Second Grade Writing Prompts

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Children in second grade are just beginning to develop their writing skills. By second grade, students should start expressing opinions, recounting narratives, and providing step-by-step instructions in their writing. These second grade writing prompts capitalize on age-appropriate topics to spark students’ creativity and engage them in the writing process.

Narrative Essay Writing Prompts

In their narrative pieces, students should recount a real or imagined event or sequence of events. Their writing should include describing details that indicate thoughts, actions, or feelings. They should conclude their narrative in a way that provides a sense of closure.

  1. Kindness Counts. Write about a time that someone did something kind for you. What did they do and how did it make you feel?
  2. Special Day. Describe a special day that you and your best friend shared. What made it so memorable?
  3. Left Out. Have you ever felt left out? Write about what happened.
  4. Diaper Days. Write about something you remember from when you were a baby or toddler.
  5. Rainy Day Fun. It’s raining outside and your best friend is over to visit. What do you do?
  6. Happy Memories. Write a story about one of your happiest memories.
  7. Switch-a-roo. Describe what it would be like to switch lives with anyone in the world for a day. Who would it be and what would you do?
  8. School Sleepover. Imagine that you’re trapped in your school alone overnight. Tell what happens.
  9. Fly-on-the-wall. You wake up and discover that you’re a fly for the day. What do you do?
  10. Right and Wrong. Tell about a time when you were tempted to do the wrong thing, but you chose to do the right thing instead.
  11. Scary Stories. Write about a time when you were scared.
  12. Menu Madness. Imagine that you’re in charge of the school lunch menu for the week. What meals would you include?
  13. Wild and Wacky. Imagine your class is on a field trip to the zoo and one of the animals starts talking to you. What does he tell you?

Opinion Essay Writing Prompts

Second graders should write opinion pieces that introduce their topic and provide reasons to support their opinion, using words such as because and and to connect their reasoning. The paper should include a conclusion sentence.

  1. Fun and Games. What is your favorite game to play? Why is it better than other activities?
  2. Bedtime Tales. What is the best bedtime story your mom or dad has ever read to you? What made it the best?
  3. Travel Stops. If you could choose to stay in a tent, an RV, or a fancy hotel while traveling with your family, which would you choose and why?
  4. Playground Fun. What is the very best piece of equipment on your school’s playground? What makes it the best?
  5. Exotic Pets. If you could choose any wild animal for a pet, what would you choose and why?
  6. Study Choice. Your teacher has asked you to decide what topic the class studies next. What do you pick and why?
  7. Favorite subject. Which school subject is your favorite and why?
  8. Yucky or Yummy. Write about a food that you like but most people don’t. Why should people give it a chance?
  9. Play Time. Should your school give kids a longer recess time? Why or why not?
  10. Digital or Print. Which is better for reading, a printed book or a tablet?
  11. Allergies. Are you allergic to anything? Why is it important for people to know about your allergy?
  12. Drinks. Do you like milk? Soda? Lemonade? Name your favorite drink and give three reasons why it’s your favorite.
  13. Best Day. What is your favorite day of the week? Write an essay including three reasons why that day is the best.

Expository Essay Writing Prompts

Expository essays inform the readers about a specific topic. Second grade students should introduce their topic and provide facts, definitions, or steps to develop their point.

  1. School Day. You have a younger sibling who hasn’t started school yet. Tell him or her about a typical school day.
  2. Class Pet. Your class gets to choose a classroom pet for the year. Name an animal that you think would make a good choice and explain its needs (such as food, habitat, temperature).
  3. Favorite Food. What is your favorite food? Describe it as if no one else has ever seen or tasted it.
  4. Seasonal Fun. Pick a season, like summer or fall, and describe your favorite activity during that season.
  5. If You Build It. Think of a time when you saw something being built (like a house, a new road, or even a snowman). Explain the stages of the building process.
  6. Famous Firsts. Think about a famous first like the first person to walk on the moon or the first person to sail around the world. Explain why this first was so important.
  7. Famous People. Choose a famous person and explain what he or she did to become famous.
  8. Past Parties. Think of the best party you’ve ever attended and explain what made it the best.
  9. Favorite Film. Choose your favorite animated film of all time and explain why you love it.
  10. Bedtime. Explain why it’s important to get plenty of sleep every night.
  11. Funny Pet Tricks. Describe an unusual trick that your pet can do.
  12. Holiday Happenings. Select a popular holiday and explain why or how people celebrate it.
  13. Smelly Tale. Every place has different smells, good or bad. Describe two or three smells you associate with your home or school.

Research Writing Prompts

Students should also produce research-based writing by reading books on a topic and writing a report, recording science observations, or using provided materials to answer a question.

  1. Turtle Power. Why do turtles have shells?
  2. Digging Dinosaurs. Choose your favorite dinosaur and write a report including interesting facts about it.
  3. Under the Sea. Learn more about one interesting animal that lives in the ocean. Write a paper about what you learned. 
  4. Places for People. Choose a unique home (such as an igloo or a mud hut) and explain why it's suited for the environment in which it is found.
  5. Space. Choose one of the planets in our solar system and give five interesting facts about it.
  6. Science. Write an observation from a recent science lesson such as how plants grow or what makes up the water cycle.
  7. Famous people. Write a report about someone you are studying in your current history lessons.
  8. How Is It Made? Choose an everyday object (like LEGO bricks or toilet paper) and find out how it’s made.
  9. Desert Dwellers. Pick an animal that lives in the desert and write 3-5 interesting facts about it.
  10. Creepy Crawlies. What is the difference between arachnids and insects?
  11. Where in the World? Choose a state or country to research. Include 3-5 facts about the place in your report.
  12. What’s the Difference? Choose two similar animals, such as a horse and a mule, a crocodile and an alligator, or a leopard and a cheetah. Explain how to tell them apart.
  13. Sleep Habits. Some animals sleep standing up. Bats sleep hanging upside down. Birds sleep in trees. Choose an animal, bat, or bird and explain how they sleep without falling.
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Bales, Kris. "Second Grade Writing Prompts." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Bales, Kris. (2020, August 27). Second Grade Writing Prompts. Retrieved from Bales, Kris. "Second Grade Writing Prompts." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 10, 2023).