Sixth-grade writing prompts don't have to be dull and unimaginative. Upper elementary students and young middle schoolers can write more deeply than they could last year. Here are 100 opportunities for sixth graders to express themselves through writing, all aligned to the Common Core writing standards.
Narrative Writing Prompts
Whether you're writing about a true event or a magical adventure, narrative writing involves telling a story. Narrative writing typically includes a plot structure that progresses through the story's beginning, middle, and end. Reflective writing is a type of narrative writing that focuses on the writer's ability to reflect rather than tell a story.
Want to write a story but don't know where to start? Check out a list of story writing topics for grade 6 students.
- The most surprising thing I found in the old house was...
- When we found the genie's lamp, we decided to...
- My best friend and I were in the worst fight ever. It all started when...
- My dream vacation to ______ was ruined when...
- I had never seen a dragon before that day in the forest.
- As the world's first 12-year-old doctor, I have to share my discovery.
- My first trip on a hot air balloon did NOT go as planned. First...
- Rosa looked down at her food, which looked as gross as...
- I had the biggest surprise of my life when my cat...
- Sara had never planned on being on another planet. Luckily, she had a...
Make sure you include the essential elements of story writing after you choose a prompt. You can also explore more creative writing prompts for middle school.
Personal Narrative Prompts
Personal narratives tell true stories in descriptive ways. Help sixth graders choose the best way to express themselves with these prompt ideas.
- Think about the best day of your life. What made it so great?
- Who is the oldest person you know?
- Describe a friend situation that changed over only one day.
- Write about how it feels when you're alone.
- Describe your favorite vacation.
- Has a book, movie, or album ever changed your life?
- Think about your future self. Write about a day in your life, one year from today.
- Tell a family story from your perspective.
- Describe a memory you have of extreme weather.
- Think about a time you had to work hard to learn something.
Planning another autobiographical assignment? Check out more tips on personal narratives before starting the next lesson.
Reflective Writing Prompts
Keeping a journal or writing reflectively is a great way for young students to keep track of progress. Use these prompts to get started.
- Track the weather for a week. What day was the most comfortable?
- Sit outside in nature and describe what you see. What feeling does it give you?
- Make a list of your daily goals. Reflect on which one was easiest to accomplish.
- Track the foods you eat during the day. How did you feel after each meal?
- Write down all the emotions you feel during the day.
- Reflect on a friendship. What makes it special?
- Write down a list of your favorite things about yourself.
- List your sports or extracurricular activities. What have you learned from each?
- Think of three things you have learned in school this year.
- What is your favorite physical activity? What do you enjoy about it?
Learn more about the benefits of emotional journal writing or using reflective writing in the classroom. You can also find more journal writing exercises for enthusiastic diarists.
Informational Writing Prompts
When you want to get the point across clearly, informational writing is a great way to explore a nonfiction topic. Add some research to strengthen your writing and try your hand at technical writing to explain a procedure.
Expository writing compares and contrasts, investigates causes and effects, and poses solutions to problems. It also describes the who, what, where, when, and why of an event.
- Write an extended definition essay on one of your vocabulary words.
- Find an interesting story in your local newspaper and describe it in your own words.
- Pretend a friend hasn't seen your favorite TV show. What is it about?
- Compare and contrast two of your friends.
- Describe your school year so far. What have been the most important events?
- Choose a problem at your school. What's the best solution?
- What was the cause of a recent argument you had? What was the effect?
- Compare and contrast two of your favorite sports or activities.
- Discuss a conflict in a movie you like. How was it resolved?
- Write a definition essay about the concept of empathy.
Expository writing skills are important outside the essay structure, too. Take informational writing to the next level with an informative speech.
Research is the process of answering a question with credible sources. If you're having trouble picking a topic, use these prompts to get started.
- Why was your school built?
- How long can fish live out of water?
- What endangered animals are close to extinction?
- Research your dream career. What do you need to do to achieve it?
- What is the history of your favorite sport?
- Research an important invention in the last 50 years.
- When and why was your country founded?
- What does smoking do to your lungs?
- What are civil rights? Who has fought for them?
- Why do sharks hunt other fish?
Explore writing times for writing APA-style research papers, or read about topics that are not the best options for research writing.
It may not seem like procedural writing is as fun as fiction writing. However, the right prompts can even make writing user manuals entertaining.
- Explain how to send a friendly text message.
- Teach a reader how to play your favorite board or card game.
- Write about the steps needed to tie a shoe.
- Create a user manual for something you use a lot (e.g., hair straightener or cell phone).
- Describe how you get home after school.
- Tell a younger reader how to do homework without wasting time.
- How do you get to the library from your classroom?
- How do you choose what to watch on a streaming service?
- Explain how to pass a difficult level in a video game.
- Write about the steps you follow to listen to your favorite music.
Want more procedural writing practice? Check out the characteristics of procedural writing or examples of technical writing.
Argument Writing Prompts
Arguments don't always mean that you need to get angry. Argumentative essays pose both sides of a situation in a formal writing format. Persuasive writing uses rhetorical devices to convince the reader to take the writer's side in an argument.
Argumentative Essay Prompts
Whether you feel passionate about a topic or are curious to learn both sides, argumentative essays are a great way to develop writing skills. Select any of these prompts to start the discussion today.
- Should kids have homework?
- Is your city a good place to live?
- Is it important to learn math?
- Should school start later?
- What's the best way to eat an ice cream cone?
- Should skateboarding be allowed in private parking lots?
- Is Monday through Friday the best school schedule?
- Does pizza make a good breakfast?
- Are hamsters fun pets?
- Should students be allowed to go anywhere they want on the Internet?
A strong essay requires a strong structure. Before you start the first draft, be sure to include an argumentative essay outline.
Get your readers on your side with emotional appeals and other rhetorical devices. Here are some prompts for you to start making your case.
- What's the best show on television?
- Should school start later?
- Who should be the next president of the United States?
- Is composting a good idea for your school?
- Why would you make a great school principal?
- What's the best season?
- Who is the best character in a book you've read?
- Is college important?
- What's the best job to have?
- Who is the greatest football/basketball/baseball/soccer player of all time?
Get beyond the essay format. Newspaper editorials or school election speeches are great ways to hone a persuasive voice.
Poetry is a beautiful way to express yourself. Whether sixth-graders prefer writing in free verse or iambic meter, they'll enjoy these creative poetry prompts.
- Write a haiku about how you feel today.
- Create a shape poem about your favorite sport or activity.
- Choose an example of onomatopoeia and use it five times in a poem.
- Think of a metaphor for this school year and write a poem about it.
- Write a poem about friendship in which every line includes a rhyme for "friend."
- Create an ode to a book, TV, or movie character who has died.
- Look through a magazine and create a found poem with interesting words.
- Write a rap song about your favorite food.
- Choose a historical figure and write a poem about an event from their point of view.
- Write a descriptive poem about the way something annoying sounds.
Combine narrative writing and poetry with examples of narrative poems. Young writers may also benefit from additional tips on writing poems.
More Creative Writing Tips
Looking for more inspiration? Check out 100 more creative writing prompts for middle school. Or, you can try some flash fiction if you're pressed for time. As you make your way through those creative writing exercises, think about how you might include these important words for some real impact!