Teaching writing can be so hard, but we all know that is extremely necessary. Each day my student’s journal but I know that is not enough. Every week we spend time getting really intentional about our writing. We write narratives, opinion pieces and other 3rd-grade writing prompts I find here and there, all over the web. But those boring pieces really tend to wear them out. Here is how I create engaging prompts for my students.
Pick a topic that is fun
Once a month we create a fun writing piece that allows my students to get creative and make something fun. Let your students suggest what the’d like to write about. In December we build an edible snowman and write about him, and in February we write “love notes” to residents in nearby nursing home but March always seems to be one of their favorites. In March we create a fun leprechaun. Most schools have their spring break right in the middle of March so it can be a crazy month. Students are ready to be out and so are the teachers! Lol!! So this fun low stress 3rd-grade writing project is a welcomed relief. It’s a great activity for teachers to use right before spring break when students are a little bit on edge. This is also a great project to use when you are working intensely with a small group of students during test prep. This will keep your other students engaged in valuable instruction while you focus on your small group.
Let your students choose the prompt they want to use
For each writing project I let my students choose from 3 to 4 different prompts. Each student gets to choose the prompt that they prefer. This ensures students will be more engaged in their project. This also allows them to make some decisions , honing a greater sense of ownership. For our Lephercahan project the students have 5 different prompts to choose from. I let each student choose the one they like best.
Connect Writing to Real Life
No matter what you are teaching,students need ti be able to connect it to real life. With our writing projects it no different. When using our St. Patrick’s Day 3rd grade writing prompts it’s no difference. You can really dig into this project and even insert in some social studies into this project. You could begin by reading fun books about leprechauns, one of my favorites is the Gingerbread Man, and the Leprechaun Loose at School by Laura Murry. For younger students How to catch a Leprechaun is a fun one too.We also briefly talk about St. Patrick, yes the actual saint and yes I teach in a public school. Did I mention I live in the Bible Belt? We discuss the geography of Ireland and read non- fiction books about the country.
Let ‘Em Get Crafty
pull out the scissors, glue pipe cleans and let them got nuts, at least for a bit. When students I tell my students they can decorate their leprechaun with any of the crafty supplies. They LOVE it. when the door to the craft closest open it’s like Christmas morning. they are working hard and I just assist THEM. They use the craft supplies in ways I would never imagine. I have to admit that it can definitely become a mess, but they are more than willing to clean it up in order to have free reign over the supplies.
This set can be used with prep or without. Older students can easily use the graphic organizers to create a finished piece of writing. Younger students may need a bit of instruction but should be able to complete the writing with minimal help. I created these 3rd-grade writing prompts with 2nd to 4th grade students in mind.
These prompts were created to be flexible enough to be used by the youngest writers and older writers. This set includes two graphic organizers designed for upper and lower grade students and each writing prompt comes in 3 different designs formats, with 5 prompts total. I let each student choose the prompt they like best.The crafty part of this project allows students to cut and glue a leprechaun together.
This is a fun craft project that students love and will be proud to display and share with their families.