20+ Clever Writing Activities for the Primary Grades

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Kids either tend to love writing or they hate it, especially in early elementary when children are still learning letter formation. For young students, writing can be tedious and difficult. Here are over 20 clever writing activities for primary grades to get children excited about writing tasks.

For young students, writing can be tedious and difficult. Here are over 20 clever writing activities for primary grades to get children excited about writing tasks.

Writing in the lower grades sometimes is limited to tracing letters and other handwriting practice. Most kindergarten teachers agree that when children enter school they need lots of writing practice as they learn to form letters properly. Some children entering kinder haven’t even mastered the tripod grasp, which makes tracing letters, or even holding a pencil, tedious and writing laborious.

Because of this, children can become reluctant writers, avoiding all writing assignments. That need not be the case as here are over 20 super clever and new writing activities for the primary grades to get kids excited about writing again!

20+ Clever Writing Activities

  1. Write a class story where every student gets a say.
  2. Write a “teeny, tiny” story where students focus on a really, really narrow topic, like eating breakfast or tying their shoes.
  3. Make a diagram and label the parts.
  4. Start with the illustrations of a story and have students write only the adjectives and verbs for each picture.
  5. Write a comic strip. (Be sure to tell kids it doesn’t have to be funny).
  6. Write a story like in text message format.
  7. Write a story without words.
  8. Use famous works of art as inspiration for a story.
  9. Write step-by-step instructions about how to do something silly, like eating soup with a fork.
  10. Write an entire story as though it were an anchor chart.
  11. Have students write lists about themselves. Names of family members, animals they like, candy they got for Halloween are a few examples.
  12. Write a play-by-play of a weekend day. Encourage students in include everything they can think of.
  13. Make “teeny, tiny” books that are only a few inches in size.
  14. Or make “big books” using large sized construction paper or legal paper.
  15. Write sentences in secret code.
  16. Keep shared journals between the student and teacher.
  17. Write a story formatted after a familiar book, like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff.
  18. Write an opinion piece about something silly, like which order is best for putting on socks and shoes, both socks first or one sock and shoe and then the other.
  19. Free write as fast as possible for a set (and short) period of time. If students can’t think of anything to write about then have them write about how they can’t think of anything to write about.
  20. Have students write their own Mad Lib stories.
  21. Have students draw a map of a familiar place and write directions.

Writing Assignments Don’t Need to be Boring

And they don’t need to be traditional, either. In fact, the untraditional writing activities are often those that capture students’ attention the most easily. And any of the above writing assignments can be taken through important parts of the writing process, like editing and revising and applying conventions.

These writing activities for the primary grades are sure to get your students excited about writing again!

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