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Creative Writing Prompts We Use & Love

Meg Hicks Teachers Pay Teachers  Story Cards
Today I want to share something that I have spent a lot of time researching - creative writing prompts. With my two older children at home from school I often find they have written work to do but struggle to think of a topic. At school Caspar (yr 7) was given visual creative writing prompts weekly but this hasn't happened for almost two months. 

Once I found some good creative writing prompts we started using them all the time, not just for creative story writing but for verbal storytelling, poetry and handwriting practice. The thing is I want creative writing prompts and story cards that are inspiring, that will boost creativity and set imaginations on fire.

I have used drawing prompts with my toddler and will most often use photographs I have taken or photographic images of topics he has shown an interest in like garbage trucks, tractors or diggers. For my older children I wanted something more, something really creative. Here are some of my favourite cards and sources:

These are most suitable for children 5-6 years+. I use these regularly with my nine and twelve year old. If you are looking for visual writing prompts for a younger child I suggest flipping through these and selecting some of the more reality based cards.

Story Cards - 52 Picture Prompts for Storytelling by Meg Hicks at Teachers Pay Teachers  - this is a free download but you will need to register with TPT first. These are our favourites! They are wildly creative and will spark imaginations! I have printed a lot of these and some are pictured above.

Pobble 365 -One picture. One teaching resource. Every day - provides one image with written prompts for every day of the year. You can skip ahead to the next day/next image if you want to find another image to use. Has some really fantastic images. It is free for parents but you need to create an account. The writing prompts that come with each image are excellent, often included a Story Starter (a few paragraphs of introductory text), Sick Sentences (for the child to correct), a Sentence Challenge, and Drawing Prompts. Has lots of reality and fantasy based images. Images with written prompts are really easy to print and give to the child.

Writing Prompts at The Literacy Shed - has a few different themes like Abandoned Places, A Pathway to Where? and Family Fun.

Visual Writing Prompts at Teach Starter - lots of fabulous visual prompts. Good variety, all of the images I've seen are photographic, with lots of family and nature orientated photography. As far as I've seen these are all reality based but look over them first before presenting them to younger children, some have slightly scary images like dark/night scenes or people at great height. Provides good written prompts, some specific to each image.

We use the writing prompts and story cards:

  • To encourage reluctant writers.
  • To engage, stimulate discussion.
  • To provide a topic for handwriting practice.
  • As a base or story starter for creative story writing in short and long form.
  • As a base or story starter for verbal story telling.
  • As a base or starter for poetry writing.
  • As a drawing prompt - not to copy but to inspire, like drawing the next page in the story, painting what is behind the door or what happens next.
  • To encourage deeper thought and inquiry, can ask questions or prompts like:
    • Describe what you see?
    • What is going to happen next?
    • Where is this?
    • Why did this happen?
    • Five Ws - Who, Where, Why, What, When?

Leave me a message if you have visual creative writing prompts or story cards that you can recommend!

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