Third grade is such an important year of schooling. Students are moving from the primary elementary grades to the upper elementary grades and learning to how to dive deeper into the various subject matters.One of the most crucial skills to help your 3rd graders develop is writing. Not only will they need to improve their writing skills to respond to prompts or answer questions about a book in language arts, they will need to be good writers to demonstrate their knowledge in all subject areas.
I spent my first two years as a teacher in a 3rd grade classroom, so I know the wide range of writers you’re likely to have in your class.Some students are already pretty independent, writing clear sentences and paragraphs, and addressing all the demands of a writing assignment. On the other hand, some students still need a lot of support with the basic conventions of writing, generating ideas, and getting their ideas on to paper.
This wide range of abilities, all in the same classroom, can make it difficult to get all students engaged and working on meaningful work in writing. During my time in 3rd grade, I found great success using writing prompts with my students to encourage their creative thinking and get them to actually write something.
I’m writing this post to share some of my favorite spring writing prompts for 3rd grade that I think you’ll enjoy using with your students. Continue reading to find out more about:
- My favorite spring writing prompts you can use with your 3rd graders →
- The advantages of writing prompts →
- Excellent dynamic prompts to incorporate into your writing time →
OK, let’s take a look at some of my favorite spring writing prompts for 3rd grade for 3rd that you can use with your students.
- Write about why spring is the best season.
- You were supposed to ride bikes with your friends, but it is raining today. What will you do instead?
- Write about your favorite springtime memory with your family.
- Your mom said she will take you and your friend on a special spring trip. Where will you go? What will you do there?
- Pretend you are a caterpillar preparing to change into a butterfly. What are you doing? Why are you excited to become a butterfly?
- You and your friend are walking outside on a windy day. Suddenly, the wind lifts you up and takes you somewhere. Where did you go? What would you do there?
- Your teacher put you in charge of planning a class outdoor celebration. What foods will you serve? What outdoor games or activities will you plan.
- What is your favorite spring sport? Why do you like it?
- Pretend you are a seed that has just been planted. Explain what you might be thinking as you start to grow in the spring.
- Write about the best April Fools’ Day joke that you played or that someone else played on you. What happened?
- Write a letter to your principal asking her to make recess longer in the spring so students could spend more time outside.
- Would you rather spend all day on the baseball field or in a butterfly garden?
- One day, while walking outside, you discover a baby bird. When you bring the bird inside to care for it, you find out it has magical powers and will grant you three wishes. What will you wish for?
- Earth Day is an important spring holiday. What can you and your classmates do to take care of our Earth?
— Portage Schools (@PortageCSD) March 22, 2021
I don’t think I could even fit all the advantage of using writing prompts with your students into one blog post because there are so many benefits you’ll realize once you begin incorporating them into your instruction. Below, you’ll find some of the best reasons to start using spring writing prompts (https://minds-in-bloom.com/20-spring-writing-prompts/) with your students, but like I said, there are a ton of other benefits you’re certain to discover.
The more time students have to practice writing, the more confident they will become. As with any other task, repeated practice is important for helping students learn to brainstorm ideas, organize those ideas, and get them onto a paper.
Increased writing time to write and work on writing prompts will also help get students into the routine of writing. This can cut down some negative perceptions of writing and may eliminate some of the groans you hear when you tell students it is time to write something.
With increased practice, you’ll also notice that students writing will improve. They should begin using better grammar, spelling words correctly and writing clear sentences.
This will be especially true when you incorporate some time to conference with your students about their writing and provide them with feedback about what they did well and how they could improve. Peer conferences can also be effective with 3rd graders.
When you add in some creative writing prompts, it can also encourage students to use their imagination and come up with unique approaches to a topic.
As they’re telling their story, students will be experimenting with different types of writing styles and using new vocabulary words that may not otherwise make it into their language.
4.Helps Students Develop Communication Skills
Being able to communicate in writing is an important life skill. The more you have your students practice their writing, including through writing prompts, the better prepared they’ll be. As students practice articulating their thoughts in writing, it will come more easily.
One thing you can do to make it easier for students to get their thoughts on paper is to provide some time for students to share their ideas orally with a partner before they begin to write.
5.Writing Prompts Lend Themselves to Multiple Topics
You can think of writing prompts about anything. This means that you can incorporate them into any subject area or connect them with what students are studying. Learning about tadpoles in science? Have students respond to the prompt: “What would happen if your tadpole turned into a dinosaur instead of a frog?” Studying a specific period in history? Have students write about what they think it would have been like to be a kid during that time.
Use your interactive whiteboard to display important facts and figures that students have previously learned to give them some support when responding to the prompt.
6.Allows You to Asses Your Students’ Needs and Achievements
When your students are regularly responding to writing prompts, it can give you the opportunity to assess their writing skills.
You can compare multiple pieces over the span of a few weeks or months to see how much they have grown and what they still need to work on.
7.Makes Planning for a Substitute Easier
Finally, if your students are used to completing writing prompts, it can make it easier to leave plans for a substitute. Writing prompts will take your students some time to complete and don’t require too much planning on your part.
You could even make the writing prompt related to your absence by having students write about what they think their teacher is doing on her day off. If you don’t have time to make individual copies of the writing prompt, ask the substitute to display it for everyone to see using your document camera.
Dynamic writing prompts really get students thinking and can help them improve their writing skills to meet 3rd grade Common Core standards. Dynamic writing prompts can fall into different categories, such as “what if,” finish the story, journaling, opinion writing, narrative writing, informational writing, and poetry writing prompts.
Here are some dynamic writing prompts from each of these categories that you can try with your 3rd graders.
“What if” Writing Prompts
- What if your teacher put you in charge of the class for the day?
- What if your principal made it against the rules for teachers to assign homework?
- What if you became one of the characters in your favorite book or TV show?
- What if smartphones hadn’t been invented yet?
- What if your parents surprised you with a trip to the beach?
Finish the Story Writing Prompts
- One day, I walked into the kitchen only to realize that my mom and our cat had switched bodies. The next thing that happened was ….
- Someone put a spell on my best friend. To find out who it was and try to reverse it, I ….
- The other day, I was walking to school. Suddenly, a unicorn flew out of the sky and stopped right next to me. She said ….
- I blasted off into space and landed on a new planet called Zerberry. As soon as I got out of my rocket ship ….
Journaling Writing Prompts
- Write about how you can your best friend met each other? Why are you still friends?
- What are some of the things you and your family do to have fun together?
- What is your favorite part of 3rd grade so far?
- How do you celebrate your favorite holiday?
Opinion Writing Prompts
- Should there be homework for students? Why or why not?
- What is the best ice cream flavor? Why?
- Is a cat or dog a better pet? Why?
- Do you think you should be allowed to stay out as late as you want?
Narrative Writing Prompts
- Write a story about a new kid joining a class.
- Write a story about a monkey that escapes from the zoo.
- Write about the first memory you have of your family.
- Write about a time that you did something to help someone.
Informational Writing Prompts
- Why is it important to eat fruits and vegetables?
- How do you play _____ (your favorite sport/game)?
- What do you need to do to take care of a pet dog?
- How do you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?
Poetry Writing Prompts
- Write a poem about flowers blooming in the spring.
- Write a poem to tell your parents how special they are to you.
- Write a poem about a feeling (happy, sad, mad, etc.).
- Write a poem about a time that you really needed a hug.
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I love using writing prompts with my students, and I hope you and your students will enjoy these spring writing prompts for 3rd grade. Don’t you think your students will be engaged and excited to write about many of the topics shared above? I don’t know about you, but seeing my students excited to write was always such a joy, especially for the students who typically didn’t enjoy writing time.