Transition back to school and into daily writing with these 33 prompts designed to make students curious.
Are you wondering how best to introduce writing every day in your classroom during this year’s transition back to school? I have 33 August back-to-school writing prompts that will take your students seamlessly from summer into fall months.
It’s no secret that writing every day builds stronger, more capable writers. But sometimes it can be a mountain to climb if you’re trying to get students excited about writing. Especially those who have anxiety around the practice.
Have you seen the blog post about the 7 Best Scaffolds for Writing Assignments You Can Use Every Day? These writing scaffolds are perfect to use at the beginning of the year as your students transition back to school and into the habit of writing every day. Check them out and choose one or two or a few to use in your classroom.
I teamed up with some amazing ELA teachers who teach writing in high school, middle school, and elementary school, just to have a brainstorming session. We all chatted about the best and worst things you can do in your writing instruction. Don’t Start Teaching Writing Until You Read These 5 Articles will give you the 4-1-1 on everything you need to know to get your back-to-school writing from 0 to 60 in no time.
Now I’d love to share the August Writing Prompts with you to help you find even more ways to engage your students in writing.
What’s Included in the August Writing Prompts Journal?
Thank you for asking! The August back-to-school writing prompts use the national days to create writing prompts about unusual topics that are intriguing to young students. For example:
- How are ice cream sandwiches made? On National Ice Cream Sandwich Day you can have a class discussion about the process. How could students make one at home? Then let them write a how-to-do-it page in their digital writing notebooks.
- The Perseid Meteor Shower happens every year in August. Spend the Night Under the Stars is a perfect time to integrate science into your writing curriculum. Head over to Nasa’s Space Place for information about meteor showers; what they are and why they occur. After that, the students will be ready to plan their own Night Under the Stars and write about what they learned.
- Speaking of science, have you ever had the pleasure of teaching your students how roller coasters work? On National Roller Coaster Day, you and your students learn about momentum and gravity. You might want to share a virtual roller coaster ride video with them. Have the students write a description of what it feels like to ride a roller coaster, or what they think it would feel like.
Biography and Geography Writing Prompts
As always, there are several national days devoted to specific states. In August, we have five states to celebrate! we celebrate Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, and South Carolina. Students love learning about the state symbols, animals, history, and fun facts for each state. My flashback Instagram post from July 27 gives five fun facts about New Jersey. Do you know what cheerleading and New Jersey have in common? I didn’t either, but it’s a fun piece of trivia. Go check it out if you want to know.
Biographies are always included in the daily writing prompts journals. This month is Barack Obama’s birthday, so the students can read about the 44th president of the United States and write some things they learned, such as why he doesn’t eat ice cream. The Navajo Code Talkers are also featured. The Smithsonian National Museum of the Native American has some online resources to learn more about their contributions during WW I and WW II.
There’s truly something for everyone in each daily writing prompts journal.
Build Classroom Community with Writing Topics
It’s a fact that students love to talk. Why not let them talk about the topics in the writing journals? Each day has an interesting prompt based on the National Days calendars. (It’s plural, because there are several different calendars you can find online.)
Some teachers like to use this as morning work and have the students watch the videos or read the websites independently before writing. I’ve curated a page of websites you can use to build background knowledge or explore deeper on some of these topics.
Other teachers like to watch the videos and view the websites together. (Just preview them first.) That’s what I did. I found that the discussions that followed were rich and insightful.
After a class discussion, everyone should have plenty of writing fodder. This is especially helpful for the English learners in your classes. Hearing the discussion about the topics, helps them frame the writing they’ll do. Students can even collaborate on their writing.
There’s no wrong way to use these writing prompts. They’re intended to kindle a love for knowledge and the enjoyment of telling others about it through writing.
The Writing Journals Become Student Portfolios
Whereas a paper journal gets reviewed and/or graded and then sent home, these digital writing journals stay in your digital learning platform as long as you want to keep them.
I love comparing end of the year writing with beginning of the year writing in these journals. The students feel so proud when they see the difference, too. I always felt so happy to see a child take pride in the evidence of their own progress.
The journals are an ongoing project, both for the students and for me. I curate the links for you, so you don’t have to waste time searching the internet for appropriate material. These videos and websites are good for students in grades 3, 4, and 5. However, you always have full control over the links. If you don’t want to share a link with your students, you can easily delete it from their pages.
I review the links and update the journals on a regular basis. Every three months, I update the dates and prompts. If you purchase the bundle of daily writing prompts, check back often to download the latest updates to the journals. You’ll be able to use them year after year, with the most current links and topics included.
Transition Back to School with Fun Writing Prompts
Many students may feel apprehension about going back to school. Others may be excited. One way to build classroom community is with these fun and interactive prompts to discuss and write about. What’s more, they’ll help build confidence in those students who dislike writing, because these are designed as practice and not as assessments.
I also have plenty of Back-to-School activities that include picture writing prompts, interviewing another students, code cracking, and more. You can check out both free and paid resources in my 2022-2o23 Back-to-School catalog. Click on the image to download your copy and start your wish list today!
Whenever you happen to go back to school, be ready to share with your students a love of the written word.
P.S. Would you like to try five days of the September Daily Writing Journal for free? Click the image to get your copy! It’s a full week of stand-alone plans from the full product!