This is a 50-prompt sample from my hard-copy and e-book, Writing Warmups, which features over 1000 prompts to spur writers to elude mental blocks, incite creativity, and fill blank pages with first drafts that can evolve into polished (and published) pieces.
While all writers will benefit from the multitude of ideas (and extra-wide margins for inspired notes and notions), teachers and writers for children will especially appreciate this edition's 'G'-rated subject matter.
Since his participation in the 1983 local version of the National Writing Project, the author has used 'writing warmups' for himself and with his students. Tim is now at work on Writing Warmups II, intended for all audiences.
Below are 20+ ways to use this book in your classroom:
Possible uses for this book: (Teachers)
1. Pass it around the class and let the students choose their own story idea.
2. Choose one 'warmup' and give the kids ten minutes to quick-write and then select the two best sentences to read to the class.
3. Write three warmups on the board or overhead and challenge your writers to combine them into one story.
4. Write one warmup on the board and ask your writers how you can develop one or more literary elements (plot, setting, conflict,
character, theme, etc.) from your selection.
5. Have each student choose a number between one and 1000 and use the prompt that corresponds to that choice. (Thanks to a fellow teacher for that idea.)
7. Have kids start their own book of writing warmups. (They should feel free to use mine as springboards for theirs.)
8. Write three warmups on the board. Then form a new one by selecting a noun from the first, a verb from the second, and another part of speech from the third.
9. Write one warmup on the board and see if your writers can rearrange the words to create a new one.
10. Give your writers time to simply sketch what they envision from a warmup of their choice.
11. Have them perform an skit based on a writing warmup. (Good starting point for a discussion or lesson on dialogue.)
12. Before you read one aloud to the class, have them hit their
imaginary buzzer (they provide their own sound effect.) as soon as they hear a particular part of speech or sensory detail.
13. Read a warmup aloud. Then challenge students to say out loud what sentence could follow.
14. Let writers inject real people (celebrities, etc.) into the roles
suggested by the warmups.
15. Read one warmup aloud and stage a prewriting activity. This would be a good opportunity to trot out your collection of graphic organizers as teaching aids.
16. Give your students (or let them choose) three warmups. Challenge them to steer one or more of the ideas into a story that teaches readers content from math, social studies, science, or arts units you're covering.
17. Give your writers three warmups. Challenge them to compose:
â€¢ a non-fiction piece such as an interview or newspaper article,
â€¢ a piece from a fiction genre (mystery, romance, adventure, thriller, science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction),
â€¢ a poem.
18. Give your students three warmups and challenge them to create a given mood.
19. Have your writers choose a warmup and then create a new one by changing each of its primary elements (subject, verb, place, spoken phrase).
20. Give your writers a warmup with a lighter tone and challenge them to steer a story in a more serious direction (or vice versa).
21. Take your students outside and have them create their own warmups by observing other students at play.