It’s May, and I have some terrific May writing prompts for upper elementary that are sure to energize your students and keep them writing during these last weeks of school.
The national days celebrations are perfect for creating daily writing prompts for May. There is always something new to learn or investigate further, or even to just have fun. Students love to research more information about the national days. Plus, the topics integrate writing across the curriculum. That’s why I love creating these daily writing journals for you!
One of the key activities to do with these journals is to have students share what they learned. This can be done in small groups, or as a short five or ten minute activity before they put their journals away.
How Students Can Share Writing
There are several benefits to having students can share writing with their peers. One is, of course, accountability. Once other students are sharing, and students see the value and creativity of their friends’ writing, they don’t want to miss out on the fun.
Of course, every class has the quiet student who would prefer to sit and listen without sharing. Even if a student doesn’t share with the whole class, they’ll learn from hearing what others have written. Much of what the National Days prompts inspire is opinion writing and summary writing. Sharing opinions almost always leads to conversations.
- Students can share with a partner.
- Students can share with their table groups.
- You can designate 5 or 10 minutes for students to share with the whole class. A random name generator like the one at Flippity.net is a way to make sure one or two extroverts don’t do all the sharing. 🙂
- Have your students share their writing during a writer’s conference. If you have weekly writer’s conferences, you could spend the first couple of minutes sharing.
- If your students love video, they could choose one writing page to share each week or month, and you could post it to your Google Classroom or to another private page where other students can view it.
As you look through the prompts for May, you’ll probably think of even more ways for your students to do the important task of sharing their writing. You can click on this image to see a preview of some of the topics included in this month.
Inspirational Biography Writing Prompts
Students can learn about Savion Glover this month on National Tap Dance Day. He’s truly one of the most talented tap dancers ever, and has been credited to bringing this dance style back into popularity. He’s the dancing shoes behind Mumble in Happy Feet. He has danced all over the world and now he’s brought it home to share by teaching young people how to tap dance in his own dance studio.
Then, on National Learn to Swim Day, students will be inspired by the story of a woman who wasn’t afraid to learn to swim even though she is older and blind. You’ll be inspired too!
Geography Writing Prompts
In May the students will learn about Montana, Washington, Wyoming, and Idaho. With a little bit of research on National Geographic for Kids U.S. States and Territories, they can answer questions such as:
- How did they get their names?
- What is the geography and history of the region of these states?
- Which symbols do these states have and why were they chosen to represent the states?
- What types of wildlife live in the area?
These prompts can be a warmup or they can extend into much deeper writing.
Fun Science and STEM Writing Prompts
Sea Monkey Day sounds like a whole lot of fun, but students will actually be learning about the life cycle of brine shrimp.
There’s also National Space Day. My teacher friend at Happy Hive Homeschooling has a full unit on our solar system. Fascinating Facts about the Solar System is filled with the solar system facts you need. It’s also packed with planet worksheets, a Google Slides (TM) presentation, and a teaching video. All of these elements are designed to work together so you have a complete lesson plan about the solar system! You could teach this before or after National Space Day.
Speaking of space, no mention of May holidays would be complete without May the Fourth. Check out this super fun Mystery Math Puzzle with a Star Wars Theme. Granted, it’s not writing, but it’s too fun to pass up.
World Bee Day is May 20
I discovered World Bee Day after I’d created the May Writing Journal for you. It’s on May 2o. I do have two fabulous products about bees and honey. You could use them to extend the learning about bees and have a honey and bee week in your class. The first resource is part of my Close Reading and Writing Sweet History product line. It’s where students read and write about sweet things, like honey!
This is so much fun to read about and write about! When I was making it, I took a visit to a local bee sanctuary and learned so much! In addition, your students will have fun finding bee related words in the Honey Bee Bumble word game.
After creating the Sweet History of How Bees Make Honey, I couldn’t resist making an figurative language packet full of Idioms Worksheets With Bees and Honey. I’m all about the bees and honey right now! I hope you enjoy teaching these idioms with this fun packet.
Honey and Bee task cards and Boom cards are on the way soon! While you’re waiting, don’t miss this fabulous post by The Problem Solving Teacher with 10 Spectacular Lesson Ideas and Amazing Examples for Figurative Language.
National Chocolate Chip Day is May 15
Another sweet day in May that’s not included in the May Writing Journal is National Chocolate Chip Day on May 15. What better way to celebrate than with a Sweet History of the Chocolate Chip Cookies? It was invented almost by accident. I wrote a creative nonfiction account of the incident at the Toll House Inn. After reading, you could have a wonderful discussion with your students about how much Nestlé paid Ruth Wakefield for her recipe, which is now world famous.
National Month Observances
Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month is observed in May. Let me tell you, there is so much to learn about this month. I actually had a difficult time deciding what to focus on for the writing prompt. I finally chose Patsy Takemoto Mink for her grand contribution to women’s rights and her fight against the racial injustice against Asian Americans. She’s also renowned for being the first woman of color and Asian American to be elected to Congress.
Then we also have National Bike Safety Month. Now that the weather is warming up children are getting outside on their bikes. Therefore, some tips about bike safety are warranted. The animated video is engaging for young students and will help them remember the rules of the road, especially after writing about them!
Of course, there are plenty more topics to explore and activities to do in the May Writing Prompts journal. If you follow me on Instagram, I post about the national days a couple of times each week. I’d love to connect with you there. If there’s something you’d like to see in a writing product, DM me!
Try Three Days for Free
If you haven’t tried my daily writing prompts before, you can try three days of writing prompts for free and see if it’s a good fit for your class and grade level. Download your PDF sample on this page.
P.S. You can pick up a Free Writing Choice Board right here! It has nine squares with different choices of genre to get your students engaged in writing!