Creative writing is an important part of any student’s academic writing career. Creative writing not only allows students to engage their imagination, but also allows them to hone vital skills that translate across disciplines. These creative writing prompts focus on descriptive writing that can help a student create work that is rich in detail, utilizes a larger vocabulary, works with figurative language and focuses on their five senses. Check out these 2nd grade writing prompts to get your students excited about creative writing in no time!
2nd Grade Writing Prompts That Build Creative Writing Skills
Help your students learn to create writing that is full of colorful description and vivid detail. These prompts will get your students’ creative juices flowing and help them build their writing skills. You can take any of these prompts and add illustrations to the narratives to create an awesome classbook that tells a great story!
Writing Prompt #1: Dogs have taken over the world. How do things change? What would they make humans do?
This writing prompt helps students focus on specific detail writing while expanding their vocabulary—two important components of creative writing. Before you have your students dive into this prompt, ask them to sit for a few moments and really imagine what the world would look like if dogs took over. Then, as they are picturing it in their head, have them write down a few words that come to mind on a piece of paper. Words could be anything from scary, funny, smelly or even weird. The goal is to have them associate particular descriptive words with the scene they are going to be writing about.
Then have your students begin to create an outline of important points they would like to make about what happens when the dogs take over. Creating an outline will help them organize their ideas and stay on track in their writing. After your students have an outline that they are happy with, complete with details that they find important, they can begin writing about what the world would look like if dogs take over.
Writing Prompt #2: If you could build a perfect house, what would it look like? What would you put in it?
One of the keys to descriptive writing is learning how to use sensory details. This prompt is a great way to teach your students the importance of adding sensory details as they describe what their perfect house would look like. Have your students go beyond thinking about what the exterior of the house would be.Have them think about specifics like; what color the walls are, what the kitchen smells like, what the rugs feel like, etc.
Here are some questions to have your students answer before they start writing. These questions will engage your students’ five senses and can help them start to think about descriptive writing in terms of sensory details.
- What does your dream house look like?
- What does the inside and outside of the house smell like?
- What does the air around the house feel like? What does the food in the kitchen taste like?
- What kinds of sounds do you hear inside of your dream house? What about outside?
- How does your house feel? Is the outside smooth or rough? Is the inside soft and cozy?
You can also provide your students with a list of descriptive sensory words that they can incorporate in their prompt. Before they start writing, have them write down the different areas of their dream home that they want to describe and write down words the words that they want to associate with that room.
Writing Prompt #3: You have become a monster. Describe the type of monster you would be and what you would do.
Descriptive writing comes with a variety of different ways to approach it. At its core, descriptive writing is meant to engage students creatively and get them thinking about specific things that come together to create a scene or story. With this writing prompt, your students will pretend that they are a monster and use aspects of their personality to describe what they would do. This prompt is the perfect opportunity to work with your students on physical description, expanding their vocabulary and introspection.
When your students are thinking about what their monster would do or how they would act based on their own personality, have them ponder these questions:
- Do they help their friends out a lot?
- Maybe they are a helpful monster who helps people solve problems?
- Do they like to play outside?
- Where does their monster live?
- Do they like making people laugh? Why not make the monster a comedian?
These simple reflections are a great way to get your students thinking about their own personalities and incorporate those aspects into their descriptive creative writing.
Of course, they can also include whimsical attributes and allow their monster to fly or grow flowers by snapping their fingers, but the monster should reflect who they are in the end.
Writing Prompt #4: You are a space explorer and have found a new planet with aliens. Describe your first day in this new place.
This writing prompt is great for getting students familiar with types of figurative language. As your students are describing their first day on a new planet, they can do so using similes and metaphors. Before they start working on this writing prompt, makes sure that they get used to working with these types of figurative language by using a worksheet like this one.
Here are some questions you can ask your students to help them start brainstorming ideas for their new planet and how they can write about it using similes and metaphor:
- Does anything about your new planet remind you of something at home? Can you compare the two?
- Do the aliens on your new planet look like any other type of creature you’ve seen before? How are they similar to humans or animals? How are they different?
- What types of things are there to do on your new planet? Are they similar to the things you would do on earth?
Have your students take a minute to think about each question and visualize their planet. You can help your students organize their thoughts by having them divide a piece of paper in half; on one side, they will write about a few things that they visualized their planet having and add something similar that exists on earth on the other side. Did they visualize their aliens having extremely long legs? They can compare them to an ostrich! If they viewed their new planet as being sandy and hot, they can compare it to the Sahara Desert or even a sandbox on a hot summer day but 1,000 times bigger.
Your students can really let their imaginations run wild with this writing prompt, just ensure that they use some comparisons in their writing so that the reader can get a good picture of the crazy planet they dreamedup.
Writing Prompt #5: You woke up this morning and were invisible. Tell me what that feels like and what you would do with your new power.
This writing prompt is perfect for helping students hone in on writing sensory details and think about showing, not telling. As your students imagine themselves with this newfound power of being invisible, a good way to explain to them how to write about it is as if they were watching a movie. Comparing descriptive writing to visual film is an easy way to have them understand the concept of showing and not telling. Instead of telling the reader that you are invisible, show them through your writing and details.
To get started, give them a few examples of how they could show they are invisible without saying it outright. Use example sentences like, “I waved my arms at my mom and she completely ignored me.” or “I looked in the mirror and didn’t see my reflection.”
This prompt is also a great opportunity to reiterate the importance of sensory details in creative writing. What does it feel like to be invisible? Do you feel lighter, heavier, the same? What are the sensations like? Can you feel hot or cold? Can you walk through walls? Does it hurt? Having students answer questions like these is a great way to have them think creatively and details to add to their writing.
Give your students an outline to work with. Here is an idea of what it will look like:
- What event occurred that made you realize you were invisible?
- Explain how being invisible made you feel physically different.
- What do you plan to do while you are invisible?
Writing Prompt #6: You are going on a trip, but can only take 5 items with you. Which items would you pick? Why did you pick those items?
As with any type of writing, the order of importance and organization of the details your students write about is key. This prompt allows your students to decide which details and descriptions are most important to their overall narrative. Before you begin, have your students think of the three items they would take with them. Then have them write down descriptive words for each item, ordering them from what they think is the most important detail to the least important detail. For example, if one of their items was a raft, is it a more important detail that the life raft is yellow or that it has the ability to float? This type of exercise will not only help your students think about ways in which they can describe objects in words, but what the best way to describe what the different objects are.
Descriptive writing is an important component of literature, whether it’s academic or creative. These prompts allow your students to learn more about the different ways they can approach descriptive writing, whether it’s through sensory details, figurative language or even physical descriptions. All of these prompts and projects are great opportunities to create a classbook to showcase your students’ work and preserve their stories!
Our online teacher’s lounge is an excellent place for you to find more suggestions on ways to improve your students’ writing. Head over to sign up and receive a free classbook publishing kit to make a special memory for your class.