Getting kindergarteners to write daily is an important part of helping them grow their beginning writing skills. However, teachers only have so much time and coming up with daily writing prompts can be a challenge. These free kindergarten writing prompts are perfect to add to your writing routine anytime throughout the year.
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What are the Benefits of Writing Prompts in Kindergarten?
There are several benefits of using kindergarten writing prompts with your students. As you implement writing prompts into your daily routine, you’ll start to see these benefits and more blossom.
Daily practice with beginning writing and handwriting skills.
By using writing prompts in kindergarten on a daily basis, your students will get meaningful opportunities to practice their beginning writing and handwriting skills.
Writing prompts allow students to work on improving their handwriting skills on wide writing lines while also using proper writing conventions. A picture word bank helps students expand their vocabulary and learn about using words in context.
You can easily differentiate writing prompts based on your students’ needs by using options with or without sentence starters.
Kindergarten writing prompts also encourages creativity in your little writers. They get to use their imagination to finish the sentence or write their own sentence or story. It is so fun as a teacher to see how each student interprets a writing prompt differently.
After completing their sentence or story, students get to be the illustrator of their writing piece and draw a picture to go along with their sentence. This also encourages creativity and ties art and fine motor skills into your writing lessons.
Makes real-world connections.
By using writing prompts in kindergarten, you can help your young learners make real-world connections with their writing. The picture word bank and sentence starter can spark conversations about experiences they’ve had in the real world.
You can also read stories that connect with the writing prompt before completing the activity. Talk about the connections from the book and the writing prompt as they begin to brainstorm, write, and draw.
These conversations and the variety of vocabulary words in the picture word bank will help expose your students to various topics, vocabulary words, and forms of writing.
Creates a consistent routine.
Kindergarten writing prompts are great for creating a consistent daily writing routine. You can use them as a morning work activity, during your writing lessons, or as a daily journal activity for students to complete.
Wherever you choose to fit writing prompts into your day, keep it consistent. This will allow your students to know exactly what is expected of them. These clear expectations will help foster independence in your writers.
Tips and Tricks for Using Kindergarten Writing Prompts
As you get started with kindergarten writing prompts, consider these teacher-tested tips and tricks for implementing them in the most effective way.
Use paper with wide writing lines.
If you’ve ever seen kindergarten students try to write on paper with narrow writing lines, you know how frustrating that can be for them. It’s important to use writing paper with wide writing lines to help them practice proper handwriting techniques.
Using lined story paper is a great way to help students clearly define the top, middle, and bottom lines. This makes it easier for them to write inside the lines. If your students need more support, you can highlight the top and bottom lines. This provides an extra visual aide for them.
Use a spacing tool.
A key writing convention that students practice with kindergarten writing prompts is proper word spacing. To help students visually see where the space should go in between words, you can use a spaceman tool to help with word spacing.
You can also use a tongue depressor as a spacing tool. Students can decorate and personalize their tongue depressor and use it each time they write.
Explicitly teach writing conventions.
When implementing kindergarten writing prompts, it’s important to explicitly teach writing conventions.
Hold mini lessons to discuss the proper use of different conventions, such as capitalization, spacing, and punctuation. You can also discuss the importance of matching the illustration to the sentence.
When teaching these writing conventions, model on the whiteboard what proper use of these writing conventions looks like. Introduce students to the different types of punctuation.
Then, you can write sentences correctly and incorrectly to help students identify proper use of writing conventions and sentences that need to be fixed.
Hold individual writing conferences.
Since each student’s writing piece will be different with each prompt, it’s important to hold individual writing conferences with your students. Sit down one-on-one with each student and read their writing.
Give the student positive praise on their handwriting, illustration, sounding out of words, and use of writing conventions. Give feedback and point out any areas they can improve on. Always end the writing conference on a positive note.
Something as simple as adding a sticker or a star to their writing prompt can make a student’s day and encourage them to keep working hard.
How to Implement Kindergarten Writing Prompts
When implementing kindergarten writing prompts, take some time to show students the correct way to use writing prompts and ensure your students are set up for success.
Model how to use writing prompts.
It’s important to model how to use the writing prompts correctly. Show your students how to use the picture word bank to choose words to finish their story.
It’s a good idea to tell students that it may not make sense to use every word in the word bank. Model how to choose 1 or 2 words to include in their writing. Model how to choose a word and finish the sentence with the story starter.
For students who are ready to write without a sentence starter, you can get them in a small group and model how to choose 2-3 words from the picture word bank to write their sentence or short story.
The great part about kindergarten writing prompts is how easy it is to differentiate instruction and give your students what they need.
Use a variety of writing prompts.
Since using writing prompts in kindergarten is a daily routine, it’s crucial to use a variety of writing prompts throughout the month.
This helps the students stay on task and excited about their writing since every day is different. It also gives them exposure to different themes, topics, and writing styles.
By using a variety of writing prompts, you can see student growth over time. This will also help you learn which topics interest them most. Keep each student’s writing prompts in a journal to track growth over time.
This serves as a writing portfolio for your students. A writing portfolio is great to bring out at parent teacher conferences to show growth. Send these home at the end of the year as a memento of the year.
Provide visual aides.
Providing visual aides for your students will help them feel more confident in their writing, leading to greater independence.
Provide accessible visual aides for vocabulary words on different topics by using a themed word wall or providing students with a page of vocabulary words with pictures.
It’s also a good idea to provide a visual aide to students for important writing conventions and sentence structure. You can write these writing conventions on a whiteboard where all students can see them or create a checklist that students can keep at their desk.
This will help them check their capitalization, punctuation, word spacing, illustrations, etc.
I hope these tips and tricks for implementing writing prompts in kindergarten are helpful. I can’t wait to hear how your students’ writing skills grow this year. Leave a comment below and tell me about the writing wins in your classroom!
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