Hands in blue gloves holding a red yarn heart in the snow with the title over the top in a blue rectangle.

33 January Writing Prompts to Start Your New Year Off Right

Here are 33 January writing prompts made just for you and your elementary school aged students based on the National Days calendar! January is the perfect time to start a daily writing practice in your classroom that’s fast, fun, and easy to implement.

Hands in blue gloves holding a red yarn heart in the snow with the title over the top in a blue rectangle.


January is National Soup Month

These two themes for the month are something you could write about for days. Investigate different types of soup with your students, and then have a soup party with them. One of my favorite books to use this time of year is The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin.  (This is NOT an affiliate link, it’s a link to her publisher’s page for the book.)

In this story, (which I suspect is semi-autobiographical), the author shares how other people in her neighborhood have beautiful gardens with flowers. She resents the fact that her mother’s garden only has ugly vegetables. That is, until the end, when she discovers how food creates bonds with her neighbors as they all share soup made from the ugly vegetables.

After reading, I would bring in a crockpot and we’d make a pot of vegetable soup. The students measured and placed it all in the crockpot. Then we all sat and TRIED to study while smelling our yummy lunch simmering away.

If you do want to purchase The Ugly Vegetables, here’s the link on Amazon.

Please note that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. You can read more about this on my Privacy Policy and Legal Notice page.

January is National Hobby Month, Too!

This is a fantastic opportunity to research and learn about different types of hobbies people have. From coin collecting to rock collecting, to painting, to knitting, and anything else your students come up with, you can have some great discussions around hobbies. Who knows? Maybe you’ll discover a new hobby you want to try!

To get started with these writing prompts, be sure to download the January Writing Prompts with Video and Website Links.

Blue background with snowflakes and an image of the cover of the January writing journal.

January Writing Prompts Based on the National Days

I’ve divided some of the prompts into categories so you can see the wide variety of topics to write about.


The January writing prompts have days dedicated to birds, cats, eagles, penguins, squirrels and dragons. Wait! Dragons! Yes, there’s a day for that too! Each of these have websites to go deep in a discussion. Your class discussion leads to more profound writing once the students have recalled their background knowledge and learned some new tidbits.


January 8 is Earth’s Rotation Day. You can start a study of the tilt and rotation of the Earth and how it affects seasons and lengths of days with the website mentioned in this writing prompt.

January 18 is Kid Inventor’s Day. This is a wonderful day to start a new STEM project based on an invention to solve a problem. If you like this day, Happy Hive Homeschooling has a packet with biographies and activities of six different inventors under the age of eighteen.

January 19 is Popcorn Day. Not only can you enjoy some popcorn with your students, you can begin teaching about chemical reactions with this delectable treat. Or you could go down the history trail and learn about how and why popcorn was first made.

image of popcorn with the words Bring on the Butter, It's National Popcorn Day!

Geography and Social Studies

January 1 is Ellis Island Day, a perfect day to learn about how and why people immigrated to the United States through Ellis Island. My maternal ancestors came through Ellis Island, and their name was changed from a German spelling and pronunciation to a more “American” one. In spite of that occurring frequently, the hope of liberty and freedom wove a strong thread through many of these people’s stories.

January 26 is Australia Day. There’s so much to discover about this continent and country. Have you heard of the School of the Air that serves the Outback? Or the stories that surround the great rock, Uluru?

January 27 is National Geographic Day. Kids love the National Geographic for Kids website, and there is an amplitude of things to discover there.

Biography and People

As you know, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated each January. You could easily turn this into a week of reading, writing, and projects. World Braille Day is perfect for learning and writing about Louis Braille and Helen Keller.

Then we have Learn Your Name in Morse Code Day. You could teach how and when Samuel Morse invented this code, what it was used for, and why we no longer use Morse Code. What elementary school-aged kid wants to learn how to write their name in code? Um, ALL of them!

gray background with an old photo of a woman on a telegraph machine

Happy Hive Homeschooling has a free downloadable activity to go along with this day. She also has a video so your students can see and hear Morse Code  on the same blog post. With her free download, your students will be writing their names in no time! Maybe they’ll even write their homework in Morse Code too!

Just for Fun Days

January includes Make Your Dream Come True Day, and with this writing prompt, the students will learn about Walt Disney. He created a worldwide entertainment empire that started with just a dream.

More just for fun topics include:

  • International Kite Day
  • National Hot Tea Day
  • National Hat Day
  • Appreciate a Dragon Day
  • National Puzzle Day
  • National Kazoo Day

teal and fuschia background with a kite and the words International Kite Day

However you choose to use this calendar of January writing prompts, my intention is to make learning fun for your students and to help them learn to love writing every day. You can get your copy by clicking here or on the image below.

More January Holidays and Activities

As you may already know, Happy Hive Homeschooling and I have teamed up to bring you the best of the best holidays and activities. There are far more than just 33. Here are some super interesting days with great activities from the HHH website.

January 1 is Apple Gifting Day Why apples? You can read her post to find out about more giving traditions you might not have heard about.

January 2 is 55 MPH Speed Limit Day. You can use this day to learn about traffic laws and road signs. Even better, have your kids do some calculations related to gasoline consumption at different speeds and distances. Mwahaha!

January 3 is Toss Your Fruitcake Day, and no, this isn’t a euphemism! This has to be one of the most fun sounding holidays for the winter! Read about how it’s done and download the activity packet (which includes a fruitcake target!) too.

Since National Handwriting Day is January 23rd, after your students finish their daily writing, you can give them some extra penmanship practice with one or two of these Creative Writing Picture Prompts.

There are so many more days to celebrate. I created a monthly writing journal for each month of the year based on the national days. Check out the February Writing Journal to get a jump on your planning.

Cheers! Happy New Year!






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