Writing Games: Engaging Activities to Boost Creativity

By: Author Paul Jenkins

Posted on October 17, 2023

Categories Creativity , Entertainment , Inspiration , Writing

Writing games are an excellent way to improve and hone your writing skills while having fun at the same time. These games not only enhance your creativity but also help in developing a strong foundation in grammar, punctuation, and storytelling.

From classroom activities to online platforms, there’s a wide variety of writing games available for learners of all ages and expertise levels.

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Educational writing games provide an engaging and interactive approach to teaching language skills, making the learning process enjoyable for both students and teachers.

These games often focus on key aspects of writing, such as sentence structure, word choice, and narrative development, adapting to the needs of each individual learner.

Story and letter writing games, in particular, provide a structured yet creative environment for aspiring writers to put their thoughts into words and channel their inner storyteller.

Key Takeaways

  • Writing games help improve writing skills in a fun and interactive way
  • Educational writing games focus on grammar, punctuation, and storytelling
  • A variety of games are available online and in classrooms to suit different skill levels and learning styles

Fun Writing Games

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Adjective Games

One fun and engaging way to strengthen your writing skills is through adjective games . These activities help you expand your vocabulary and make your sentences more descriptive. For example, try “Adjective Showdown,” where you take turns with a partner, picking a noun and brainstorming as many adjectives as possible to describe it.

Another game is “Adjective Charades,” where players take turns acting out adjectives, while others try to guess the word.

To make your writing more dynamic and action-packed, try practicing with verb games . “Verb Relay” is an entertaining option where you form two teams and race to list verbs that fit a given category, like “things you do in the kitchen.”

Another game, “Verb Tenses Race,” challenges you to write sentences in different tenses, like past, present, and future, for a selected verb. These games not only enhance your use of verbs but also improve your understanding of grammar rules.

Pictionary Games

Pictionary games are not just fun, but also great for developing your writing skills. Combining drawing and writing, these activities encourage creativity and boost your ability to visualize ideas. One example is “Illustrated Stories,” where you draw a simple doodle or picture, and then write a story inspired by your drawing.

Another option is playing a traditional game of Pictionary focused on literary themes, like characters, settings, or objects from famous books. By transforming your ideas into visual representations, you’ll unlock new perspectives and improve your ability to craft engaging stories.

Educational Writing Games

Noun games are a fun way for children to practice their writing skills while learning about the basic building blocks of sentences.

One great example is the Nouns and Verbs Sort Game , where players categorize words into the correct column. This activity works well in homeschool settings and helps children identify nouns easily. Another interesting option is the “Name It” game, in which the child looks at pictures and writes down the nouns they represent.

Pronoun Games

Teaching pronouns can be engaging and enjoyable with creative games. Your child can practice replacing noun phrases with appropriate pronouns by playing the “Pronoun Swap” game. In this activity, you provide sentences with underlined nouns, and your child replaces them with the correct pronoun, such as he, she, it, or they.

For an online experience, ABCya is an excellent resource for writing games, including those that serve as pronoun exercises.

Grammar Games

Grammar games incorporate various aspects of writing, such as punctuation, capitalization, and conjugation.

Fun Factory is a great example you can use, where children practice adding the correct punctuation or capitalization to sentences. To work on verb tense, try the “Tense Transformation” game, in which sentences are provided in one verb tense, and your child must rewrite them into another tense.

These games are a valuable addition to your homeschool writing curriculum, providing an exciting way for kids to learn and practice grammar.

Story and Letter Writing Games

Storybuilding Games

Engaging in story writing can be a great way to spark creativity and improve literacy skills. To make it fun and interactive, try playing some storybuilding games with your students or kids.

One cool example is Storymaker from ABCya, where young learners can create their own unique tales using a variety of characters, objects, and backgrounds.

Another entertaining game is sentence stretching. This game encourages players to expand short, simple sentences into more detailed and descriptive ones. Simply start with a basic sentence and take turns adding adjectives, adverbs, or other words to make it more interesting.

Letter Composition Games

Letter writing is an essential skill to master, and it can be just as enjoyable as crafting stories.

To liven up the learning process, check out Write a Letter to Santa from ABCya, catered to children in kindergarten to grade 3. This interactive game guides youngsters through the process of composing a letter while covering vital aspects such as addressing, greeting, body, closing, and signatures.

Another fun letter composition game is “Grammar Toss – Sentence Making.” In this activity, players toss a ball or beanbag to each other while they construct sentences. Each person must include a correct grammar element, such as a noun, verb, or punctuation mark. As the players continue tossing the ball, they work together to form a coherent sentence that incorporates the various grammar components.

By incorporating these games into your teaching or parenting approach, you’ll make story and letter writing more enjoyable and engaging. So go ahead, give these games a try, and watch as your young ones become more confident and proficient in their writing skills!

Creative Writing Games

Space-themed Writing

Unleash your inner astronaut and delve into the world of space-themed creative writing games! By focusing on this exciting topic, you can explore endless possibilities and fuel your imagination. Try crafting short stories about intergalactic adventures, alien encounters, or futuristic space technology.

You can even engage in a group activity where each person writes a paragraph, building a collaborative cosmic tale. Remember, there are no limits to where your creativity can take you – all you need to do is let your mind wander through the vast universe.

Character Interview Games

Developing intriguing characters is crucial for successful creative writing, and character interview games are your fun ticket to achieving that.

These games challenge you to think deeply about your character’s traits, backstory, and motives, through a series of interview-style questions. Start by creating a list of questions that your character might be asked, focusing on their personality, life experiences, and relationships.

Then, answer these questions as if you were the character, ensuring to write in a friendly, conversational tone. You’ll be surprised how these insightful answers deepen your connection with your character and enhance your overall writing. So go ahead, and enjoy the journey of getting to know your characters better through these entertaining exercises.

Writing Games for Journalists

As a journalist, it’s essential to keep your writing skills sharp and engaging. Writing games can be a fun and interactive way to enhance your abilities. In this section, we will discuss two types of writing games specifically tailored for journalists: Article Drafting Games and Headline Creation Games.

Article Drafting Games

Article drafting games are designed to help you practice crafting well-written and engaging newspaper articles. One idea is to create a communal story, where you and your fellow journalists take turns adding sentences or paragraphs to a shared document. This can be a great way to collaborate on a story and see how different writing styles blend together.

Another useful game involves focusing on the details. Pick a specific event or topic and challenge yourself to write a news article filled with vivid and accurate descriptions. Be sure to include quotes from relevant sources and present the information in a clear, concise manner.

You can also try rewriting the endings of existing articles. Find a newspaper article whose conclusion doesn’t satisfy you and rewrite it in a way that you find more compelling. This will help you practice creating strong, impactful endings for your stories.

Headline Creation Games

Crafting attention-grabbing headlines is a key skill for journalists. One simple game to improve your headline writing skills is to pick a random newspaper article and brainstorm at least five alternative headlines for it. Try to create headlines with varying tones (serious, humorous, or informative) to practice adapting your style to different situations.

Another game is called “Headline Roulette.”

Gather a group of fellow journalists and give each person a stack of cards with intriguing single words written on them. Then, challenge everyone to create a unique headline using the words they’ve received. This exercise is fun and encourages creativity in crafting engaging headlines.

By participating in these writing games, you can hone your journalism skills and ensure that your newspaper articles are always well-written, engaging, and informative. Have fun, and remember that practice makes perfect!

Fun Writing Activities

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One exciting method is to participate in creative writing exercises that challenge you to think outside the box, whether you’re writing alone or with a group.

Examples of these exercises include writing prompts or activities that focus on specific writing skills. Giving your imagination free rein will undoubtedly make the writing experience more enjoyable.

Another way to spark your creativity is by creating an Island Story Map. Begin by marking a starting point with a star and an endpoint with a red cross. Then, fill the map with obstacles, challenges, and interesting events for your characters to overcome. This approach allows you to visually explore and engage with your story world, making the writing process more exciting.

Don’t forget writing games that can entertain while improving your literacy skills. These games can be simple to play and easily adapted to suit different age levels. Whether it’s using random words to create a story or starting a sentence that your friends must finish, writing games help you think on your feet and keep your creative mind engaged.

Classroom Applications

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As a teacher, you can incorporate various writing games into your classroom to make the learning process more engaging and fun. Writing games are versatile and can be utilized in almost any subject or course.

By integrating these enjoyable activities into your teaching strategy, you are not only making the learning process enjoyable but also helping your students develop their writing skills in a playful manner.

One fantastic tool to check out is BookWidgets , which allows you to create different types of interactive activities and assessments that can be easily assigned to your Google Classroom. This platform brings the convenience of creating and managing all your interactive activities in one place.

A fantastic app to improve your students’ writing skills is the Writing Challenge App . This app is designed as an interactive game that provides prompts to get the students started, and as they write, it supplies new prompts to add ideas, characters, and actions to the plot.

Incorporating this app in your classroom will encourage students to explore their creativity and improve their ability to generate unique ideas.

Another highly recommended app is Story Builder , designed to help students with paragraph formation, integration of ideas, and abstract thinking. It uses audio clips to promote access to writing, making it an engaging tool in the classroom.

Advanced Writing Games

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Adverbial Phrase Games

Friendly competition among peers can make learning grammar more enjoyable, and advanced writing games that focus on adverbial phrases are no exception. Here are some interesting and creative games to challenge your writing skills and deepen your understanding of adverbial phrases:

  • Adverbial Phrase Challenge : Select an action verb, and then come up with as many appropriate adverbial phrases as you can to modify that verb in a sentence. For example, if “run” is the chosen verb, you could create phrases like “run quickly,” “run gracefully,” or “run at full speed.” Share your ideas with your peers and see who comes up with the most unique and creative combinations. Using a timer can add an extra challenge!
  • Adverbial Phrase Stories : Engage in creative writing by starting with a simple sentence, then expand it with adverbial phrases to create a vivid scene. For instance, the sentence “The cat jumped” can become “The cat jumped agilely onto the rusty fence in the moonlight.” You can collaborate with others and build a coherent story by taking turns adding adverbial phrases to each sentence.
  • Adverbial Phrase Showdown : Have two players face off in a head-to-head battle where one player must use adverbial phrases to enhance a given sentence, while the other must spot and explain why each adverbial phrase is effective. This game helps both players improve their understanding of adverbial phrases and their potential impact on a sentence’s meaning.

Remember, adverbial phrases add depth and excitement to your writing, making your story or essay more engaging. By incorporating these games into your practice, you’ll not only have fun but also improve your writing skills in no time.

Fundamentals of Writing Games

You might be wondering how to step into the world of writing games. Well, we’re here to help! In this section, we’ll cover the main fundamentals of game writing to give you a strong foundation.

First, let’s talk about your writing skills. It’s important to have solid writing abilities when tackling game narratives. You need to create compelling stories, characters, and dialogues that engage players. Remember, practice makes perfect, so honing your craft by writing daily can make a big difference.

Now, let’s dive into the world of game writing. It is unique from other forms of writing, as you need to integrate the story into the interactive and dynamic nature of video games. A game writer must keep in mind the player’s choices and the non-linear story structure and plan multiple narrative paths accordingly.

With resources like Video Game Writing Essentials available online, getting started shouldn’t be a problem.

When writing for games, you must consider the game’s mechanics and design. This means understanding how gameplay elements, challenges, and environment fit into the story. Collaborating with game designers will help seamlessly weave the story into the gameplay.

During the game development process, it’s essential to be flexible and open to adaptation. Game writing involves a lot of iterations and refining. As the game design evolves, your story may need to change as well. Listen to feedback, stay receptive, and be a team player to create a captivating game.

Tips and Guides

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First off, always familiarize yourself with the basics of game writing. You can find inspiration and great examples by looking at the instruction manuals of some of your favorite games. Analyze how they format instructions and take note of any elements you particularly enjoy.

When starting your project, make sure to have a solid plan for your story and characters. A practical guide to game writing can be a valuable resource to help you get started on the right foot. This guide will give you insights into collaborating with design, production, and writing staff during the pre-production and production phases of your game.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with various writing techniques. Sometimes, incorporating things like sentence stretching, rebus writing, or touch-and-tell activities can add excitement and engagement for your players.

To explore more writing games, check out this list of 10 quick and fun writing games to improve students’ literacy skills, which you can adapt to fit your game concept.

Finally, always keep your audience in mind. Write for your target audience and tailor your game to their interests, preferences, and skill levels. Remember, your goal is to create an enjoyable and memorable experience for your players.

Frequently Asked Questions

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What are some good writing games for kids?

There are plenty of enjoyable writing games available for children. Some popular options include Five-Word Story, where kids use prompts to create brief stories like these , and Poetry Strips or Word Banks, in which children get inspired by pre-selected words or create word banks themselves. Experiment with different games to find the ones your child enjoys the most!

How can one play writing games with friends?

To play writing games with friends, choose activities that involve collaboration and group participation. One example is Secret Pictionary, where players write a random phrase, pass it along, and the next player attempts to draw it. You can also try Word Association games where friends take turns writing words related to a common theme.

Which writing games help improve skills?

Many writing games can improve various aspects of writing, such as vocabulary, grammar, creativity, and storytelling. Engaging in different writing activities like using themed word banks, creating poetry, or in-depth stories can help children develop and enhance their skills. Keep an eye out for games that target specific areas your child needs to improve.

Which games are suitable for middle school students?

Middle school students can benefit from writing games that encourage creativity, teamwork, and critical thinking. Options like group storywriting, where each participant contributes a sentence or paragraph to form a coherent narrative, can be both engaging and educational. Other activities like collaborative poetry, writing dialogues, and adapting stories into scripts can also be suitable for middle school students.

What are fun writing activities for 4th and 5th graders?

Fun writing activities for 4th and 5th graders can include creative storytelling games, where they use prompts or images as inspiration; poetry creation with various forms like haiku or limericks; and word games that involve making sentences using specific letter combinations. Always encourage them to use their imagination and creativity, as well as focusing on proper grammar and punctuation.

Can you recommend writing games for toddlers?

While writing games might be too advanced for toddlers, you can introduce activities that help develop fine motor skills and a love for storytelling. Encourage them to draw simple pictures depicting stories, dictate stories to you, or engage with letters and numbers through play. As they grow older, you can gradually introduce more complex writing activities.


fun writing games for middle school

Middle School Writing Prompts: 26 Fun Ideas

Unstick your child’s creativity, stretch their thinking, and improve their writing skills with topics that tap into their passions..

fun writing games for middle school

Prisma is the world’s most engaging virtual school that combines a fun, real-world curriculum with powerful mentorship from experienced coaches and a supportive peer community

A blank page: endless possibilities or bottomless pit?

For many kids from elementary school through high school, writing assignments can seem like a daunting task. With the five-paragraph essay taking center stage in so many classrooms, it’s no wonder that kids feel disconnected from the practice of writing: No one ever reads five-paragraph essays, except on standardized tests.

Yet there is something to be said for giving new writers structure: something looser than connect-the-dots but more instructive than “ready, set, write!” That’s why writing prompts are a popular tool for all grade levels. (Even professional writers , at times, take advantage of this creativity catalyst.)

At Prisma, we use writing prompts to give our learners freedom within structure, providing topics that allow them to draw on — and deepen their connection to — their real life interests, all while strengthening their communication skills.

Here are some tips for creating prompts that your middle school student will want to engage with.

Incorporate their interests

Writing activities can be a great way to teach kids the fun of incorporating their interests into school — especially things that don’t seem “academic.” We’ve seen the phenomenon at Prisma: kids who never thought of themselves as a writer fall in love with writing when they are able to use their skills to talk about the things they love, video games included .

Here are some ideas to get started; feel free to let your child shape their own:

  • Pick a character from your favorite tv show, and write a diary entry from their point of view.
  • Rewrite the ending of your favorite movie.
  • Add yourself into the plot of your favorite book.
  • Write new lyrics to your favorite song.

Low-stakes, high fun

If your child has perfectionist tendencies, try short bursts of low-stakes writing that get them in touch with their silly side. Take the pressure off, keep the sessions down to a few minutes, and consider participating with them so they feel a sense of collective engagement in the task.

Fun writing prompts include:

  • Design a desert island with its own ecosystem.
  • Plan a birthday party for a famous person.
  • Imagine your best friend woke up with a superpower that would only last 24 hours.
  • Describe where you would travel with a time machine or a teleportation device.
  • Imagine a conversation between you and your favorite food or your favorite animal.
  • Narrate a game of your favorite sport, played on the moon or underwater.

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What's prisma.

  • Prisma is an accredited, project-based, online program for kids in grades 4-12.
  • We exist to ignite a lifelong love of learning and prepare kids to thrive in the future .
  • Our middle school , high school , and parent-coach programs provide personalized curriculum, 1:1 support from educators, and cohorts where kids build community.

Get story ideas from real life

The best story starters are all around us. Tap into your environment to help your child see connections to those around them, explore their emotional landscape, and work through areas of growth. (To make sure you never run out of ideas when you need them, create a “journal prompt” jar, and ask every family member contribute writing ideas for a rainy day.)

Real life ideas include:

  • Think about the last time you...laughed ‘til you cried, made a mistake that turned into a great experience, surprised yourself...
  • Describe the worst thing you ever ate.
  • Write a step-by-step guide to mastering your favorite thing.
  • Describe your favorite season to an alien visiting earth for the first time.

Play with genres

In the abstract, the topic of genre can seem alien to a middle schooler, but put the tools in their hands and they’ll see the power of perspective, form and word choice. Genre exercises can be especially fruitful to teach kids one of the main principles of creativity that we foreground in our “Remix” theme: There’s no obligation to create something from scratch; remixing is one of the tools of the world’s greatest artists.

Start with a piece of writing they’ve already produced (or something by their favorite author), then challenge them to rewrite it in a completely different form.

Genre transformations can include:

  • Turn a short story into a haiku, acrostic poem, or limerick.
  • Turn a chapter book into a graphic novel or vice-versa.
  • Write a podcast script based on a news story.

Enter a competition

Sometimes a real life competition is just the thing to light a fire in a child’s belly. There are enough competitions out there to fill a whole school year. (Here’s just one source of writing competitions for middle school kids.)

The structure and motivation of a competition can help cement a child’s writing practice and, as an added bonus, it can be a great way to build a growth mindset (after all, no one wins every contest, every time).

Middle school writing prompts from Prisma

In addition to using writing prompts for a quick activity to get your child’s creative juices flowing, you can create more elaborate topics that become the anchor of an in-depth research project. The following examples are writing assignments from recent middle school themes that learners spent several weeks developing, with guidance from their coach and feedback from peers.

  • Argumentative writing from “Cities of the Future” theme: Pretend to be the mayor of a city or another kind of lawmaker. Write a speech that convinces the people of your lands to approve a new law. What is the law you are proposing and how would it change people's lives for the better? What are some counterarguments against this law and how do you rebut them?
  • Narrative writing from “Hidden Histories” theme: Research a historical era or event. Then, identify a voice or perspective that is lesser known or under-studied from that event. Write a piece of historical fiction, or a play, that shines a light on that perspective.
  • Persuasive writing from “Wild Inventions” theme: Invent a new product. Then, write a persuasive pitch for investors or advertisement for customers that lets them know the features of your product, the value behind the cost, and why it will improve their lives. Include a catchy hook, convincing language, and sales techniques.
  • Critical writing from “Games for Change” theme: Write a review of a video game in the style of a real game reviewer. Read existing game reviews for a sense of the style. Take notes as you play through, then write a review about the strong points, weak points, and if you would recommend the game. (Here’s a printable worksheet to organize your game notes.)
  • Fan fiction project from “Remix” theme: Write a new story inspired by the work of an existing author. You could write a sequel, prequel, or retelling of a story from a new character's perspective.
  • Investigative journalism from “Unsolved Mysteries” theme: Write an article that lays out the who, what, where, when, why, and how of an unsolved mystery, such as the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, D.B. Cooper, or the identity of the inventor of Bitcoin. Evaluate the possible theories and the evidence that supports each. At the end of the article, state your opinion on which theory is the most plausible.
  • Nature poetry from “World of Wonder“ theme: Tons of the best poetry is inspired by nature. Observe the natural setting where you live, such as a backyard or park, and write down what you see without trying to make it sound good. Then, pull out the most interesting or impactful moments/images, and turn it into a poem.
  • “What If?” theme Project: Research a historical event, then imagine "What If?" it had gone differently. Write an alternate history story inspired by what would have happened if the historical figures involved had made a different choice. Or, write a story that takes place far in the future, but the whole world is different because of one thing that went differently back then.

Join our community of families all over the world doing school differently.

Want to learn more about how Prisma can empower your child to thrive?

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fun writing games for middle school

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9 Festive Holiday-Themed Writing Activities For Middle School ELA

festive writing activities for middle school

Looking to fill the last weeks of December with holiday-themed writing activities? You’ve come to the right place! Channel your holiday spirit while engaging students in fun yet meaningful learning opportunities.

Many teachers feel like getting anything meaningful done in these last weeks of December is impossible. And, yes, as winter break inches closer, it becomes more challenging to keep students on task. However, if you find creative ways to bring festive fun into your classroom, you can channel the holiday spirit into meaningful learning opportunities. 

I’m here to help you leverage that festive (and sometimes chaotic) energy to engage students in writing activities that align with educational standards and bring the holiday magic into your classroom. The best part? It doesn’t have to involve hours of planning and prep work. (That’s a gift in itself.)

Read on to discover my favorite low-prep writing activities designed to keep students engaged in learning while having a holly jolly time in the weeks leading up to the holiday break.

9 Fun & Festive Writing Activities

Stop battling the “pre-winter break” struggle with your students. Instead, make the most of the holiday spirit by assigning these festive and fun writing activities perfect for December!

1. Character Ugly Sweater Contest

Like an ugly sweater contest, but make it literary.

Hosting a character ugly sweater contest is the perfect way to combine characterization with a little holiday fun. This activity seamlessly blends creative artwork with analytical writing, challenging students to design a Christmas sweater for a literary character. Start with a blank ugly sweater template . Then, let students have fun decorating an “ugly” sweater that represents their chosen character, including quotes, images, symbols, adjectives, and more. Have each student write a paragraph analysis explaining their choices, turning a classic festive sweater into an opportunity for character exploration and analysis.

Alternatively, you can have your students create symbolic sweaters representing a theme or an entire novel!

2. Winter-Themed Poetry

A perfect writing activity for December and beyond.

If you’re looking to steer clear of specific holidays, winter-themed poetry is the perfect option. Encourage your students to explore the beauty of winter through the lens of poetry. This is a perfect opportunity for students to showcase their knowledge of figurative language and poetic devices. Students will have a blast bringing winter to life through symbolism, metaphors, personification, symbolism, onomatopoeia, and more! To add an extra layer of creativity, have students exchange and illustrate each other’s poems, putting their descriptive writing to the ultimate test. Then, they can go around matching the illustrations to the poems.

If you want to kick up the holiday spirit, have your students write magically descriptive poems about abstract concepts, like holiday cheer, or concrete images, like a Christmas tree.

3. “Paint” a Picture with Sensory Details

Oh, what fun it is to write with sensory details!

Looking for a quick yet effective writing activity this December? This is it. Challenge students to describe the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures associated with the holidays. Whether it’s the scent of gingerbread, a twinkling Christmas tree, or the soft crunch of snow under your boots, students bring classic holiday settings or items to life with this fun writing challenge. Encourage them to create a description by combining descriptive writing and as many of the five senses as possible.

Want to add a little twist? Have students share their descriptions, and their peers guess the holiday element based on the vivid sensory details.

4. Holiday Memories

Practice narrative writing with a holiday twist.

Teaching narrative writing is a must in the secondary classroom, and it certainly comes with its challenges. Luckily, December is the perfect time to inspire and engage students in narrative writing prompts. Rather than the dreaded “I have nothing to write about” roadblock, students tend to have more to say regarding their favorite holiday memories and traditions. Challenge them to delve into their most cherished holiday memories, describing them with great detail through sensory language and imagery. Remind students that their pieces should make the reader feel like they were also experiencing the moment.

This reflective exercise sharpens narrative writing skills while tapping into the magic of the holidays.

5. “Roll Out” a Holiday Story

Another festive activity to help students surpass writer’s block.

Break through the “what do I write about” roadblock with the “Roll Out” A Holiday Story activity. Select six holiday-related options for classic story elements such as character, setting, conflict, and theme. Assign each option a number 1-6 so when students roll the dice for each component, it will determine a brainstorm for their narrative. Not only does this spark creativity, it also gives each student something more specific to write about while leaving plenty of room for creative fun. These unique plots often turn out festive and sweet or ridiculously funny, making them a joy to read.

This engaging exercise transforms the (often dreaded) writing process into a fun and festive game, making it both entertaining and intellectually stimulating.

6. A Festive Argument

Teenagers love to argue, right? So, why not make it festive?

While this activity has the main elements of a classic argumentative writing activity, it has a festive twist. Rather than choosing from traditional argumentative prompts regarding social media or school uniforms, provide students with a list of holiday-themed topics to take a stance on. This writing activity requires them to employ persuasive and argumentative writing techniques, incorporating ethos, pathos, and logos, to make their case. Despite the holiday twist, students must articulate their opinions in a structured and convincing manner.

Some favorite topics include arguing for the best Christmas tradition, holiday movie, or winter activity. Feel free to steal these for your classroom!

7. A Children’s Christmas Book

Who doesn’t love a good Christmas story?

This activity is a great way to review plot structure and get into the Christmas spirit. Invite students to gather around as you read a few of your favorite Christmas stories before encouraging them to write (and illustrate) one of their own. Students will craft holiday tales, bringing the magic of storytelling to life through words and illustrations. It’s also a perfect opportunity for students to exercise their knowledge of theme and descriptive writing. Spread the cheer by teaming up with a local elementary classroom and having your students read their stories to the younger kids.

Remember, it’s possible that some of your students don’t celebrate Christmas. Adjust this activity to best reflect your students’ winter holidays and traditions.

8. A Recipe for the Perfect Holiday

Talk about a recipe for festive fun!

Writing about abstract concepts can be challenging for students. That’s where this activity comes into play. Rather than the pressure of diving into an abstract concept in an analytical essay, students will transform holiday-related abstract ideas into concrete creations with this fun and creative writing activity. Instead of writing a recipe for holiday food, students will write their recipe for the perfect holiday. Students must create a list of “ingredients” before bringing it all together with a step-by-step process. Since holidays mean something different to each person based on their experiences and traditions, this is a personalized activity packed with meaning.

Have students bring in their favorite holiday recipe (for an actual food or beverage) to share with the class and serve as inspiration for the elements of a recipe.

9. Gingerbread House Listing

Get ready for a tasty treat of persuasive writing!

In this writing activity, students aren’t necessarily decorating gingerbread houses, but they are trying to sell them. Have students put on their realtor hats and use persuasive writing to “sell” their very own gingerbread house. Students will draw a gingerbread house before creating a compelling real-estate listing, attempting to convince you to make a purchase. I recommend having students review actual house listings first to get inspiration and build a stronger understanding of what to include. This hands-on approach combines real-life writing with creativity and holiday fun.

You can take this a step further by letting your students actually build their gingerbread houses for a delicious extension activity!

Even More Holiday Writing Activities

Ho, ho, ho no it doesn’t end there! Here are a few more holiday writing activities to sprinkle into your plans over the next few weeks.

  • Assign festive bell ringers
  • Write a Christmas dialogue
  • Provide holiday story starters
  • Create Christmas movie character diary entries
  • Write creative holiday-themed news articles
  • Take a stance on the great real vs. fake tree debate
  • Correct grammar in holiday-themed sentences

So Much Holiday Writing Fun to Have, So Little Time

If you’re like me, you may want to do all of the things. But trying to do that (in the weeks leading up to the holiday break, no less) is enough to drive any teacher insane. And I’m all for supporting teachers in maintaining their sanity during these next few weeks. In fact, if you need some tips to help you do so, check out my teacher’s guide to surviving the holiday season .

If you’re torn between choosing from multiple writing activities in this post, consider doing a Holiday writing choice board. Your middle school students will love the freedom to select a writing activity that resonates with their interests. The element of choice promotes a sense of ownership over their writing while keeping students engaged and focused on festive yet meaningful activities leading up to winter break.

It’s Time to Get Festive!

Rather than fighting to get your students to pay attention, channel their festive spirit into meaningful classroom experiences. Trust me, it works wonders. So, if your students normally moan and groan when you assign writing, get ready for a change! Middle school students always eat these festive writing activities up.

What other fun and festive writing activities do you have to add to the list? Let me know in a comment below!

Looking to incorporate even more holiday fun in your classroom? Here are 8 more festive ELA activities to try !

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120 Engaging Middle School Writing Prompts

Getting middle school students to write can be particularly challenging. However, if you provide your students with a fun, interesting, and engaging writing prompt, you’ll find that their creativity and enthusiasm for writing can be easily sparked.

Below is a list of writing prompts for middle school students, including creative prompts, journal prompts, persuasive writing prompts, expository writing prompts, and story starter prompts. These are perfect for classroom exercises, homework assignments, or even just for personal exploration, helping students to develop their writing skills, express their ideas, and discover the joy of writing.

Creative Writing Prompts for Middle School Students

A Creative Writing Prompt for Middle School Students

These creative writing prompts are cues or scenarios that inspire imaginative storytelling and personal expression. These prompts will encourage middle school students to explore new ideas, develop their narrative skills, and express themselves in unique and creative ways. Here’s a list of creative writing prompts for middle school students:

  • Write a story where the main character discovers a secret passage in their home.
  • Imagine a world where animals can talk. What would they say?
  • Create a tale about a mysterious, abandoned city you stumbled upon.
  • Write about a day where everything you draw becomes real.
  • Imagine finding a book that contains your entire life story. What do you do?
  • Write a story set in a futuristic world where everyone lives underwater.
  • Create a tale about a magical garden that grants wishes.
  • Describe a journey to a planet entirely different from Earth.
  • Write about a character who can switch lives with anyone they meet.
  • Imagine your school is a castle. What adventures unfold there?
  • Write a story about a secret society of kids with superpowers.
  • Describe a world where it’s night for half the year.
  • Create a story about a mysterious forest that changes with the seasons.
  • Write about discovering an old map that leads to a hidden treasure.
  • Imagine waking up in a world where you are the ruler.
  • Create a tale about a magical snow globe that transports you to different places.
  • Write about a character who invents a new holiday.
  • Describe a world where shadows have a life of their own.
  • Imagine finding a door in your backyard that leads to a different universe.
  • Write a story about a character who can hear others’ thoughts.

Journal Writing Prompts for Middle School Students

A Journal Writing Prompt for Middle School Students

These journal writing prompts are thought-provoking questions or ideas that will encourage middle school students to reflect on their personal experiences, feelings, and beliefs. These prompts are designed to help students develop self-awareness, enhance their writing skills, and express themselves in a safe, private space. Here’s a list of journal writing prompts for middle school students:

  • Write about your most memorable day and why it stands out.
  • Describe your dream job and why you’re interested in it.
  • Reflect on a time when you overcame a challenge.
  • Write about what kindness means to you and a time you experienced it.
  • Imagine your perfect day. What would it involve?
  • Describe your favorite hobby and why you enjoy it.
  • Write about the best advice you ever received and who gave it to you.
  • Reflect on your greatest strength and how it has helped you.
  • Write about a goal you have for this school year.
  • Describe a place where you feel completely relaxed and happy.
  • Reflect on a book or movie that deeply impacted you.
  • Write about someone you admire and why.
  • Describe a time when you helped someone and how it made you feel.
  • Imagine what the world will be like in 50 years.
  • Write about your favorite memory with your family.
  • Reflect on a moment when you felt proud of yourself.
  • Describe your ideal adventure.
  • Write about a time you were scared and how you handled it.
  • Reflect on what friendship means to you.
  • Write about a skill you’d like to learn and why.

Persuasive Writing Prompts for Middle School Students

A Persuasive Writing Prompt for Middle School Students

These persuasive writing prompts are designed to inspire middle school students to develop arguments and persuade readers about a particular viewpoint or idea. These prompts will encourage critical thinking and research skills and enable students to present and justify their opinions clearly. Here’s a list of persuasive writing prompts for middle school students:

  • Should homework be banned in schools? Argue your point.
  • Persuade your readers why recycling should be mandatory.
  • Is it better to read a book or watch a movie adaptation? Make your case.
  • Argue for or against the importance of physical education in schools.
  • Should students have a say in what they learn? Persuade your audience.
  • Persuade your readers about the importance of learning a second language.
  • Is it more beneficial to be a team player or an individual performer? Justify your opinion.
  • Should animals be kept in zoos? Present your arguments.
  • Argue why your favorite season is the best.
  • Persuade your audience about the importance of arts in education.
  • Should there be stricter rules for students’ internet use? Make your case.
  • Argue for or against school uniforms.
  • Is it better to give money to charity or volunteer your time? Persuade your readers.
  • Persuade your audience on the importance of eating healthy foods.
  • Should video games be considered a sport? Argue your viewpoint.
  • Is it more important to be smart or kind? Persuade your readers.
  • Argue why your city or town is a great place to live.
  • Should students be allowed to use mobile phones in school? Present your arguments.
  • Persuade your audience on the importance of having a hobby.
  • Argue for or against the significance of space exploration.

Expository Writing Prompts for Middle School Students

A Expository Writing Prompt for Middle School Students

These expository writing prompts are designed to help middle school students explore and convey information in a clear, concise, and structured manner. This type of writing requires students to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a coherent way. Here’s a list of expository writing prompts for middle school students:

  • Explain the significance and process of the water cycle in nature.
  • Describe the causes and effects of climate change.
  • Write about the history and significance of a famous holiday.
  • Explain how a specific technology works (like smartphones or virtual reality).
  • Describe the steps involved in making your favorite meal.
  • Write about the life cycle of a butterfly or another animal.
  • Explain the importance of a balanced diet and exercise.
  • Describe what life was like in a particular historical period.
  • Explain how governments are formed and function.
  • Write about the journey of water through the water cycle.
  • Describe how a bill becomes a law.
  • Explain the impact of social media on modern communication.
  • Write about the process of photosynthesis.
  • Describe the different types of renewable energy and their importance.
  • Explain the significance of recycling and its impact on the environment.
  • Describe how the human body’s immune system works.
  • Explain the causes and effects of a significant historical event.
  • Write about how a particular invention changed the world.
  • Describe the process of creating a movie or a television show.
  • Explain the importance and process of goal setting and planning for the future.

Narrative Writing Prompts for Middle School Students

A Narrative Writing Prompt for Middle School Students

These narrative writing prompts encourage middle school students to tell a story, either about themselves, someone else, or a completely fictional scenario. This type of writing helps students develop their storytelling skills, enhances their creativity, and allows them to express their thoughts and experiences in an engaging way. Here’s a list of narrative writing prompts for middle school students:

  • Write about a time you faced a difficult decision and how you resolved it.
  • Imagine you can time travel; describe your first adventure.
  • Tell the story of a day when everything went wrong.
  • Write about your most cherished memory with a friend or family member.
  • Imagine you woke up one day and could speak another language fluently. What would happen?
  • Describe a moment when you tried something outside of your comfort zone.
  • Tell a story about a mysterious object you found and its origins.
  • Write about a time you helped someone and how it made you feel.
  • Imagine a day in the life of your pet. What adventures do they have?
  • Describe your dream vacation and what would make it special.
  • Write a story about meeting a famous person in an unexpected place.
  • Tell the tale of a historical event from the perspective of someone who lived through it.
  • Imagine a world where children are in charge. What would it be like?
  • Write about the day you had a surprising encounter with wildlife.
  • Describe a time when you overcame a significant challenge.
  • Tell a story about a journey to a magical place.
  • Write about the day you made an unlikely friend.
  • Imagine discovering a secret room in your house. What’s inside?
  • Describe a time when you achieved something you didn’t think was possible.
  • Write about a day in the future, 50 years from now. What has changed? What has stayed the same?

Story Starters for Middle School Students

A Story Starter writing prompt for Middle School Students

These story starters are engaging, imaginative prompts that provide the opening sentence or scene of a story. These starters will ignite the imagination, encouraging students to explore various genres, characters, and plots. They’re an excellent tool for overcoming writer’s block and for practicing narrative development, character creation, and setting establishment. Here’s a list of story starters for middle school students:

  • “As the mysterious music played, the ancient book on the table suddenly flew open.”
  • “Lost in the forest, I stumbled upon a hidden cottage made entirely of candy.”
  • “The moment I put on the strange glasses, I could see into the future.”
  • “Under my bed, I found a map leading to a secret underground city.”
  • “When I woke up, I realized I had switched places with my pet.”
  • “The old clock in the town square struck thirteen times, and then everything changed.”
  • “I discovered a hidden door in the school library that led to a different world.”
  • “On my way to school, I found a mysterious golden key with my name on it.”
  • “During the night, all of my dreams escaped from my mind and became reality.”
  • “The mirror in my room showed a reflection of a place I had never seen before.”
  • “As I read the last page of the diary, the ghostly writer appeared in front of me.”
  • “The new kid at school could do something no one else could – talk to animals.”
  • “In the attic, I found a dusty old board game that turned out to be real.”
  • “The picture in the museum started to move and reached out to me.”
  • “I got a mysterious package in the mail with no return address. Inside was a magical object.”
  • “During a thunderstorm, our house was suddenly transported to a different world.”
  • “I found a strange old coin on the ground that had the power to grant wishes, but each wish came with a price.”
  • “While exploring the beach, I stumbled upon a message in a bottle from a stranded pirate.”
  • “In the garden, I discovered a plant that grew overnight and whispered secrets.”
  • “When I looked through the telescope, I saw not stars, but the eyes of something watching.”

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Not So Formulaic

4 Hands-on Writing Activities for Middle School Boys

January 19, 2018 2 Comments

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Middle school boys can struggle with writing. Check out these four hands-on writing activities for middle school boys.

I have three children, and my first two are girls. I’d heard all the stories about how boys were different, but I didn’t really get it until I had my third child – my son.

Let me tell you – this boy mom thing is no joke. I thought I knew male behavior from being married to one and teaching boys in the classroom. Turns out, I was only clued in halfway.

Middle School Boys Can Struggle With Writing Check Out These Four Hands On Writing Activities For Middle School Boys - 4 Hands-on Writing Activities For Middle School Boys - Gifted/2e Education

My son is super active. He’s a busy, inquisitive boy. He loves to touch, to do, to see and be seen. He’s exhausting, but so much fun.

I’m thankful I’ve had a boy mom experience. Raising my own son has changed my perspective on teaching writing to boys. In my classroom days, I would have said that overwhelmingly, my male students struggled with writing more than my female students did – and there are statistics to back that up . But through years of trial and error and through my own parenting experiences, I’ve realized something:

Boys respond well to writing when it is a hands-on experience. Here are four hands-on writing activities for middle school boys.


This is one of my all-time favorite activities, and I’ve done it with students over a hundred times. In short, you choose an object representative of something important to you. The catch? It has to be something you don’t mind writing on.

Through a process of guided brainstorming and creation, writers think about what this object and what it represents means to them. They dig into the details – their experiences, their senses – and write poetry or descriptive prose based on that. When the piece is polished and ready to be published, writers use a permanent marker to emblazon their chosen object. It’s fun, it’s creative, it’s a little bit crazy. Everybody loves it, even hard-to-reach tweenage boys.

The Screenplay

Have a budding film critic, actor, or cinema enthusiast? Scour the bonus features of favorite films. Talk about how and why the directors make certain decisions, then set about writing your own epic script. Use a favorite book for inspiration, or make up something completely your own. Cast characters, build worlds, and make decisions about lighting and scenery. Write it all down, film it, and have a blast.

Have a Scavenger Hunt

What’s more fun than creating a real-life puzzle and solving it? Brainstorm clues, write them, and follow the adventure with a friend. You can get outside or do it indoors; you can make it a group project or stick to family. When you’re done, take a minute to break down the experience and journal about what worked or went wrong.

Write a Relay Story

In this spin on collaborative writing , you’ll need a group of four or more. Rather than pass a piece of paper around in a circle, use two sheets – one for each team. Have participants run to the paper and write down one line of a story, then run back to their teammate and tag the next person in. Set a number of runs or just keep going until they’re exhausted, then read the hilariousness you’ve come up with as a group.

Middle school boys are darling. Middle school boys are fun. Middle school boys are fantastic writers – and engaging them in hands-on writing activities is an adventure all its own.

For more on middle school boys and the writing conundrum, check out my guest post on the same topic at Year Round Homeschooling. 

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Ginny Kochis

Ginny Kochis is a Catholic wife, homeschooling mom and owner of The Writing Well, a home based reading and writing tutoring service.

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May 13, 2020 at 8:25 pm

Hi! I just read your info on creative writing for middle school boys – would you please elaborate, give examples, etc on your photo graffiti idea? I’m not sure I understand.

I’m desperately looking for fun ways to get them to elaborate, yet become more succinct writers; less dick and Jane sentences with lots of repetition. Any ideas are welcome!

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May 14, 2020 at 2:37 pm

Hi, Carrie. If you click the link to photograffiti on this post, you’ll find more detailed info. You can also find more ideas for helping reluctant writers here.

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Real Life at Home

Free Leap Year Printables Packet for Kids: Learn All About Leap Day

February 20, 2024 By Angie Kauffman · PRINTABLES TIP: Always go toward the end of a post to find the printable. · Disclosure: This Post May Contain Affiliate Links. {I may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.}

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Want to learn more about Leap Year traditions? Add some fun learning opportunities to your Leap Day celebrations with these free printable Leap Year printables for kids . These Leap Year activity pages feature a variety of activities and information about traditions around the world that are perfect for kids in elementary and middle school. Just grab the free printables and get ready to celebrate February 29th!

Free Leap Year Printables Packet pages on a yellow and blue background

Free Leap Year Printables for Kids

This free printable Leap Year Learning Packet contains information about Leap Year and Leap Day traditions, why it is necessary, and more. The 8-page booklet is very visually appealing for kids, full of fun graphics and activities to help them learn more about Leap Day while keeping them engaged.

You and your kids or students will love these no-prep Leap Day pages to learn more about traditions around the world, as well as to practice some math skills as well as other activities.

This printable packet is perfect for use before February 29th to prepare for Leap Day. You can also save all of the pages to read through and complete on Leap Day. However, there is a countdown on one part of a page to countdown from February 1st until Leap Day. That is an optional portion of the page. Don’t worry if you don’t use that throughout the month!

Looking for more activities to do with kids on Leap Day? You won’t want to miss this post with 29 Activities to Do with Kids on Leap Day that Require Little or No Planning !

Age and Grade Levels for the Free Leap Year Printables Packet

The Leap Day printables are good for children in mid- to upper elementary and middle school, although they may also work for children both younger and older than that. Since this is a totally free packet, this is a great opportunity to grab the packet and pick and choose to use whatever is appropriate for your children or students.

Children younger than that age range may also enjoy and benefit from the Leap Year Printables Packet. However, they may need some assistance with some of the math-centered sections of the packet. This could be a great opportunity to talk about some of the math as a group rather than having children work on that individually.

How to Grab and Print The Leap Day Printables Set

To find the printable packet, scroll toward the bottom of this post. Just under the terms of use section, you’ll find a graphic and a text link to grab the printable. The text link will say >>>> Grab The Free Leap Year Printables Set <<<<.

The pdf file for the Leap Day Printables Set will open in a new window. Once you open it, you can either print right from there or save the freebie to your computer or device to print later. (I recommend saving and then printing after opening it on your computer or device.)

If you have any printing issues, I have some tips here that can help with a variety of issues that sometimes pop up because of different web browsers or updates.

I recommend printing this packet on regular white printer paper , as there are several pages with colored graphics on them. To save on printing costs, however, the pages will all still look great if you print the packet on white paper and in black and white instead of color.

If you plan to make a whole day out of your Leap Year learning, you could also consider printing on white cardstock and putting in a spiral binding or comb binding . This way, children can save this for later and look at it again in four years, especially because of the Leap Year Time Capsule page.

What’s Included in the Leap year Printables Packet for Kids?

Pages and activities included in the free camping journal printable packet: 

  • Packet cover page
  • Terms of use/copyright page
  • Definition of leap and why it’s called “Leap Year”
  • Explanation for Why We Have a Leap Year
  • Leap Year Word Search
  • Leap Day Countdown from February 1st – February 29th
  • Early Calendars and the Problem with Early Calendars
  • The Introduction of Leap Years
  • Julius Ceasar and the Julian Calendar
  • The Gregorian Calendar
  • An interactive Leap Year Time Line with recent and future Leap Years
  • Leap Year Facts – this page includes 11 boxes with various facts about Leap Year and Leap Year Traditions
  • A section with a math flow chart for determining the divisibility of the year to determine whether the year will be a Leap Year or not
  • A quiz section to use those facts in order to determine if particular listed years are/were Leap Years or not
  • Leap Year in Different Cultures – this page includes nine fact sections with information about traditions, beliefs, or events in various countries around the world

Leap Day Traditions around the World Printable on a Clothesline

  • Leap Year Creative Writing Prompts Page – This page includes two different Leap Day-themed writing prompts and space for writing. You may opt to include a blank page for a larger writing space.
  • Leap Year Time Capsule Page – This page contains multiple areas to write with prompts, such as writing about some specific things about yourself now, some of your favorite things now, predictions for the future, and goals for the future.

Leap Day Information Sheet for Kids on a Clothesline

More Leap Day Activities

If you’re looking for more Leap Day Activities, you’ll want to check this out:

  • Want to add some fun activities to your Leap Day without a ton of extra work? You’ll definitely want to check out these 29 Activities to Do with Kids on Leap Day that Require Little or No Planning !

29 Activities to Do with Kids on Leap Day that Require Very Little or No Planning

Leap Day Printables Packet Terms of Use

Before you access the printable, please know that grabbing your copy means you agree to all of the following terms:

  • This packet is for personal family use or single classroom use only.
  • This printable set may not be shared, sold, hosted, distributed, or stored on any other website including, but not limited to, school/church websites, other blogs, Scribd, Google Drive, DropBox, Facebook, CourseHero, etc. (You may, however, store it in your personal Google Drive or DropBox if you are the only person with access to it.)
  • You may not change this packet, copy it as your own, or claim this as your own.
  • All graphics in this packet have been purchased and used with permission. You may not use the graphics for other projects.
  • All materials (posts, printables, etc) on this site are copyright-protected.
  • Breaking these guidelines is not only illegal, but it’s also not nice. Please respect the time and effort I put into this site as well as how much it costs me to keep Real Life at Home running. This site helps to provide for my family. I’m just a mom trying to do my best to make a contribution to her family while also trying to help your family or class access free and low-cost printables and learning activities. Please respect those efforts.

Here are more  printables terms of use guidelines.

Free Leap Year Printables Packet

Get the Free Printables Packet

The Leap Day Printable Set is a completely free packet available here on Real Life at Home:

Grab Your Printable Here


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. They do not change the price you pay. However, when you shop through them, we may receive a small compensation.

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About Angie Kauffman

Angie, mom to three very fun kids, is the founder of Real Life at Home.  With degrees in elementary education (B.A.) and special education (M.S.Ed.), as well as being a former homeschooler, she is passionate about supporting both parents and teachers by providing printables, crafts, and activities to help children learn and grow.

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