narrative writing prompts for studentsFor most young writers, finding the fun in writing means giving their imagination free reign to come up with something utterly fantastical and unique—or, sometimes, brilliantly ridiculous. Even students who may struggle with persuasive essays or nonfiction writing tend to brighten up when asked to make something up or share a memory instead. There’s just something magical about the words, “Tell me a story.”

These playful narrative writing prompts for 2nd grade students highlight the lighthearted side of storytelling. They give your students a chance to delight and inspire their readers while practicing important writing and editing skills. And, of course, they give you the perfect opportunity to turn your young writers into young published authors.

Prompt #1: “Tell a story about the most fun day you can imagine.”

This narrative prompt always generates a plethora of entertaining responses, and no two are ever exactly alike. Putting a twist on a typical personal narrative prompt, this assignment asks your students to make up a day instead of remembering one. It’s a great way to help your 2nd graders practice telling a story in chronological order—the beginning of their story should be about the morning, the middle should cover the afternoon, and the finale, of course, should take place at night.



This prompt makes for a great publishing project. Ask your students to self-edit their own responses using a simple editing checklist or set of easy-to-follow guidelines, focusing first on proofreading and then double-checking to ensure that their story structure follows chronological order. Once their stories are edited and ready to publish, finish up by having your students illustrate their stories with three-panel comics—the first panel should be for the beginning of the story, the second for the middle, and the third for the end. Then, publish your students’ narratives in a classbook that will spotlight their newfound mastery of story structure.


Prompt #2: “Write about a time you played a game with your friends outside.”

Fun with friends is always an excellent writing topic, especially when practicing narrative writing. This prompt asks your students to recall a happy memory of time they spent playing with their friends in the great outdoors and turn it into a story. You may also want to take this opportunity to have your students practice their descriptive writing skills while they’re at it by focusing on adding details that will bring their story to life, such as what the weather was like that day or the things they felt while they played.


For a more in-depth lesson, add a collaborative element to this writing assignment by asking your students to peer edit each other’s work once they’ve finished their first drafts. Provide them with a word list to help your young editors spot opportunities for improving one another’s work with more exciting or descriptive words. After revising and finalizing their writing, ask your students to provide illustrations to accompany their work. Then, publish their stories in a professionally bound classbook that will show off all their hard work and progress in style.


Prompt #3: “Write a story about the silliest dream you’ve ever had.”

This silly narrative prompt is sure to get a laugh or two! Invite your students to share their craziest dreams—if they cannot remember any particular dreams of note, let them know that they are free to embellish or even make up a dream if they prefer. In fact, it might be even more fun if some students completely fabricate their responses. After writing, ask for volunteers to share their dreams with the class. After each student has shared their dream, ask their classmates to vote whether or not they believe it was a true story or a made-up one. The final reveal can be quite the surprise!



Dreams are thought to be mixed-up amalgams of the memories, thoughts and feelings we carry with us throughout the day—which makes them an ideal topic for a collaborative narrative project. Instead of writing individual accounts, ask your students to pair up and work together to combine different elements of each other’s dreams into a single, wild tale of a dream that never happened (or did it?). Ask them to combine their talents to create an illustration for their story as well. Then, publish their dreams in a classbook that will make for fantastic bedtime reading material for years to come.


Introducing Your 2nd Grade Students to Narrative Writing

In 2nd grade, your students are only just beginning to explore the art of narrative writing. Whether they write about a good day, a great memory or a happy dream, making sure their introduction to narrative writing is as enjoyable as it is engaging is key to setting them up for success, both now and into the future. Storytelling is about teaching your students self-expression, good writing structure and unleashing their full creative potential. And publishing their work is about showing them that even their wildest dreams can come true if they have the confidence and grit to work hard and pursue them.

If you’re eager to find even more (free!) creative writing resources for your students, be sure to visit our online teacher’s lounge, and sign up for your free publishing kit today!


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