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Grade: Elementary

#1492. Journal Writing Ideas

Reading/Writing, level: Elementary
Posted Wed Jan 5 18:41:30 PST 2000 by Linda Gallipoli (
Randall Carter School, Wayne, NJ
Materials Required: pencil, paper, writing ideas list
Activity Time: 30 minutes
Concepts Taught: Story Starters, writing

Print the following list out for each student. Introduce it as a resource they can use if they can't come up with a writing topic during journal time or at the writing center. Discuss some of the topics, and demonstrate to the class how to write a story using one of the ideas below as a springboard.

About Yourself
 Have you wondered about ________...?
 Let me tell you about_______...
 Have you ever wondered why...?
 I like to ________ for many reasons.
 I know how to _________. First...
 I think _____ was ________ for many reasons.
 I just learned facts about...
 Let me tell you about...
 It's fun to ________. First you...
 Many changes happen to __________ as they grow.
 My dream school
 My dream teacher
 What I would like to change about myself.
 My idea of hard work.
 What I REALLY enjoy doing.
 My worst fear is...
 A miserable feeling is when...
 What happened on my way home from school
 What happened on my way to school
 What I did last night (or last weekend)
 What I am doing tonight (or next weekend)
 What really bothers me
 What really excites me
 What really scares me
 What really surprises me
 The funniest thing I ever saw was...
 The scariest thing I ever saw was...
 My favorite movie is _______ ...explain
 My favorite tv program is _______ ...explain
 My favorite subject is _______ ...explain
 My least favorite subject is _______ ...explain
 My recipe for goonacke (make up a word)
 When my friend moved away
 I really hate it when...
 I really wonder about...
 I remember when I was ______ years old and...
 I remember when I first ate _____________ and...
 I remember when I first met _____________ and...
 If I could fly I would...
 If I could chose a time to live it would be ________ ...explain.
 When I'm old...
 Fifteen things I want to do in my lifetime
 Love is...
 Friendship is...
 Being happy is...
 When I get out of school...
 My best birthday
 My most embarrassing moment
 My favorite trip
 When I grow up
 In 20 years, I will be…
 I was most angry when…
 My worst mistake was...
 My safe place
 Three items I would place in a time capsule. Why?
 I don't leave home without ______ because...

 I woke up this morning the size of a blueberry (feeling like a blueberry, looking like a blueberry, etc.)
 I woke up one morning and everything was blue (missing, tiny, different, etc.)
 My pet, the shark (snake, flamingo, bear, etc.)
 My dog thinks he is president
 My pet dinosaur (iguana, kangaroo)
 My friend the robot
 My talking pen
 My magic carpet
 Suddenly everyone forgot who I was
 The day the food on my plate began to move
 The day I became Waldo (or some weird person, famous person, etc)
 The day I went bungee jumping (sky diving...)
 The day I babysat a monkey
 The day I became a cartoon character
 The day I caught a porcupine
 The day I became a dentist, (rock climber, astronaut, singer, artist)
 The day I won power
 The day I met the president
 The day the teacher was gone and they asked me to be the substitute!
 The day my pet fish began to sing (talk, do tricks, etc.)
 The day it snowed twenty feet
 The day the sun grew
 The day the sandwich turned into a _________?
 The night the Martians landed
 The night before Halloween
 The night I saw the Tooth Fairy
 The night I saw a monster
 The night the lights went out
 The year it wouldn't stop raining (snowing)
 The crazy day started when I was on my way to school... (downtown, to Grandma's)
 A day in the White House
 The great flood (earthquake, tornado, etc.)
 Suddenly my submarine sprang a leak
 The trap door in my closet
 While I was walking home from school...
 I would use a magic wand to...
 In the year 2099...
 On planet Zeon...
 I heard a noise under my bed
 There was a loud knock at the door
 As I was walking on the beach...

If I . . .
 If I could have a worm farm...
 If I could move anywhere in the U.S. (world, state, etc)...
 If I could apologize to one person...
 If I could make all the rules...
 If I could speak to animals...
 If I could climb a rainbow...
 If I could change shape...
 If I could meet anyone in the world...
 If I could ride on the Magic School Bus...
 If I had a brontosaurus...
 If I had 3 wishes, I would wish for...
 If I had $1,000,000...
 If I had a twin...
 If I had an airplane
 If I were stranded alone on an island (in an elevator, etc)...
 If I were trapped in an elevator...
 If I were in a blizzard...
 If I were stranded in the woods...
 If I were one inch tall...
 If I were invisible...
 If I were the teacher...
 If I were principal...
 If I were a fence post...
 If I were boiling...
 If I were an animal, I would be...
 If I were a rock...
 If I were a bird...
 If I were a pencil...
 If I were a movie star...
 If I lived in a castle...
 If I lived in a cave...
 If I lived in a tree...
 If I lived in a spaceship...
 If I lived underwater...
 If I lived on a mountain...
 If I won the lottery
 If I got to be captain of a boat

 Green eggs and ham
 Jellybeans
 Worms
 Shoes
 Aliens
 Pets
 Good luck charms
 Haunted houses
 Clowns
 Chores
 Homework
 Sports
 Dancing
 Flying
 Fishing
 Cooking
 Playing
 How to make____________

 George Washington
 Martin Luther King, Jr.
 Abe Lincoln
 Columbus
 Johnny Appleseed
 Helen Keller
 Benjamin Franklin
 Betsy Ross
 Rosa Parks
 Sally Ride
 The Boxcar Children
 Arthur
 Clifford
 Curious George
 Junie B. Jones
 Nate the Great
 Doctors
 Teachers
 Scientists
 Lawyers
 Mechanics
 Artists
 Singers
 Writers
 Dancers
 Dentists
 Vets
 Pharmacists
 Mail Carriers
 Fire Fighters
 Police Officers
 Ambulance Squad Members
 Secretaries
 Computer Programmers
 Actors
 Athletes
 News Anchors
 Jewelers

Using Your Imagination
 Pretend you are a raindrop. Where would you land and what would happen along the way?
 Write a conversation that a shoe might have with a sock. (circle/square)
 If you and your best friend could have a free limo for 24 hours, where would you go and what would you do?
 What is a best friend?
 You could to travel to any city or country in the world.
Where would you go and why?
 Describe a dream that you had. Give as many details as possible.
 You have an extra $100,000 to give away, and you cannot spend it on yourself. What would you do with the money?
 If you were an insect, what kind would you be and why?
 Your mother has just returned from a distant planet and brought you back an alien pet- describe it in detail.
 Design your dream house (school, room, classroom, playground etc)
 Write a letter to me and tell me what you'd like to learn this year.
 Write the direction from your house to school.
 Write a description of your favorite toy, room in your house, favorite relative, etc.
 If the items in your lunch box could talk, what would they say?
 Write 3 questions you would like to ask your teacher.
 Write a story called "Meet My ______"
 What is your favorite food and how do you make it?
 List all the reasons why people need to know how to read.
 What do you think would happen if an elephant walked into the schoolyard?
 What color do you think love is? Explain your answer.
 What color do you think hate is? Explain your answer.
 How do you think rain sounds when it falls?
 How does happiness feel?