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Most Creative Middle School Writing Prompts

This article includes free fun printable essay worksheets!

We are in a time of life right now when it is easy for all of us to be restless.  We are all trying to establish some sort of new routine in a world where nothing is routine.  And there is no time frame letting us know when we can get back to normal.

One thing that families and teachers have done (I’m not sure if kids love this or hate this, lol) is try to keep some semblance of daily education for their students.  While it isn’t the normal full load that they would have at school, it is at least something that keeps their brains engaged and redeems some of the lost time.

One of the ways that we can help keep our students’ brains engaged in a way they enjoy is to give them some writing prompts that don’t make them feel like they would rather go get a root canal.

So how do we find the most timely middle school writing prompts, no matter what is going on in the world, our communities, schools, or even households?  We make a list that includes topics that reach every single students and inspire them to write about the things that stir their heart.  And how do you stir the heart of a middle schooler and make them actually want to write?  It isn’t as difficult as it seems.  

You start by listening to what they talk about all. the. time.  You will generally hear the same recurring themes among various groups of students in your classroom.  And it will be pretty easy to capitalize on those things once you start thinking about it.  

I would like to share with you a couple of things that really helped me out before we delve into the actual list of middle school writing prompts.

middle school writing prompts

Make Sure the Writing Prompts are Not too General

If you sit students down, give them paper and pencil, and tell them to write a paragraph or page, they will stare blankly at that page forever.  This, in my experience, has been more so with boys than girls.

In the same vein, if you give them too general of a writing prompt, you will get the same reaction.  It needs to give them pointed enough thoughts that they can have a picture in their head and be able to run with it.

Make Sure the Writing Prompts are Not too Specific

And now I am going to go to the opposite extreme.  If your writing prompts are too specific, your students will write one or two sentences.  Then they will be totally stuck.

The key is to find topics that can inspire a picture in their head that they can elaborate on.  Or it could be a process that they went through.  But it has to be something that allows them to open up about something that appeals to them or excites them.  Or it could even be something that gets them stirred up (but not in an angry or harmful way).

Don’t Choose Topics That Have Already Been Beaten to Death

If you pick topics that they have already done for the past three grade levels, you will get the biggest middle school eye roll and groan.  And then you will see the blank stare at the paper.

Keeping material fresh and relevant to them will make them actually forget for a minute that they are writing and you will be surprised at what even your most difficult writers come up with.

Have an Outline for Those Students That Have an Academic Disadvantage

There are usually students that you know are going to be unable to take an idea and run with it because their grammar or communication skills are not up to par with the rest of your class.  For those students you could supply an outline of one of their favorite topics that would allow them to get a start on each paragraph.  Then they are not hopelessly stuck and hating life.

I have had students that complained incessantly about a writing assignment they were given.  But then, upon finishing the assignment, they approached me to tell me that it wasn’t so bad.  And by the end of the year, they were happily writing because they realized they actually loved it as a way to communicate their thoughts and feelings.

Make it Fun–Special Writing Papers

I have included a few printable essay sheets that you can use for your class.  Print up several of each and let them choose the one they want.

You will find that the students can often be motivated about what to write just by choosing an essay worksheet that they love.  And honestly, it’s just fun to watch them get excited about selecting their papers.  I also included one that allows students to add their own artwork in the box at the top.

Just make sure there are enough printed up for them to all select the one they want.  You will use them for a long time to come, so no worries about printing up too many.

middle school writing prompts

middle school writing prompts

middle school writing prompts

middle school writing prompts

middle school writing prompts

For even more ideas, you can also click through to these options that I found on K12 Reader.

So, with these thoughts in mind, let’s get started on the middle school writing prompts.

Middle School Writing Prompts

I have grouped these into categories to make it easier for you and your students to decide which way they want to go.  I also put one at the end that allows students to write about whatever they want to.  Every class has at least a few extremely creative writers that find open-ended writing assignments fun.

middle school writing prompts

Superheroes

What if you got adopted by superheroes for a day?

What happened to cause you to get rescued by a superhero (or superheroes)?

What would happen if you’ve been adopted by ninjas?

What you caught a superhero doing when nobody was looking.

If you could time travel, where and when would you travel to?

Family

What was the best vacation you ever took?

What was the worst vacation you ever took?

(The two above can be combined into one.)

You just discovered that you have a long-lost brother or sister.

The bravest thing your parent(s) have ever done.

If you could do any crazy thing with your family, where and what would it be?

Friends

What is the craziest thing you and your friend have done.

If you could go anywhere and do anything with one friend, what would it be and who would you do it with?

If you could be best friends with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

Personal

What is the best dream you ever had?

What is the worst dream you ever had?

If you could try any food, what would it be?

If you could meet anyone in the world, it would be…and what would you talk about?

If you could have any hobby in the world, what would it be?

Random Life

What was the most fun babysitter you have ever had.

What job you would pick if you could do anything in the world without any limits.

Describe a time you were able to encourage someone else.  What was the situation and how were you able to help that person work through it?

If you could travel to any place in the world, where would it be and why?

If you could have any animal for a pet with no limits, what would it be and why?  What would you do with that pet?

Strange

(Your students will love this one just because of the name of the category!  It can also be totally fictional!)

What happened when you looked in the mirror?

You woke up and the world around me looked completely different

What was the strangest dream you ever had?

What would be the strangest animal or creature you could imagine?  What would it look like and what would it do?  What habitat would it live in?

What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?

Life Goals

If you could do anything in the world, what would it be and where would you do it?

If you could make a movie about anything, what would it be (name of the movie and description) and who would star in it?

If you could only ask one question, what would it be, who would you ask, and why would you ask it?

If you could do any job in the world, what would it be and how would you do it?

If you could solve any problem in the world, what would it be and how would you do it?

You Choose

If you could choose any topic that you want to write about, what would it be?  Go ahead!

Conclusion

So this is my list of the most timely middle school writing prompts.  But I have to say, these writing prompts should always be pretty timely.  We may not be in the middle of a worldwide pandemic at any time in the future, but there will always be something going on in the world that we can have our students contemplate and write about.

And there will always be things that middle schoolers perceive as a big deal that they want to share their thoughts and feelings about.  Let’s encourage them and see what they have to say!

If you liked this article, I think you will like these other Complete Literature articles as well:

12 Significant Ways to Improve Student Writing

Seven Styles of Learning and How They Apply to Your Students

Reasons Why Students Need Literature

How are We Keeping Kids Engaged?

This Post Has 91 Comments

  1. Amber

    I am working on getting my daughter to write more during homeschooling. She can be picky about it. She tends to like the interesting prompts and not ones that say “what do you want to do in three years.”

    1. Marie

      I agree. There has to be enough of a cue to get them thinking about it before they can just start writing.

  2. Krysten Quiles

    I love this. I always loved writing in school but I needed the prompts to be really interesting, otherwise I got bored. As always I appreciate you sharing this with us!

    1. Marie

      I was exactly the same in my school years. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts!

  3. Nyxinked

    I love these writing prompts. I’m far from a middle schooler and I’d love to try these!

    1. Marie

      I thought about suggesting it for adults as well. 🙂 It’s definitely a good exercise for all of us! Hope you’re still doing well in all of this mess.

  4. chad

    Amazing tips!!!! I love these writing prompts and I think they really make the entire difference in shaping our kids’ writing skills….Keep these amazing posts coming please.

    1. Marie

      Thanks, Chad!

  5. You have some GREAT writing prompt ideas here! I’m sure that this will be SUPER valuable for those parents that are now at home trying to handle online and homeschooling. All resources are incredibly helpful at this time.

  6. So many suggestions! Thank you for giving kids ideas to write about. 🙂 Let’s be productive this quarantine period and let our creative juices flow…

  7. World In Eyes

    All the schools are closed and my both kids are at home, my wife always advises for improving handwriting and study timings, this article is very much informative,I love these writing prompts and printing for the use of kids.

  8. Cristina Petrini

    Beautiful! My granddaughter will love them !!! Thanks!

  9. Kristyn

    Love this. Writing is such a critical piece of learning.

  10. Lisa

    There are some fantastic ideas for kids here. I like all the prompts you’ve provided, and it makes it easy to download too.

  11. Genny Gall

    These are very creative writing prompts to help our kids to inspire them to write every single day. Nice job!

    1. Marie

      Me too, Cindy. I am always looking for them to get more ideas.

  12. kcarr125

    These are wonderful ideas! I love the pretty worksheets that you’ve provided.

    1. Marie

      Thank you, Kristen!

  13. Sophia Damasceno

    These are so fun! I remember doing these when I was younger. They are definitely great in times like these where everyone is working on stuff from home.

  14. Aylin

    Wow! This is nice ideas that I could share to my nieces while they are at home.

    1. Marie

      That is an awesome idea, Aylin! It will keep their brains engaged in a way that they will be having fun.

  15. Peachy A.

    Students will have fun writing at those pretty printables! Great topic ideas too!

  16. Lisa

    I really like the prompts on Strange and random life. Middle school is an important age to get the kids thinking a little more creatively too.

  17. Adrienne

    What great ideas to get the creative juices flowing. I will have to use these to keep my own kids motivated to keep on writing.

  18. Tara Pittman

    I need to try some of these with my boys. They are both in middle school

  19. CA

    I think I can even apply some of your tips on my blogging work. I will not be surprised if there’ll be a lot of writers from your students later on in life. You make writing fun and interesting.

  20. Katie Lam

    This makes me think of being a student again. I’m so happy I don’t have to go through this again LOL

  21. Passion Piece

    I really need to take these tips into consideration. Most of the times when I set homework to my students, they copy whatever they can from the Internet and I keep reading the same things on and on again! 🙂

  22. Margaret @ Live Like No One Else

    These are such great writing prompts for students. I would love to read each and every response. Wonder if my teenage boys would be up for something like this? 🙂

    1. Marie

      You could always try! 🙂

  23. Joanna

    Writing essays is a great way to practice writing and developing ideas in the same time. Essays are always so creative, compared to novel text analysis for example, which is more often given as a homework.

  24. sdamasceno

    I like what you said about them not being too general. Writing prompts are always easier when they are more specific.

    1. Marie

      Thank you, Sophia.

  25. barbie

    Glad our kids are grown. But the printables look like some old school fun!

  26. Melissa Kane

    I’m going to have to forward this on to my friends who have kids. Some great ideas for them to help with the whole home schooling situation they are all in now.

  27. I totally get you on the sticking with a routine during this. It’s very challenging. I’ll have to print some of those out and give them to my son for a little project. I feel like he could use the little push.

    1. Marie

      I hope that he enjoys them!

  28. Melanie Poulos Walsh

    These are great! It’s been easy to find resources for my kindergartener, but there aren’t as many options for older kids. I’ll add these to our weekly plans.

  29. solrazo.com

    I need to share this post to my family, to boost their creative juices rather to prompt them to be one of my side writers ahaha

    1. Marie

      That’s a great idea!

  30. Flo

    Great tips! Especially the “make it fun” part. Kids can be so picky and making things fun is always more motivating.

  31. I agree that making writing fun is so important so students feel engaged and it will stir up a desire to want to write and be creative!

  32. Kenny Ngo

    I have yet to meet a lot of people who love essay writing. I personally love it since it’s one of the easiest thing for me but it seems a lot of people loathe it.

    1. Marie

      You are right. Writers love writing, the rest of the world seems to think of it as torture, lol.

  33. I find this article very engaging and encouraging as well. It’s very important to learn good writing skills, and good handwriting is very important especially for kids as well.

  34. pipermortez

    Fantastic article and very informative. I know tons of TEFL teachers that would love this. It’s a fun way to get students engaged. It’s so important learn to write well.

    1. Marie

      You are more than welcome to share my information with them! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Piper.

  35. paolo

    These are very helpful especially during this quarantine. Writing essays will keep my nephew busy and keep him off his gadgets

  36. Rosey

    The biggest problem I have with the writing prompts, is getting them to stay true to their topic. They tend to venture out on what the prompt makes them think of that is relatable, rather than sticking to the topic.

    1. Marie

      I was able to help my students work through that by writing outlines first to guide them. Then they could fill the rest in with the relevant information.

  37. Gervin Khan

    This is definitely a great way to make our kids to be busy on this stay at home period. Family bonding at it’s finest, the kids having fun while learning something.

  38. Gervin Khan

    Now, this is a great way to make our kids busy while learning new things. Writing stuffs makes a good family bonding as we speak of a very essential way to develop one individuals.

  39. Rose Ann Sales

    I love all the writing prompts you’ve shared here
    Great job on this blog!

  40. Emman Damian

    I love the cool free fun printable essay worksheets! they are enticing for middle school students. It helps them to write more. Very useful indeed!

    1. Marie

      Thank you, Emman!

  41. I love your very comprehensive guidelines! While I don’t have children, I know these were the kind of things I loved doing in school. My creative writing class as a kid really guided me to become a writer as an adult

    1. Marie

      I agree! I am still dreaming! ♥

  42. World In Eyes

    As usual wonderful post, love to read the creative writing assignments, like super heroes, family, friends, personal… Thanks for sharing these inspiring writing prompts.

    1. Marie

      Thanks, Teerath!

  43. The prompts I am sure will help many people to get started in their writing which at a time like this is a good thing for sure x

  44. WritesandBlogs

    Lovely ideas. In fact due to home schooling, I constantly need ideas for my son to write either essays or letters etc. Your article is helpful

    1. Marie

      I am so glad that I can be helpful! I hope he enjoys them. ♥

  45. Ave Hla

    LOL, I remember when I was at school and some of the writing exercises did feel like getting a root canal. I think it’s really important to make the writing prompts interesting. The super heroe topics sound like a lot of fun.

    1. Marie

      So true! I didn’t mind writing so much in school, but I have definitely developed a love for it over time.

  46. Jessica Collazo

    This is very interesting. Your are giving so many odeas an choices for writing prompts. This tips can help any teachers out there.

  47. Marjie Mare

    I love writing and I truly love this. I will share with my sister in law as well.

    1. Marie

      I hope that you both have a great time doing these!

  48. Shannon Gurnee

    These are some great ideas for writing prompts for middle school students. Thanks for sharing.

  49. toastycritic

    I wouldn’t have thought of developing an outline for those who struggle with writing. But that totally makes sense and gets them thinking in a way where they don’t get stuck. That’s great.

    1. Marie

      I actually came up with that after a particularly rough time with my son who was convinced he couldn’t write anything. Turns out he’s an excellent writer now with a degree in Computer Engineering. 🙂 And he’s still stubborn.

  50. Sushmita Malakar

    This is a great source for teachers and parents! Also, I don’t mind using these writing prompts for myself 😉

    1. Marie

      I agree, Sushmita! I try to pick things that I would enjoy as well in the hopes that my students will also find them worthwhile.

  51. momhandsarefull

    I remember my high school days. We were asked to write a lot of essays back then.

  52. amayszingblogs

    Awesome ideas writing is my way to express myself I think for student this Make it Fun–Special Writing Papers is effective way to enhance their writing skills.

    1. Marie

      It was awesome to see students realize that they didn’t hate writing and actually enjoyed it when it was about something they liked.

  53. Olivia Robins

    these are trully fantastic ideas for writing prompts and thank you for the printables they be a great help kind regards pati robins @ style-squeeze blog

    1. Marie

      I hope you enjoy them, Olivia! ♥

  54. If I were the student, I will surely love this. It’s very engaging and I think it’s one of the most important factors of effective learning – to get our students engaged. I love this post! I also love the templates…

    1. Marie

      Thank you, Cha. I wish most students could develop a love for writing and reading!

  55. Natalie

    These are great ideas. My son lovers to write stories. This will definitely help him. Thanks for templates!

    1. Marie

      That’s awesome, Natalie. I hope he enjoys the templates and the prompts!

  56. Aliceee Traveler

    All your ideas are great. Love those special writing papers. So creative!!!

  57. Nkem

    Great post! As a writing teacher myself, I rely on writing prompts for my students when they are stuck. Though my students are university students, your tips still apply, for sure. The idea is to prompt creativity at the end of the day. thanks for this!

  58. Emman Damian

    Timely Middle School Writing Prompts is so important for teachers, professors and teaching assistants. I’ll share this to my teacher friends. So useful!

  59. Mow Debnath

    Thanks for the free templates and prompt ideas! I am sure we will benefit from them.

  60. Foodie Finds Home

    As a mom of a middle schooler, I think these prompts are great. I look forward to using a few over the holiday break to keep his mind sharp. Thanks for sharing.

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