Summer Writing Prompts for Elementary Students

By Dr. Ray Huntington

It’s summer break, and most students want to forget about school until next school year. However, it’s important to encourage your child to keep their brain working to avoid summer learning loss, which can lead to gaps of knowledge, regression of skills, lost confidence and a weak start to the school year come fall.  

One way to keep your child learning is to offer them summer writing prompts to nurture the writing habit. Writing is an essential skill in school and life, but it doesn’t come naturally to all students. With a break from the required writing of the school year, summer offers a chance to help your child discover the creativity and fun of writing.  

Here are several summer writing prompts for elementary students:  

Prompts to get your child to explain or inform you of something:  

  • Explain how you will learn to [do a flip on the trampoline, swim the length of the pool underwater, ride a skateboard] this summer.  
  • I’ve never been to our house before. What does it look like and why is it a great house?  
  • How do you play [a favorite game or sport]?  
  • Explain how you will go about saving up for a new [toy or game] this summer, step by step.  
  • I’ve never ridden a bike before. Tell me how I can start to learn, step by step.  

Prompts about books or movies:  

  • What character in the book you’re reading right now do you like most and why?  
  • What character in the book you’re reading right now do you like least and why? 
  • Write a letter to your favorite movie character. (This could be a recurring prompt with variations for movies your family watches together throughout the summer.)
  • Pretend you’re one of the main characters in a book you read recently. Would you do some things differently than they did? Why?  

Prompts to encourage your child to share their opinion or convince you (or others) of something:  

  • Write a letter to the principal of your school about something you’d love to see change (e.g., the lunch menu, the addition of a new elective class or the format of the talent show).  
  • What’s the best summer activity to do at home to cure boredom?  
  • Convince me (Mom or Dad) that you deserve a raise in your allowance.  
  • Why should we go out to dinner to eat tonight instead of cooking dinner at home?  
  • What’s the best type of ice cream and why?  

A few other tips with summer writing  

Here are a few other suggestions on how to get your child writing more for fun this summer:  

  • Start with 15 minutes a day. Don’t feel the need to push beyond that at first.  
  • Join your child in responding to each day’s writing prompt. Have a discussion afterward about what you each wrote.  
  • Tie writing prompts to other things your child loves or is doing. Movies, games, favorite activities, sports, friends, favorite musical artists and people they know can spark new writing prompt ideas.  
  • Vary the prompts. Try out different types of prompts to give your child practice with different styles of writing (e.g., creative or explanatory) for different purposes (e.g., to inform or to analyze an idea or text).  
  • Give your child a journal. Journaling is a wonderful way for children to express their emotions and capture ideas. You can offer a list of summer journal ideas or just give your child a journal and see what happens. They might start the habit when you’re not looking. 
  • Keep it fun. Remember that the goal with summer writing is to get your child to willingly practice their writing skills. Practice makes improvement!  

If your child struggles with writing, you might not be able to convince them to come up with summer journal ideas and write for fun in their free time. Huntington can help. We work with children from elementary school to high school to develop and strengthen their writing abilities. Our customized approach will help your child learn how to convey their ideas effectively and build confidence to continually develop their writing skills as they move from grade to grade.  

Don’t just sign your child up to work with any summer writing tutor. Explore the Huntington Advantage program, which sets students up for success. The program varies in length depending on each student’s needs and goes beyond the basics to get your child ready to make next school year their best one yet. And if your student needs to get back on track in other subjects like reading or math, we can incorporate that into their program as well. Call Huntington today at 1-800 CAN LEARN to discuss the best program for your child.