January Writing Prompts

Journal Topics and Writing Ideas

Boy writing at school
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Students return from the winter break during the first week of January. With the new year comes resolutions and a desire to do better for many students. January is a great time to start students on daily writing assignments. These can be in the form of warm ups or journal entries. Following is a list of writing prompt ideas for each day of the month of January. Feel free to use and modify these as you see fit.

January Holidays

  • National Blood Donor Month
  • National Bath Safety Month
  • National Braille Literacy Month
  • National Thank You Month
  • National Hobby Month
  • Hot Tea Month
  • National Soup Month

Writing Prompt Ideas for January

  • January 1 - Theme: New Year's Resolutions.
    Many people begin the new year with a list of resolutions. Write about three of your New Year's Resolutions and explain what steps you need to take to make them come true.
  • January 2 - Theme: Goal Setting.
    Goal setting is an important part of creating an ideal future for yourself. Come up with a 1-year goal, a 3-year goal, and a 10-year goal for yourself. Then write about three steps that you will take to accomplish each of these goals.
  • January 3 - Theme: J.R.R. Tolkien's Birthday.
    Discuss your feelings on fantasy and science fiction. Do you enjoy these types of books? Explain why you do or do not like them.
  • January 4 - Theme: Isaac Newton's" Birthday.
    Explain what Isaac Newton meant by the following quote: "If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants."
  • January 5 - Theme: National Bird Day.
    When the United States was founded, Benjamin Franklin argued that the national bird should be the turkey. Instead, the bald eagle was selected. Was this a good choice or should the founding fathers have gone with the turkey instead? Give reasons for your answer.
  • January 6 - Theme: Sherlock Holmes' Birthday.
    Today is the birthday of fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. Do you like mysteries? If so, tell about your favorite mystery book, television series, or movie. If not, explain why you don't like them.
  • January 6 - Theme: Little Christmas or the Epiphany. Many cultures celebrate a second Christmas on this date. What celebrations would you like to see twice a year.
  • January 7 - Theme: Winter Break.
    Describe the best thing that happened to you over winter break.
  • January 8 - Theme: Elvis Presley's Birthday.
    What is your favorite type of music? Your least favorite type? Explain your reasons for each.
  • January 9 - Theme: Seasons.
    What is your favorite season? Why?
  • January 10 - Theme: United Nation's Day. What is your opinion about America's participation in the UN? or What is your opinion on the effectiveness of the UN in negotiating world peace?
  • January 11 - Theme: Death of Francis Scott Key.
    On this day in 1843, Francis Scott Key died. He penned the lyrics of the Star Spangled Banner. What is your opinion about the use of this song as political protests (Ex: NFL Players kneeling)? Do you put your hand over your heart and stand in respect when it comes on? Should athletes be required to do so?
  • January 12 - Theme: National Pharmacist Day.
    Meat producers around the nation typically put low levels of antibiotics in the animals' food to help promote growth. However, some people are concerned that this leads to antibiotic-resistant bacteria in humans. The meat industry argues that if they were unable to include antibiotics, the cost of meat would dramatically increase. Do you think that the meat industry should be forced to stop using these antibiotics? Defend your answer.
  • January 13 - Theme: Make Your Dreams Come True Day
    What is a dream that you have for your future? Describe this dream and explain the steps you can take right away to help make this dream come true.
  • January 14 - Theme: Benedict Arnold's Birthday
    React to the following statement: One man's traitor is another man's hero.
  • January 15 - Theme: Super Bowl Hype
    Do you watch the super bowl for the game, the ads, or both? Explain your answer.
  • January 16 - Theme: Passage of the 18th Amendment- This Amendment prohibited “the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors” but not the consumption, private possession, or production for one’s own consumption. Currently, twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia currently have laws broadly legalizing marijuana in some form, but marijuana is still against federal law. Should states have the right to allow marijuana be regulated like alcohol?
  • January 17 - Theme: Benjamin Franklin's Birthday
    What was Franklin's most important contribution to America?
  • January 18 - Theme: Winnie the Pooh Day
    Which character from Winnie the Pooh do you think is most like you? Explain your answer.
  • January 19 - Theme: Popcorn Day
    What is your favorite movie? OR Who is your favorite film director? Why?
  • January 20 - Theme: Presidential Inauguration
    What qualities does it take to be an effective president of the United States? OR What makes a president of the United States ineffective? What evidence do your have to support your answer?
  • January 21 - Theme: Martin Luther King's Birthday
    King stated in his famous I Have a Dream' speech: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." What is your opinion on how close America has come to fulfilling King's dream? What evidence do you have for your opinion?
  • January 22 - Theme: National Hobby Month
    What is your favorite hobby? What makes it your favorite?
  • January 23 - Theme: National Blood Donor's Month
    Should blood donors be paid to donate blood? Explain your answer.
  • January 24 - Theme: California Gold Rush
    If you had lived in the 1840s when gold was first found in California, do you think that you would have been one of the individuals who traveled west? Why or why not?
  • January 25 - Theme: National Opposite Day
    What would you do differently if you were the teacher in this class? OR What is the opposite reaction that you have from your family on a topic (politics, music, technology)? Why do you react differently?
  • January 26 - Theme: Australia Day
    Have you ever traveled out of the country? If so, describe the similarities and differences between the country you visited and America. If not, explain which countries you'd like to visit and why.
  • January 27 - Theme: Lewis Carroll's Birthday
    Which character from Alice in Wonderland would you most want to meet? Which would you least like to meet? Why?
  • January 28 - Theme: Jackson Pollock's Birthday
    What is your opinion of modern art? Do you like it or hate it? Why?
  • January 29 - Theme: Thomas Paine's Birthday
    Do you agree with the following statement by Thomas Paine: "Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one." Explain your answer.
  • January 30 - Theme: Franklin Roosevelt's Birthday
    Franklin Roosevelt was elected to four terms as president. After this, the 22nd Amendment was passed limiting the president to two terms or 10 years. Do you think that there should be term limits for presidents? What about for Senators and Representatives? Explain your answer.
  • January 31 - Theme: Jackie Robinson's Birthday
    Jackie Robinson was the first African-American to play baseball in the Major Leagues. Many praised him for his courage. How do you define courage? Give examples of people who you think are courageous.