. New Friends. You may be meeting lots of new kids in first grade. What qualities do you look for in a friend?
  6. Weather Woes. What is your least favorite type of weather?
  7. Toy Story. Which of your toys is your favorite and what makes it so special?
  8. Holidays. What is your favorite holiday and why?
  9. Getting Older. Why is being in first grade better than being in kindergarten?
  10. Weekend. What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
  11. Watch or Join. If you are at a birthday party, are you more likely to be first in line to play all the games or do you like to hang back and watch others for a while?
  12. Fish or Frog. Would you rather be a fish or a frog? Why?
  13. Extra Hour. If you could stay up for an hour later than you’re allowed to each night, what would you do with the extra time?

Expository Essay Writing Prompts

Expository writing includes informational and how-to pieces. Students in first grade may use drawings, writing, or dictation to identify their topic and supply information about it.

  1. Admiration. Name someone you admire and list three reasons you look up to them.
  2. PB&J. List the steps you’d take to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
  3. Healthy Teeth. Explain why it’s important to take care of your teeth by brushing them every day.
  4. Game Changer. Explain how to play your favorite board game.
  5. Lost and Found. Describe what you should do if you become separated from your parents in a crowded place like a store or an amusement park.
  6. Tough Tricks. Do you know how to do something that your friends haven’t figured out yet, such as blowing a bubble with chewing gum or jumping rope? Explain how to do it.
  7. Pet Care. You’re going out of town, and your friend has agreed to take care of your pet while you’re gone. Explain what he or she needs to do.
  8. Self Portrait. Describe your appearance to a friend as if he or she had never seen you.
  9. Apology. Explain how you would apologize to a friend or relative if you hurt their feelings.
  10. No More Germs. Describe the steps for washing your hands.
  11. My Space. Describe your room. What does it look like? What kind of furniture and decoration do you have?
  12. Rules. Choose one school rule and explain why it’s important for students to obey it.
  13. Step-by-Step. Explain, step-by-step, how to complete a process such as tying a shoe or folding a paper airplane.

Research Writing Prompts

With help from an adult, first graders can begin to understand the research process. These prompts may be best utilized in a group setting, with a parent or teacher leading the student(s) through the research process using a single source (e.g. a book or magazine) to answer a question.

  1. Dogs. List five things you know about dogs.
  2. Favorite Author. Write down three facts about your favorite author.
  3. Insects. Choose one of the following insects and find out where it lives, what it eats, how it moves, and what it looks like: butterfly, ant, bumblebee, or cricket.
  4. Reptiles and Amphibians. Choose one of the following creatures and find out where it lives, what it eats, how it moves, and what it looks like: frog, toad, turtle, or snake.
  5. My Town. Find out three facts about the history of your town.
  6. Volcanoes. What is a volcano? Where are volcanoes found? What do they do?
  7. Dinosaurs. Choose a type of dinosaur and write 3 to 5 interesting facts about it.
  8. Habitats. Choose a habitat such as an ocean, desert, tundra, or forest and describe the plants and animals that live there.
  9. African Animals. Choose an animal that lives in Africa, such as an elephant, lion, or zebra, and write 3 to 5 interesting facts about it.
  10. Sports. Choose your favorite sport. What are three important facts about how the game is played?
  11. Famous People. Read a story about a famous person from history. Then, find out when the historical person was born and where they lived.
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Bales, Kris. "First Grade Writing Prompts." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Bales, Kris. (2020, August 27). First Grade Writing Prompts. Retrieved from Bales, Kris. "First Grade Writing Prompts." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 1, 2023).