Looking for an easy activity to kick-start your writing lessons? Writing Prompts are perfect for getting the creative juices flowing and helping students practise their skills!
Unlike other free ones out there, the Seven Steps Writing Prompts help students practise and master one element of writing at a time – an essential strategy to scaffolding students to become confident writers.
They’re a great activity for the classroom, and for teaching your students remotely!
So, whether you start your lesson off with a quick 5 Minute Fast Starts activity [Non-members: Unlock the free Step 2: Sizzling Starts activities] or build a whole lesson plan around them, here are 4 top tips for using the prompts.
By the way, there’s a Writing Prompt for each text type and for every Step, so we’re sure you’ll find one that aligns perfectly with what you are currently teaching. Below, we’ve unlocked 40 Writing Prompts for you to use (Seven Steps Online members get access to our full library of Writing Prompts and activities):
1. A quick way to start your lesson
Get your students engaged straight away with a quick Writing Prompt to start your lesson.
Tip: Show a prompt a day for the Step you are focusing on to build your students’ confidence and muscle memory.
- Upload the Writing Prompt in the chat forum on your online teaching platform or send them directly to your students.
- Give your students 2 or 3 minutes (they need longer to type!) to reply with a Sizzling Start, Tightening Tension, Exciting Ending, etc.
- Ask them to vote for their favourite amongst their classmates by using the thumbs up feature in chat.
Seven Steps Online members unlock more activities for every Writing Prompt: Not a member? Become one today!
2. Watch videos and brainstorm
If you are a Seven Steps Online member, you’ll have a variety of extra activities within each of your Writing Prompt downloads. Check out the references down the left-hand side of the prompt, to find links to related videos or books.
- Watch the videos with your class on your online teaching platform.
- In small groups or individually ask your students to note down anything they can see, hear, smell, feel and taste as if they were there.
- Ask students to share what they’ve written down and discuss as a class.
3. Thinking questions
Within each Seven Steps Online members’ Writing Prompt, you’ll see reflection questions for that particular image. For non-members, you can either make up your own questions or use these ones below…
Here’s how you can use the reflection questions:
- Use them to start an interesting discussion as a class.
- Group students up into their own online chats to discuss.
- Ask students to brainstorm Who, What, When, Where, Why and How while looking at the image. This can help generate lots of ideas!
4. Put students ‘In the Moment’ with the Brainstorming Template
On page 2 of your members Writing Prompt download, you’ll find the ‘In the Moment’ Brainstorming Template. To make it a little easier while you’re teaching online, we’ve made an editable version here.
- Send the Writing Prompt to your students along with the editable ‘In the Moment’ Brainstorming Template.
- Ask them to download the template, complete on their devices and then send back to you.
- Or brainstorm as a class! You can share your screen on your online teaching platform, filling in the editable template as your students shout out their ideas.
- Non-members can still join in! Ask students to look at the Writing Prompt and imagine they are there. What do they feel, think, say and do?
Online teaching tips from a Seven Steps teacher
Georgie, a Seven Steps teacher shares her insights for teaching the Seven Steps online.
These tasks are perfect for online learning: they’re fun and my students have loved them!
– Georgie, Grange Primary
- Using the Seesaw app, I inserted a picture prompt image and then set the task of typing three different Sizzling Starts using Sound, Dialogue and In the Action. Once students completed the writing task, they then sent it back to me and I provided them with instant feedback.
- For another picture prompt, students were asked to type a Tightening Tension scene, focusing on strong adjectives and the six senses. Once students finished writing, they then recorded themselves using the microphone. They were asked to focus on reading with expression and to make the scene dramatic.
Tips for sharing Seven Steps resources
- All of our Writing Prompts can be sent directly to your students.
- We have updated 19 of our student templates so they are editable! They can easily be shared, downloaded and edited by your students.
- All other resources can be shared via your screen on your preferred online teaching platform.
* Please be sure to only share Seven Steps Online resources with your students or their parents – they cannot be shared publicly.
Ready to unlock more?
Unlock access to Step 2: Sizzling Starts resources and videos for your whole school today with a 10-day free trial! Or dive straight into full access and unlock all Seven Steps – just contact Suz at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up your school.