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Writing Prompts

Kindergarten  

Opinion/Argument:

  • Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose an opinion piece in which you tell the reader the topic or the name of a book and state your opinion or preference about the topic or book. Example topic - My favorite book is… or, which kind of pet is best, a cat or a dog?

Informative/Explanatory:

  • Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose an informative/explanatory text (writing) in which you name what you are writing about and supply some information about the topic.  Example topic - What can you do to save water?   

Narrative:

  • Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely linked events, tell about the events in the order in which they occurred, and provide a reaction to what happened.  You can write about real or imagined events.

Grade 1

Opinion/Argument:

  • Introduce a topic or name a book, state your opinion about it, supply a reason for your  opinion, and provide some sense of closure. Example topic- My Favorite book is…or, which kind of pet is best, a cat or a dog? 

Informative/Explanatory:

  • Write about a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.  Example topic - What can you do to save water?  

Narrative:

  • Recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details about what happened, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure.  You can write about real or imagined events.

Grade 2 

Opinion/Argument:

  • Introduce a topic or name a book, state your opinion about it, supply a reason for your opinion, use linking words (e.g., because, and, also) to connect your opinion and reasons, and provide some sense of closure.  Example topic- My Favorite book is…or, which kind of pet is best, a cat or a dog? 

Informative/ Explanatory:

  • Write about a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section. Example topic - What can you do to save water?   

Narrative:

  • Recount a well elaborated event or short sequence of events, include details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide a sense of closure.  You can write about real or imagined events.

Grade 3

Opinion/Argument:

  • Introduce your topic or text, state your opinion, & create an organizational structure and provide reasons that support your opinion. Use linking words and phrases (e.g., because, thereafter, since, for example). Provide a concluding statement or section.  Example topic- My favorite book is… or, which kind of pet is best, a cat or a dog?

Informative/Explanatory:

  • Introduce a topic and group related information together; include illustrations when useful to aiding comprehension, develop your topic with facts, definitions, and details, using linking words and phrases (e.g., also, another, and, more, but) to connect ideas within categories of information, and provide a concluding statement or section.  Example topic - What can you do to save water?   

Narrative:

  • Establish a situation and introduce a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally; use dialogue and descriptions of actions, thoughts, and feelings to develop experiences and events or show the response of characters to situations; use temporal words and phrases to signal event order; and provide a sense of closure.  You can write about real or imagined events.

Grade 4

Opinion/Argument:

  • Introduce your topic or text clearly, state your opinion, & create an organizational structure in which your related ideas are grouped to support your purpose; provide reasons that are supported by facts and details; link opinion and reasons using words and phrases (e.g., another, also, because, for example); provide a concluding statement or section. Example topic -My favorite book is… or, which kind of pet is best, a cat or a dog?

Informative/Explanatory:

  • Introduce your topic clearly and group related information in paragraphs and sections; develop your topic with facts , definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic; link ideas within categories of information using words and phrases (e.g., another, for example, also, because); use precise language and domain-specific  vocabulary to inform about or explain your topic, provide a concluding statement or sections related to the information or explanation presented. Example topic - What can you do to save water?   

Narrative:

  • Orient your reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally; use dialogue and description to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations; use a variety of transitional words and phrases to manage the sequence of events; use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely; provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.  You can write about real or imagined events.

Grade 5

Opinion/Argument:

  • Introduce your topic or text clearly, state an opinion, & create an organizational structure in which your related ideas are logically grouped to support your purpose; provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details; link opinion and reasons using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., consequently, specifically); provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented. Example topics- My favorite book is… or, Which kind of pet is best, a cat or a dog?

Informative/Explanatory:

  • Introduce your topic clearly, provide a general observation and focus, and group related information logically; develop the topic with facts , definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic; link ideas within and across categories of information using words,  phrases, and clauses (e.g., in contrast, especially); use precise language and domain-specific  vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic, provide a concluding statement or sections related to the information or explanation presented.  Example topic - What can you do to save water?   

Narrative:

  • Orient your reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally; use narrative techniques such as dialogue, description, and pacing  to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations; use a variety of transitional words and phrases, and clauses to manage the sequence of events; use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely; provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.  You can write about real or imagined events.

Grade 6

Argument:

  • Write an essay that introduces your claim and organize your reasons and evidence clearly, support your claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence, use credible sources and demonstrate an understanding of your topic, use words, phrases, and clauses to clarify the relationship among claims(s) and reasons, establish and maintain a formal style, and provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the argument you presented.    

Informative/expository:

  • Write an essay in which you introduce a topic or thesis statement, organize ideas, concepts, and information using strategies such as, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension; develop your topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples; use appropriate transitions to clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts; use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic; establish and maintain a formal style; and provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the information or explanation presented.

Narrative:

  • Write a narrative that engages and orients a reader by establishing a context and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically; using narrative techniques such as dialogue, pacing, and description to develop experiences, events, and/or characters; use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another; use precise words, phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to convey experiences and events; and provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events of your story. 

Grade 7:

Argument:

  • Write an essay that introduces your claim(s), acknowledge and addresses alternate or opposing claims, and organize your reasons and evidence logically; support your claims or counterarguments with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, use accurate, credible sources and demonstrate an understanding of the topic or text;  use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationship among claims(s), reasons, and evidence; establish and maintain a formal style, and provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument you presented.   

Informative/expository:

  • Write an essay in which you introduce a topic or thesis statement clearly, previewing what is to follow, organize ideas, concepts, and information using strategies such as, definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension; develop your topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples; use appropriate transitions to clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts; use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic; establish and maintain a formal style; and provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the information or explanation presented.

Narrative:

  • Write a narrative that engages and orients a reader by establishing a context and point of view and introduces a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically; using narrative techniques such as dialogue, pacing, and description to develop experiences, events, and/or characters; use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another; use precise words, phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events; and provide a conclusion that follows from or reflects the narrated experiences or events of your story. 

Grade 8:

Argument:

  • Write an essay that introduces your claim(s), acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize your reasons and evidence logically; support your claims with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, use accurate, credible sources and demonstrate an understanding of the topic or text;  use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationship among claims(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence; establish and maintain a formal style, and provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument you presented.    

Informative/expository:

  • Write an essay in which you introduce a topic or thesis statement clearly, previewing what is to follow, organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories, include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension; develop your topic with well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples; use appropriate and varied  transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts; use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic; establish and maintain a formal style; and provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the information or explanation presented.

Narrative:

  • Write a narrative that engages and orients a reader by establishing a context and point of view and introduces a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically; using narrative techniques such as dialogue, pacing, and description to develop experiences, events, and/or characters; use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another and show the relationships among experiences and events; use precise words, phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events; and provide a conclusion that follows from or reflects the narrated experiences or events of your story.

Grades 9-10 

Arguments:

  • Write an essay that introduces precise claim(s), distinguishes the claims from alternate or opposing claim(s), and creates an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence; develop your claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concerns; use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationship between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims; establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing; provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented. 

Informative/explanatory:

  • Write an essay that introduces a topic or thesis statement and organizes complex ideas, concepts, and information to make important connections and distinctions including formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension; develop your topic with well-chosen, relevant, and sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate  to the audience’s knowledge of the topic; use appropriate and varied transitions to link the major sections of your essay, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts; use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic; establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which you are writing; provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic).

Narrative:

  • Write a narrative that engages and orients the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introduces a narrator and/or characters, and creates a smooth progression of experiences or events; use narrative techniques such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines to develop experiences, events, and/or characters; use a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole; use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters; provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on what is experienced, observed, or resolved over the course of the narrative.

Grades 11-12 

Arguments:

  • Write an essay that introduces precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of the claims, distinguish the claims from alternate or opposing claim(s), and create an organization that logically sequences claims(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence; develop your claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplying the most relevant evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concerns, values, and possible biases; use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims; establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which you are writing; provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented; use specific rhetorical devices to support assertions (e.g., appeal to logic through reasoning, appeal to emotion or ethical belief, relate a personal anecdote, case study, or analogy). 

Informative/explanatory:

  • Write an essay that introduces a topic or thesis statement and organizes complex ideas, concepts, and information so that each new element builds on that which proceeds it to create a unified whole, and include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension; develop your topic thoroughly by selecting the most significant and relevant facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate  to the audience’s knowledge of the topic; use appropriate and varied transitions and syntax to link the major sections of your essay, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts; use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary, and techniques such as metaphor, simile, and analogy to manage the complexity of the topic; establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which you are writing; provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic.

Narrative:

  • Write a narrative that engages and orients the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation and its significance, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introduces a narrator and/or characters, and create a smooth progression of experiences or events; use narrative techniques such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines to develop experiences, events, and/or characters; use a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole and build toward a particular tone and outcome (e.g., a sense of mystery, suspense, growth, or resolution); use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters; provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on what is experienced, observed, or resolved over the course of the narrative.