4th Grade Writing Prompts

4th grade writing prompts / elementary student writing

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Students in fourth grade need varied practice developing their writing skills. According to the Common Core State Standards Initiative, fourth-grade writing should include opinion pieces, informative or explanatory texts, and narratives about real or imagined experiences. Additionally, a fourth-grade writing curriculum should include short research projects. 

These writing prompts offer diverse forms of inspiration for every student.

Opinion Essay Writing Prompts

In an opinion essay, students must state their opinion and back it up with facts and reasons. Ideas should be organized logically and supported by details.

  1. Best Friends Forever. Write an essay explaining what makes your best friend the best best friend. 
  2. Awesomeness. Describe the most awesome thing about being in fourth grade.
  3. New Worlds. Would you rather help start a colony on a new planet or a city under the ocean? Why?
  4. School Food. Name one thing you would like to change about your school’s menu and explain why.
  5. Someday. If you could be a race car driver, an astronaut, or president of a country, which would you choose and why?
  6. Cityscapes. If you had a friend visit from another state, what is the one place in your city you would insist he or she had to see? What makes this place so special?
  7. Shipwrecked. You find yourself stranded on a deserted island with only three items in your backpack. What would you want those items to be and why?
  8. Flat Earth. Some people still believe that the Earth is flat. Do you agree or disagree? Include supporting facts.
  9. Extra! Extra! Name one class, sport, or club you wish your school offered and explain why it should be available.
  10. Seasons. Which season is your favorite and why?
  11. One-star. What is the worst book you have ever read and what made it so terrible?
  12. Fandom. Who is your favorite TV, movie, or music star? What makes him or her the best?
  13. Progress. Identify a way in which you would like to improve as a student this school year. Explain why you would like to get better and list some steps you can take to make it happen.

Informative Essay Writing Prompts

When writing an informative or explanatory essay, students should introduce the topic clearly, then develop the topic with facts and details. When explaining a process, students should outline the steps in a logical order.

  1. Bullied. Explain how you would handle being bullied and the steps you would take to stop a bully.
  2. Mad Skills. Describe an unusual talent, hobby, or skill that you possess.
  3. Cuisine. Describe a food that is unique to your family or area of the world to someone who has never tasted it.
  4. Role Model. Think of a person who has made an impact on your life and describe the role they’ve played.
  5. Pay It Forward. What is one thing you would like to do—either now or in the future—to make the world a better place?
  6. Packing. Explain the most effective way to pack for a trip to ensure that you have everything you need.
  7. Wild Kingdom. Of all the animals wild or domesticated, write about your favorite. Include interesting facts about this animal in your essay.
  8. Gaming. Explain how to play your favorite video or board game to someone who has never played it before.
  9. Problematic. Describe a problem you’re facing and three ways you could possibly solve it.
  10. Extreme Weather. Choose an extreme weather condition or a natural disaster such as a tornado or a volcanic eruption. Explain its causes and effects.
  11. Sweet Treats. Explain the process of making your favorite dessert.
  12. Learning Styles. Think of the way you prefer to learn, such as by reading, listening, or doing. Explain why you think you learn best that way.
  13. Edison. Thomas Edison said that he didn’t make mistakes, he just learned 10,000 ways not to make a light bulb. Describe a mistake you made and the lesson you learned from it.

Narrative Essay Writing Prompts

When writing narrative essays about real or imagined experiences, students should use descriptive details and logical sequence. They can use dialogue and sensory details to develop their essay.

  1. Microscopic Details. Imagine being microscopic. Describe an adventurous trip through your body.
  2. Alone. You find yourself locked in your favorite store alone overnight. Where are you and what do you do?
  3. Homeless. A friendly stray dog follows you home from school. What happens next?
  4. Time Travel. Imagine you could travel back in time to when your mom or dad was your age. Write an essay about your relationship with your fourth-grade parent.
  5. Mismatched. Write a story about someone your age. The story must include a giraffe, a mouse, a flying carpet, and a large birdcage.
  6. Pet Peeve. Recount a moment when something really got on your nerves. Describe the experience and why it irritated you so much.
  7. Surprise! Think of a time your teacher surprised your class. Describe what happened and how the class reacted.
  8. Special Moments. Think of a specific day or event that you will always remember. What made it so special?
  9. Travel Through History. Imagine you could travel back in time to live through one event from history. Describe the event and write about your experience.
  10. The Most Terrible Day. Write an essay about a day when everything went wrong. How did the day start and end, describe the experience.
  11. Road Trip. Write about a favorite family vacation or road trip. Where did you go? What made it special?
  12. Funny Pet Tricks. Can your pet do a funny or unusual trick? Describe it.
  13. President. If you could be president for a day (or the principal of your school), what would you do?

Research Project Essay Writing Prompts

Fourth-grade students should also complete short research projects using books, magazines, and online sources. Students should take notes and provide a list of the sources they used in their research.

  1. New Puppy. You want a new puppy. Do some research to determine the best breed for your family and write about it.
  2. Battles. Research and write about what you consider the most significant or famous battle in history.
  3. Famous People. Choose a famous person from history or science and write about their lives and contributions.
  4. Animal Kingdom. Select an animal to research. Include facts about its behavior, habitat, and diet.
  5. Countries. Choose a country. Investigate its culture and holidays, and find out what life there is like for kids your age.
  6. States. Pick a state you’ve never visited. Learn three to five unique facts about the state to include in your essay.
  7. Inventions. What do you think is the greatest or most useful invention of all time? Find out who invented it and how and why it was invented.
  8. Native Americans. Choose a Native American tribe. Learn about where they lived, their culture, and their use of natural resources in their area.
  9. Endangered Species. Research and write about an animal that is endangered. Include facts about why it is endangered and any changes that people can make to help increase its population.
  10. Fine Arts. Learn more about an artist or composer. Include facts about their life and death and most well-known works.
  11. Authors. Research an author whose books you enjoy. Include facts about what inspired him or her to start writing.
  12. Dig Deeper. Research something you’ve studied in history, science, or literature but would like to know more about.
  13. State Standouts. Choose a famous person from your state. Learn about his or her life and contributions.
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Bales, Kris. "4th Grade Writing Prompts." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/writing-prompts-fourth-grade-4172492. Bales, Kris. (2020, August 27). 4th Grade Writing Prompts. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/writing-prompts-fourth-grade-4172492 Bales, Kris. "4th Grade Writing Prompts." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/writing-prompts-fourth-grade-4172492 (accessed May 30, 2023).