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15 Engaging Explanatory Writing Prompts

Explanatory Writing Prompts

When you want your students to practice explanatory writing, present them with one or more of the following prompts, grouped by difficulty. You can also introduce students to the PAST strategy to help them understand what each explanatory prompt is asking them to do.

Beginning Explanatory Prompts (Grades 4–5)

The following explanatory prompts are meant for students who are moving from paragraph writing to essay writing. 

1. Defining Friendship

Everyone needs friends. What qualities make someone a good friend? How can you be a friend for someone who needs one? Write an essay that explains ways to be a good friend.

2. A Job for Me

People do all kinds of jobs. Some people build. Others serve. Some teach. Others sell. Some people work on ships at sea, and others in skyscrapers in cities. What kind of job would you like to do? As a future worker, write an essay that names a job you would like, describes the work, and tells why you would like it.

3. An Admirable Person

We all have people we admire. They might be family members or friends. They might be singers, dancers, or actors. They might even be fictional characters. Whom do you admire most? Write an essay that names a person you admire and describes the qualities that make you like the person.

4. Sweet or Spicy?

Most people have a favorite food. What is yours? Is the food a common one that most other kids would know about, or a really special type? Is it sweet or spicy? In an essay, name your favorite food and describe to your classmates how it looks, smells, and tastes. Tell why you like it so much.

5. My Ideal Home

Most people can imagine a dream home. What would yours be? Big or small? In the country or in the city? How many floors? Would it be underground or up in a tree? As a young person, write an essay describing your dream home to a parent or guardian.

Intermediate Explanatory Prompts (Grades 6–8)

The following explanatory prompts are meant for students who do regular multi-paragraph writing. 

6. Connectivity Culture

Smartphones, tablet PCs, social media, and constant connectivity are changing the ways that people live, think, work, and connect. How do these technologies shape your life? Are you plugged in or tuned out? Why? Write an essay that explains to your fellow students the ways that you connect digitally and predicts how people will connect in the future.

7. Pets vs. People

Pets are not people. After all, dogs don’t go to school and cats don’t hold down jobs. But pet owners often consider their dogs and cats to be members of their families. In what ways are pets like people and in what ways are they not? Write a comparison-contrast essay explaining the similarities and differences between pets and people.

8. Defining Responsibility

A parent is responsible for taking care of children. A criminal is responsible for committing a crime. And teens are encouraged to make responsible choices. Just what does it mean to be “responsible”? Does it mean something different for young people than for adults? As a young person who is taking on more and more responsibilities, write an essay that defines what responsibility means to you, and explain the idea to those older than you.

9. Unique Celebrations

The Chinese celebrate New Year with a dragon dance. How do you celebrate New Year? What other special days do you observe? In an essay, explain a celebration or ritual that you know about. Tell what is usually done and why. Explain it to a reader who is new to the event.

10. Here's How It's Done

What are you really good at? Perhaps you can sink a free throw every time. Maybe you can identify birds by their songs, or make a very delicious homemade pizza. Think of a particular skill you have and could teach others. Then write an essay describing the process you use to accomplish this special feat. Provide enough detail so your reader can learn how to do the same thing.

Advanced Explanatory Prompts (Grades 9–12)

The following prompts are meant for high-school level writers. Students may need to research the topics in order to respond with sufficient depth and complexity. 

11. Addressing Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying involves using technology to harm, intimidate, and embarrass others. One form of cyberbullying called “trolling” occurs when anonymous Internet users intentionally post inflammatory content in an attempt to provoke and upset other users. While much effort has been made to counteract bullying in schools, the online and anonymous nature of cyberbullying makes it difficult to regulate. Write an essay that explains to your fellow students ways to counteract cyberbullying.

12. Moral Dilemmas

Consider a moral dilemma that a character in a novel or other piece of literature must face. It could be an issue you yourself have faced or one that is new to you. Explain what you would do if you were caught in the same situation. Then explain why you would handle it that way.

13. Talking About My Generation

Today’s youth are sometimes perceived as tech savvy, optimistic, and accepting. Other times, they are perceived as spoiled, coddled, and lazy, more interested in checking Instagram than in bearing down and working hard. In an essay, define the general characteristics of your generation. Provide evidence and reasons to support your definition.

14. Fashionable Expressions

Author Sarah MacLean believes “The most confident of women are those who believe in every scrap of fabric they wear.” Indeed, clothing is a form of self-expression for many people. Evaluate the clothing choices that you or someone else (famous or not) makes and explain what these fashion choices express about the person.

15. Comparing Future Career Paths

What do you want to do after you graduate from high school? Attend college? Hone your skills at a trade school? Or go straight into the professional world? Choose two options (college, trade school, job) and write an essay in which you analyze similarities and differences between the two options.

Teacher Support:

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Standards Correlations:

The State Standards provide a way to evaluate your students' performance.

  • 110.5.b.12.B
  • LAFS.3.W.1.2
  • 110.6.b.11.B
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  • 110.7.b.12.B
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  • 110.22.b.10
  • 110.22.b.11.B
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  • 110.23.b.10
  • 110.23.b.11.B
  • LAFS.7.W.1.2
  • 110.24.b.10
  • 110.24.b.11.B
  • LAFS.8.W.1.2
  • 110.36.c.10.B
  • LAFS.910.W.1.2
  • 110.38.c.10.B
  • 110.39.c.10.B
  • LAFS.1112.W.1.2
  • LA 12.2.1.b
  • LA 12.2.2.a

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Teacher's Notepad

45 Expository Writing Prompts

Expository writing exercises help students practice informing or explaining a topic to their readers, without leaning too much on opinions and instead focusing on facts.

Learning how to write an informative essay is a lifelong skill that will carry readers through their entire education. The earlier they refine these skills, the more successful they will be with the practice as their education progresses.

We’ve put together a list of prompts to help students practice their essay-writing skills, covering various topics and interests.

Using These Prompts

These writing prompts can be used as writing exercises in class, or separately as homework assignments. As long as students practice this skill, they’re already on the right track to succeed.

Here are a few ways you can use this writing guide with your class:

  • Challenge students to use one writing prompt in their journal every day for a week.
  • Have students choose a number between 1 and 45 and use that number to choose their prompt.
  • Use these activities for students who finish their work early and need something to do while they wait for others to finish.
  • Use these activities if they fall in line with what students are learning in other classes (such as social studies or history).

Expository Writing Prompts

  • Explain why it’s important for students to go to school.
  • Write an essay about what qualities make someone a good friend.
  • Write an essay about the life and habits of an animal that interests you.
  • Describe your favorite place to vacation with your family.
  • Describe your favorite holiday and why people celebrate it.
  • Why is it important to eat healthy foods?
  • Write an essay describing a recent local news event.
  • Write an essay that explains the importance of good dental hygiene.
  • Is it important to read the book before watching the movie? Explain.
  • Write an essay that explains how to play your favorite musical instrument.
  • Choose a prominent Black person in history, and write an essay explaining why their accomplishments are important.
  • Explain the steps of the scientific method.
  • Explain why people who are best friends can sometimes still experience conflict.
  • Write an essay describing your favorite board game. Why should others play it?
  • Write an essay explaining the process of getting ready for school in the morning.
  • Explain what it’s like to have siblings or to be an only child.
  • Explain why closed captioning is an important accessibility tool.
  • What qualities make someone a good teacher?
  • Explain the history of your favorite hobby.
  • Explain how to send a text message.
  • Why is it important for students to follow the rules at school?
  • Write an essay that explains your dream job.
  • How does technology shape our daily lives?
  • Write about how your family deals with difficult situations.
  • What does it mean to be a good person?
  • Why is regular exercise an important part of a healthy lifestyle?
  • Write an essay that defines feminism. Give examples.
  • Explain the importance of recycling.
  • What are some ways to stay entertained without using technology?
  • Describe a book you recently read and loved. Why did you choose it? What was it about? Why did you love it?
  • Describe the life cycle of a butterfly.
  • Why is it important that students learn how to do math?
  • Talk about your favorite music and why you like it.
  • Write an essay about the history of your town.
  • Define bravery. Provide examples of what it means to be brave.
  • Explain what you would do if you were at a large store and couldn’t find your parents.
  • Why is it important for students to learn fire safety at school?
  • Explain how to add four-digit numbers.
  • Describe the characteristics of your favorite planet.
  • Think of your role model. Explain why other people should admire them as well.
  • What are the harmful effects of too much screen time?
  • Explain why it is important to learn how to read.
  • Give three examples of how to get back on task when you get distracted.
  •  Your class is making a time capsule to be seen in 75 years. Write an essay explaining the one thing you put in that box and why.
  • Explain why it is important to help people who are less fortunate than us.

Looking For More?

We have a bunch of great content for teachers, parents, and guardians to help students along with their educational journey.

If you are looking for something specific and can’t find it on our site, reach out and let us know. We’re here to help you help your students succeed!

informative/explanatory writing prompts

Reading Worksheets, Spelling, Grammar, Comprehension, Lesson Plans

Informative / Expository Writing Prompts

Expository writing, sometimes called informative writing, seeks to relay information to the reader. It is one of the main modes of writing and includes such formats as reports, instructions, term papers and even business letters. Since this is the type of writing that most students will use in their adult lives, it is important that they learn to convey information clearly and concisely. To use the expository worksheets below, click on the title. You may then view the details and download it for free for home use or the classroom. Check out all of our writing prompts .

An Interesting Animal – Writing Prompt

An Interesting Animal –  Writing Prompt

Your student will practice informative writing with this worksheet.

Something Green

Something Green

In this writing worksheet, your student will write about something green.

Write About a State

Write About a State

In this worksheet, your student can practice writing informational text.

My Hometown – Writing Prompt

My Hometown – Writing Prompt

This writing prompt has your student writing an informative piece on her hometown.

A Local Organization

A Local Organization

This writing worksheet will help your student with informational writing.

Rules of the Game – Writing Prompt

Rules of the Game – Writing Prompt

Your student will practice informative writing in this worksheet about explaining the rules of a game.

Two People in History – Writing Prompt

Two People in History – Writing Prompt

This worksheet on informative writing asks your student to compare two people in history.

The Integrated Teacher

50 Fun Prompt Writing Ideas for High School Students

May 16, 2023

Students either love or hate writing. Those who love it usually are the ones who enjoy reading as well. They might spend their time journaling, composing poetry, or writing short stories. These students not only enjoy the process; they embrace it with every part of their being and enjoy engaging in assigned prompt writing ideas!

For most students, however, writing is synonymous with drudgery. They hear that they are going to have to write something, and they automatically shut down. Because of this unfortunate mindset usually brought about by the feeling of overwhelm, we need to get our students to see the value of high school writing activities that include easy-to-teach Prompt Writing Ideas.

There are so many options beyond the traditional five-paragraph essay! Keep reading for 50 Prompt Writing Ideas for High School Students !

Need help with Test Prep? Check out this  FREE Pack of 3 Test Prep Activities to help students achieve success on standardized tests

Table of Contents

50 Prompt Writing Ideas for High School Students

Prompt Writing Ideas

10 Narrative Prompt Writing Ideas

Before starting my business, I didn’t really see the value of writing stories. I mean, I enjoy a good story. I love reading short stories by Edgar Allan Poe , some of William Shakespeare’s plays , and other random historical fiction. Beyond personal entertainment or academia, I could not really see why teaching narrative writing was so important.

Boy, was I wrong!

Narrative writing is so valuable. Think about it. When we buy something, we really want to hear the story behind it.

We listen to how something was created, how a person struggled with a problem, and how a product provided a solution!  We connect with each other through stories!

Here are some relatively simple ways to incorporate narrative writing in your high school classroom with 10 Prompt Writing Ideas:

  •   Write a Journal Entry- Students can respond to someone from a story as if they know the character personally.
  •   Create an Advertisement- Students can include a story from a “buyer” as an ad technique.
  •  Informational/Argument Essays- Students can use a short narrative as support.
  •   Post on Social Media- Students can create a post that tells a story about something…anything!
  •   Develop a Business Plan- Students can create a business plan and use narratives to relay the potential of a future business.
  •   Write a Poem/Song- Students can write a poem or song that actually tells a story.
  •   Create a Website- Students can create an About Me page for a fictitious online store that includes a story.
  •   Participate in a Job Interview- Students can conduct interviews with each other and include stories that demonstrate certain skills or knowledge.
  •   Give a Speech- Students can do research on an idea they are passionate about and include stories to support their ideas.
  •   Record a Video- Students can write and record stories about their lives and “post” them on various platforms.

10 Satirical Prompt Writing Ideas

When it comes to bridging the gap between reading satire and writing satire , students need guidance. I would start by reading both  “Sending Grandma to the Ovens” and “A Modest Proposal.”  These two texts are similar in structure, purpose, and topic. Your students can model their own essays after these texts. They can even propose something!

teaching satire

Here are some HOW TO satirical prompt writing ideas :

  • How to be a wonderful boyfriend or girlfriend
  • How to propose to someone
  • How to be a good student
  • How to be a productive employee
  • How to grow a business
  • How to be an amazing parent
  • How to be an effective writer
  • How to prepare for exams
  • How to get a job
  • How to create friendships

informative/explanatory writing prompts

10 Expository Prompt Writing Ideas

Essentially, an exposition seeks to explain something. And things in our world ALWAYS need explaining!

We crave information, and one of my major goals as a teacher is to encourage students to seek out information instead of what just pops up on social media feeds. We have so much knowledge, it can be overwhelming, so giving students a focus would be super helpful.

When writing an exposition, students have several options:

They can write about what they already know, write about what they don’t know by doing research, or write about a combination of the two.

Need help with teaching research? Click below!

Research Paper Writing Tips

Here are some expository prompt writing ideas that might require a bit of research:

  • Interesting hobbies I never knew about
  • Skills I will need for life
  • Getting a job interview
  • Jobs that we take for granted
  • Things to do when we don’t have electricity
  • What I never knew about my family
  • Popular foods in…(a culture/country)
  • Why certain songs are popular
  • Uses for a cell phone
  • History of chocolate

10 Argument Prompt Writing Ideas

One of the toughest types of writing involving prompt writing ideas for students is the argument essay. Now, I am talking about the “you need to do research to make your case” kind of argument paper.

Let’s be real. Instead of doing the research ourselves, we rely on one or two news outlets to tell us information, or maybe, God forbid, we scroll through social media to get our information.

And I don’t know about you. I usually just get an interpretation or opinion on the facts. I don’t get the actual stories, statistics, and facts. I get, at most, a watered-down version of what I should actually know.

This reality is why we MUST teach our students how to support their ideas with cited evidence. We don’t need to teach students merely to argue. They do this beautifully with their friends on a daily basis. They need to know how to locate credible evidence, and I am not just talking .gov, .org, or .edu! This requirement of credibility applies to pretty much any prompt writing ideas!

Here are some argument prompt writing ideas that will REQUIRE research:

  • Should student loans be forgiven?
  • Should everyone go to college?
  • Should social media companies be allowed to censor content?
  • Should students have to take higher-level math?
  • Should high school or college students be required to take a financial literacy course?
  • Should students take a gap year before going to college?
  • Should there be a minimum wage?
  • Should students earn grades in their classes (A, B, C, D, F)?
  • Should classes be organized by age or ability in a specific subject area?
  • Should volunteer hours be required for graduation?

Notice: You don’t have to ask students to write a ten-page argument paper in order to feel like your students are learning what they need to know to be successful. You could start with a page, a paragraph, a discussion, or even a 1-minute presentation. Not everything has to be formal in the introductory stage. Sometimes, we want to get our students thinking about the topic and excited before they begin!

Prompt Writing Ideas

10 Rhetorical Analysis Prompts

I am a big fan of requiring students to practice  writing a rhetorical analysis essay . At first, it can be daunting. Even the word “rhetoric” can be difficult to explain at times.

Most of the Prompt Writing Ideas below can be used or revised to fit any piece of rhetoric:

  • How does the speaker use logos in achieving the purpose of the speech?
  • What techniques are used by the author to relay the message that_____?
  • How does the writer include emotional language in order to appeal to the audience?
  • Why is repetition used throughout the passage?
  • What forms of evidence support the rhetor’s argument?
  • How are the rhetorical appeals used in relation to the audience’s perspective?
  • Why might the tone of the speaker change throughout the text?
  • What kinds of strategies are used in online ads versus physical ads?
  • How might you use different techniques when talking with your parents/guardians versus your friends?
  • What types of diction and/or syntax might a creator use when discussing a topic in college?

If you go step by step through the analysis writing process, your students can master this skill. It might take more time than you think, but most students will achieve some level of success. Plus, they can apply these skills to any essay they will have to write in the future! You can teach How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay Step By Step !

teach how to write a rhetorical analysis essay

By modeling what you want, you will more likely get what you want from your students. This process also applies to writing a rhetorical analysis essay. Going through every step above is key to success.

Here are some reading and writing packs that may make the rhetorical analysis essay process that much easier:

  • Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God Rhetorical Analysis Pack
  • A Modest Proposal Rhetorical Analysis Pack
  • The Declaration of Independence: Rhetorical Analysis Writing Pack
  • Gettysburg Address Activities: Rhetorical Analysis Short Response
  • Declaration of Sentiments Rhetorical Devices Analysis Activity Stanton
  • Sojourner Truth Speech Aint I a Woman: Summary, Rhetorical Analysis
  • Patrick Henry’s Give Me Liberty Give Me Death Speech Rhetorical Analysis Pack
  • Florence Kelley Speech About Child Labor Rhetorical Analysis Pack
  • Sending Grandma to the Ovens Rhetorical Analysis Pack

Prompt Writing Ideas For Satire

Need more Prompt Writing Ideas for your middle or high school classroom ? Check out my store  Kristin Menke-Integrated ELA Test Prep !

informative/explanatory writing prompts

Hi, I’m KRISTIN!

I primarily focus on  integrating multiple disciplines and subjects. The goal is to make teaching simplified and effective!

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Writing curriculum

Informational Writing Unit

We invite both STEM and humanities teachers to consider ways to inject more life into what is perhaps the least-loved genre of academic writing.

By The Learning Network

To learn more about other writing units, visit our writing curriculum overview.

Of the three broad types of writing that the Common Core State Standards emphasize — argument, informational/explanatory and narrative — informational writing may be the category that gets the least love from writing teachers.

Sure, students are writing explanatory pieces all the time, whether in response to questions, in notebooks, in formal papers and on tests. They are also doing this kind of writing across subjects, perhaps in science or history class as much as in English. But as former teachers ourselves, we have found that writing instructors tend to shine the spotlight more brightly on the two sister genres. After all, making a strong argument and telling a compelling story might feel like more interesting tasks than just explaining something clearly and accurately.

But informational writing is the style of writing that dominates The New York Times as well as any other traditional newspaper you might read, and in this unit we hope to show students that it can be every bit as engaging and compelling to read and to write as other genres. Via thousands of articles a month — from front-page reporting on politics to news about athletes in Sports, deep data dives in The Upshot, recipes in Cooking, advice columns in Style and long-form investigative pieces in the magazine — Times journalists find ways to experiment with the genre to intrigue and inform their audiences.

For this unit, however, we are focusing on just one broad area of informational writing — that with a STEM theme. Not only can students find daily models in The Times’s Science, Tech and Health sections, but we have also teamed up with Science News and Science News for Students as a partner for our contest so we can provide an even bigger range of writing examples at different reading levels.

But if you’re a humanities teacher and you’re feeling left out, please know that this contest and our four mentor-text lesson plans are relevant to you, too.

First of all, your students can take on any topic they like under the broad umbrellas of science, technology, engineering, math and health, and we hope they will choose issues and ideas that have real relevance to their lives. But more to the point, the writing skills we want this contest to teach — how to write clearly and engagingly about complex topics — obviously span subject areas. And the specific requirements of the contest — that students have an engaging “hook” as an opening, that they weave in quotations from experts and studies, and that they explain why the topic matters — are elements they will need to master for all kinds of writing tasks.

Below, we provide the core ingredients for our unit, which can be used and adapted whether you are participating in our contest or not.

Start with a writing prompt that will help inspire students to investigate topics that matter to them.

When reporting on STEM-related issues, journalists often start by asking a question about what’s happening in the world around them:

Just how safe is vaping ? Can exercise make us smarter ? How does facial recognition technology work? Why are wildfires becoming infernos? If you touched the moon, what would it feel like ?

Their articles are answers to those questions — or at least attempts to answer.

To begin this unit, we invite students to brainstorm their own questions by responding to our writing prompt: What Questions Do You Have About How the World Works?

The questions they come up with can serve as starting points for the research and writing of their own informational texts for our STEM-related Informational Writing Contest.

Whether they ultimately participate in our contest or not, we hope your students have fun responding to this prompt — and then enjoy reading the questions posed by other students, commenting on them and maybe even hitting that “Recommend” button if they read a response they especially like.

All our prompts are open for comment by students 13 and up, and every comment is read by Times editors before it is approved.

Read mentor texts and try some of the ‘writer’s moves’ we spotlight.

The goal of our mentor-text series is to demystify what good writing looks like and to encourage students to experiment with some of those techniques themselves. We do that by asking both professional science writers and teenage winners of our contests to tell us about their work.

For this unit, we created three mentor-text lesson plans that focus on the individual elements we’re asking student writers to include in their contest submissions. We also invited a science journalist to annotate one of his own articles to take us behind the scenes of his research and writing process and show us how he has woven in those elements.

Here are the mentor texts:

Annotated by the Author: “Tiny Tyrannosaur Hints at How T. Rex Became King”

Hooking the Reader Right From the Start: The Times Trilobites Column

Quoting and Paraphrasing Experts and Research: The Times Tip Column

Explaining Why a Topic Matters: The Times Personal Health Column

And, of course, we always recommend that you read the work of our previous student winners. In 2020, winners wrote about bacteria bombs, fat tongues and microrobots . In 2021 they wrote about star polymers, space origami and singing finches . The video embedded above can give you a glimpse into the process.

What do your students admire about these pieces? What “writer’s moves” might they borrow for their own work?

Enter our STEM Writing Contest.

By the end of the unit, your students will have brainstormed ideas for research, gone behind the scenes of one journalist’s process and practiced key elements of informational writing themselves.

Now we invite them to produce one piece of polished writing that brings it all together.

This contest asks students to choose an issue or question in science, technology, engineering, math or health that interests them, then write a 500-word explanation that will engage and enlighten readers.

All student work will be read by our staff, volunteers from the Times newsroom and Science Times, and/or by educators from around the country. Winners will have their work published on our site and, perhaps, in the print New York Times.

The Third Annual Contest will run from Feb. 2 to March 9, 2022, and we will link to the announcement here when it is live. Until then, check out the Second Annual Contest since we will abide by the same rules and guidelines.

Additional Resources

While the core of our unit is the prompts, mentor texts and contest, we also offer additional resources to inspire and support teachers, including lesson plans and great ideas from our readers around STEM reading and writing.

Our Lessons of the Day that concern STEM-related topics

Reader Idea: ‘Article Days’ and ‘Aha Moments’ Transform Science and Art Classes

Lesson Plan: Teaching Science with the ‘Trilobites’ Column

Register for our on-demand webinar Teaching Informational Writing or watch an edited version below.

Brilliantio

Prompts for Informative Writing: Boost Your Content with These Essential Tips

By: Author Paul Jenkins

Posted on August 2, 2023

Categories Writing

If you’re a teacher or a parent looking for ways to help your students or children improve their informative writing skills, writing prompts are an excellent tool to consider. Writing prompts are pre-written topics or questions that students can use as a starting point for their writing assignments. They can help students develop their creativity, critical thinking, and research skills while also improving their writing abilities.

Understanding informative writing is crucial when using writing prompts. Informative writing is a type of writing that aims to educate or inform the readers about a specific topic. It’s not meant to express opinions or persuade the readers but rather to provide objective information and facts. Informative writing can take many forms, such as explanatory essays, research papers, reports, and articles, among others.

Types of informative writing prompts can vary depending on the grade level, topic, and purpose of the writing assignment. For example, elementary school students might be asked to write about their favorite animal or describe their typical school day, while high school students might be asked to write a research paper on a particular historical event or scientific phenomenon. Incorporating creativity into informative writing prompts can make the writing process more engaging and fun for students, while also challenging them to think outside the box.

Key Takeaways

  • Writing prompts can be an excellent tool to help students improve their informative writing skills.
  • Informative writing is a type of writing that aims to educate or inform the readers about a specific topic.
  • Types of informative writing prompts can vary depending on the grade level, topic, and purpose of the writing assignment.

56 Prompts for Informative Writing

Here are 56 prompts for informative writing:

1. Explain the process of photosynthesis in plants.

2. Write an informative essay about your favorite hobby or activity.

3. Explain how to train a dog to sit, stay, and come.

4. Describe the water cycle and how water moves through the environment.

5. Explain how electricity is generated and distributed to homes and businesses.

6. Write an informative essay about an important historical event.

7. Explain the rules of your favorite sport or game.

8. Describe how to make a simple meal like a sandwich, salad, or pasta dish.

9. Explain how to open a bank account.

10. Describe the key events and figures of the Civil Rights Movement in America.

11. Explain the process of the scientific method step-by-step.

12. Write an informative essay about an influential person in history.

13. Describe how to change a tire on a car.

14. Explain how to do laundry including sorting, washing, drying and folding clothes.

15. Describe the parts of a flower and their functions.

16. Explain how to read a map and use cardinal directions.

17. Write an informative essay about a specific culture or ethnic group.

18. Describe the steps to take to apply to college.

19. Explain a cooking technique like sautéing, baking, broiling, etc.

20. Describe how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in an emergency.

21. Explain how a bill becomes a law in the U.S. government.

22. Write an informative essay about a scientific concept.

23. Describe how to swing a golf club properly.

24. Explain the positions and roles in American football or another sport.

25. Write an informative essay about a historical period like the Renaissance.

26. Describe how to change the oil in a car.

27. Explain the influence of the internet and social media on society.

28. Write an informative essay about an animal species.

29. Describe how daily habits can improve physical and mental health.

30. Explain how clouds and precipitation form in the atmosphere.

31. Write an informative essay about a type of art like painting, music or dance.

32. Describe how to build something out of wood or metal.

33. Explain how volcanoes form and erupt.

34. Write an informative essay about an important current event.

35. Describe how to improve study skills and get better grades.

36. Explain how the human digestive system works.

37. Write an informative essay about an influential book or novel.

38. Describe how to play a musical instrument like guitar, piano or drums.

39. Explain how vaccines help prevent disease in the human body.

40. Write an informative essay about sustainable living practices.

41. Describe how to manage money and create a budget.

42. Explain how radar and satellites are used to forecast the weather.

43. Write an informative essay about a common medical condition.

44. Describe the steps in a software development process.

45. Explain how computers and the internet function.

46. Write an informative essay about social media platforms.

47. Describe how to succeed in a job interview.

48. Explain the causes and effects of climate change around the world.

49. Write an informative essay about a planet in our solar system.

50. Describe how to grow vegetables in a garden.

51. Explain how electricity is produced from renewable sources like solar, wind or hydropower.

52. Write an informative essay about a famous landmark or travel destination.

53. Describe how to change a flat tire on a bicycle.

54. Explain how home appliances like refrigerators and washing machines work.

55. Write an informative essay about healthy eating and nutrition.

56. Describe the proper technique for strength training exercises like squats, deadlifts and bench press.

Understanding Informative Writing

Informative writing is a type of writing that aims to convey information or knowledge to the reader. It is also known as informational or explanatory writing. The purpose of informative writing is to educate the reader on a particular topic or subject. This type of writing is often used in academic, scientific, and technical writing.

Informative writing differs from other types of writing such as narrative and persuasive writing. Narrative writing tells a story, while persuasive writing aims to convince the reader to take a particular action or believe in a certain viewpoint. Informative writing, on the other hand, focuses on presenting facts and information in a clear and concise manner.

To write effective informative writing, you need to have good writing skills. This includes being able to organize your ideas logically, use proper grammar and punctuation, and use clear and concise language. You should also be able to research and gather information from reliable sources.

When writing informative writing, it is important to keep your audience in mind. Consider who will be reading your writing and what they already know about the topic. Use language and terminology that is appropriate for your audience. You should also consider the purpose of your writing and what you want to achieve with it.

In summary, informative writing is a type of writing that aims to educate the reader on a particular topic or subject. It requires good writing skills, research, and an understanding of your audience. By following these guidelines, you can write effective informative writing that conveys information clearly and concisely.

Types of Informative Writing Prompts

When it comes to informative writing prompts, there are a variety of topics that you can choose from. Here are some sub-sections with a few prompts to get you started.

Prompts on Current Events

If you’re interested in writing about current events, here are some prompts to consider:

  • The impact of social media on politics
  • The effects of climate change on your local community
  • The impact of COVID-19 on education

Prompts on Technology

Technology is a constantly evolving field, and there are many interesting topics to explore. Here are some prompts to consider:

  • The future of artificial intelligence
  • The impact of social media on mental health
  • The benefits and drawbacks of remote work

Prompts on Environment

If you’re passionate about the environment, here are some prompts to consider:

  • The effects of pollution on your local ecosystem
  • The benefits of renewable energy sources
  • The impact of deforestation on wildlife

Prompts on Sports

Sports are a great topic for informative writing. Here are some prompts to consider:

  • The benefits of team sports for children
  • The history of a particular sport
  • The impact of sports on mental health

Prompts on History

History is a rich and fascinating topic, and there are many interesting events and people to explore. Here are some prompts to consider:

  • The impact of World War II on modern society
  • The life and legacy of a famous historical figure
  • The history of a particular country or region

Prompts on Family

Family is an important part of many people’s lives, and there are many topics to explore. Here are some prompts to consider:

  • The benefits of spending time with family
  • The impact of divorce on children
  • The role of grandparents in modern families

Prompts on Animals

Animals are fascinating creatures, and there are many topics to explore. Here are some prompts to consider:

  • The benefits of pet ownership
  • The impact of human activity on wildlife
  • The intelligence and behavior of a particular animal species

Prompts on Food

Food is a universal topic, and there are many interesting aspects to explore. Here are some prompts to consider:

  • The benefits of a plant-based diet
  • The history of a particular cuisine
  • The impact of food on mental health

Prompts on Healthy Diet

Healthy eating is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and there are many topics to explore. Here are some prompts to consider:

  • The benefits of a balanced diet
  • The impact of sugar on the body
  • The benefits and drawbacks of popular diets

Prompts on Music

Music is a powerful art form, and there are many interesting topics to explore. Here are some prompts to consider:

  • The impact of music on mental health
  • The history of a particular genre of music
  • The benefits of learning to play a musical instrument

Prompts on Occupation

Occupation is an important part of many people’s lives, and there are many topics to explore. Here are some prompts to consider:

  • The benefits and drawbacks of working from home
  • The impact of automation on the job market
  • The history of a particular profession

Prompts on Mental Health

Mental health is an important topic, and there are many aspects to explore. Here are some prompts to consider:

  • The benefits of mindfulness meditation
  • The benefits of therapy for mental health

Prompts on Computers

Computers are an integral part of modern life, and there are many topics to explore. Here are some prompts to consider:

  • The impact of social media on privacy
  • The history of a particular computer technology
  • The benefits and drawbacks of artificial intelligence

Prompts on Holidays

Holidays are a time for celebration and reflection, and there are many topics to explore. Here are some prompts to consider:

  • The history and cultural significance of a particular holiday
  • The impact of commercialization on holidays
  • The benefits of spending time with family during holidays

Prompts on Heritage

Heritage is an important part of many people’s identities, and there are many topics to explore. Here are some prompts to consider:

  • The history and cultural significance of a particular tradition
  • The impact of globalization on cultural heritage
  • The benefits of preserving cultural heritage for future generations

Remember, these are just a few examples of the many topics you can explore in your informative writing. Choose a topic that you’re passionate about, and start exploring!

Informative Writing Prompts for Different Grade Levels

When it comes to informative writing, different grade levels require different prompts. Here are some informative writing prompts for elementary school, high school, and college level students.

Elementary School Prompts

Elementary school students need prompts that are simple and easy to understand. Here are some informative writing prompts that are perfect for elementary school students:

  • Describe your favorite animal and explain why you like it.
  • Write about a famous person from history and explain why they are important.
  • Explain how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
  • Write about your favorite book and explain why you like it.
  • Describe your favorite season and explain why you like it.

High School Prompts

High school students need more challenging prompts that require critical thinking and research. Here are some informative writing prompts that are perfect for high school students:

  • Explain the causes and effects of air pollution.
  • Write about the history of your hometown.
  • Explain the process of photosynthesis.
  • Write about the effects of social media on society.
  • Explain the importance of voting in a democracy.

College Level Prompts

College level students need prompts that are even more challenging and require extensive research. Here are some informative writing prompts that are perfect for college level students:

  • Explain the causes and effects of climate change.
  • Write about the history of a specific industry and its impact on society.
  • Explain the process of genetic modification.
  • Write about the effects of globalization on the economy.
  • Explain the impact of technology on modern society.

No matter what grade level you are in, these informative writing prompts will help you improve your writing skills and expand your knowledge on a variety of topics.

Incorporating Creativity into Informative Writing

When it comes to informative writing, it’s easy to fall into the trap of writing dry, boring content that fails to engage readers. However, incorporating creativity into your writing can make it more interesting and engaging. Here are some creative ways to make your informative writing more interesting:

Use Writing Prompts

Writing prompts are a great way to get your creative juices flowing. They can help you come up with interesting topics and ideas that you may not have thought of otherwise. There are many websites and books that offer writing prompts for informative writing. Some of these prompts may be specific to a particular topic, while others may be more general.

Think Outside the Box

Sometimes, the most interesting and engaging informative writing comes from thinking outside the box. Instead of writing about the same old topics, try to find a unique angle or perspective that will make your content stand out. For example, instead of writing a typical “how-to” article, you could write a “how-not-to” article that highlights common mistakes people make.

Use Visuals

Visuals are a great way to make your informative writing more engaging. They can help break up large blocks of text and make your content more visually appealing. Consider using charts, graphs, and images to help illustrate your points. Just be sure to use visuals that are relevant to your content and don’t overload your readers with too many images.

Tell a Story

People love stories, and incorporating storytelling into your informative writing can make it more interesting and engaging. Instead of simply presenting facts and information, try to tell a story that illustrates your points. For example, if you’re writing about a historical event, you could tell the story of a person who lived during that time period and how the event affected their life.

Incorporating creativity into your informative writing can make it more interesting and engaging for your readers. By using writing prompts, thinking outside the box, using visuals, and telling stories, you can create informative content that is both informative and engaging.

Tips for Teaching Informative Writing

Teaching informative writing can be a challenging task, but with the right approach, you can help your students become confident and skilled writers. Here are some tips for teaching informative writing:

1. Start with Mentor Texts

Before asking your students to write in a new genre, immerse them in it. Start with mentor texts that exemplify the genre, and use them to teach the text structure, language features, and text purpose. This will help your students develop a better understanding of the genre and the expectations for their writing.

2. Break it Down

Informative writing can be overwhelming for students, especially if they are new to the genre. To make it more manageable, break the writing process down into smaller steps. Start with brainstorming, move on to research, and then focus on organizing and drafting the writing. This will help your students stay focused and motivated throughout the writing process.

3. Use Engaging Prompts

To help your students get excited about writing, use engaging prompts that relate to their interests and experiences. This will make the writing more meaningful and relevant to them, which can help improve their motivation and engagement.

4. Provide Feedback

Feedback is essential for helping your students improve their writing skills. Be sure to provide constructive feedback that is specific and actionable. This will help your students understand what they are doing well and what they need to work on.

5. Use Resources

There are many resources available to help you teach informative writing, including lesson plans, teaching guides, and online teacher hubs. Take advantage of these resources to help you plan your lessons and support your students’ learning.

By following these tips, you can help your students become confident and skilled writers of informative texts.

Writing Prompts for Special Topics

When it comes to informative writing, there are many special topics that you can explore. These topics can be used to educate your readers on a variety of subjects and help them learn more about the world around them. In this section, we will provide you with some writing prompts for special topics that you can use to get started.

Prompts on Natural Disasters

Natural disasters can be devastating and have a significant impact on people’s lives. If you want to write about natural disasters, here are some prompts that you can use:

  • How do natural disasters occur?
  • What are the different types of natural disasters?
  • What are some of the most significant natural disasters in history?
  • How can people prepare for natural disasters?
  • What are some of the most common effects of natural disasters on people and the environment?

Prompts on Famous Landmarks

Famous landmarks are an essential part of our world’s history and culture. If you want to write about famous landmarks, here are some prompts that you can use:

  • What are some of the most famous landmarks in the world?
  • What is the history behind these landmarks?
  • How have these landmarks impacted the world?
  • What are some of the most interesting facts about these landmarks?
  • What are some of the challenges that these landmarks face today?

Prompts on Social Issues

Social issues are a crucial part of our society, and they can have a significant impact on people’s lives. If you want to write about social issues, here are some prompts that you can use:

  • What are some of the most pressing social issues in our society today?
  • How do these social issues impact people’s lives?
  • What are some of the most effective ways to address these social issues?
  • How can people get involved in addressing these social issues?
  • What are some of the challenges that people face when addressing these social issues?

Prompts on Self-Care

Self-care is essential for maintaining our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. If you want to write about self-care, here are some prompts that you can use:

  • What is self-care, and why is it important?
  • What are some of the most effective self-care practices?
  • How can people incorporate self-care into their daily lives?
  • What are some of the benefits of self-care?
  • What are some of the challenges that people face when practicing self-care?

Prompts on Bullying

Bullying is a serious issue that can have a significant impact on people’s lives. If you want to write about bullying, here are some prompts that you can use:

  • What is bullying, and how does it impact people?
  • What are some of the different types of bullying?
  • What are some of the most effective ways to prevent bullying?
  • How can people support those who have been bullied?
  • What are some of the challenges that people face when addressing bullying?

These writing prompts can help you get started on your informative writing journey. By exploring these special topics, you can educate your readers and help them learn more about the world around them.

Improving Writing Skills Through Prompts

If you want to improve your writing skills, prompts for informative writing can be an effective tool. Informational writing prompts can help you develop your communication skills, learn how to compare and contrast different ideas, write descriptive pieces, and provide clear directions.

One of the benefits of using prompts is that they can help you overcome writer’s block. When you have a specific topic or idea to write about, it can be easier to get started. Prompts can also help you stay focused and on track, preventing your writing from becoming too broad or unfocused.

Using prompts can also help you develop your writing skills in specific areas. For example, if you struggle with descriptive writing, prompts can give you an opportunity to practice using sensory details and vivid language. If you want to improve your ability to compare and contrast different ideas, prompts can provide you with opportunities to analyze and evaluate different topics or concepts.

Another benefit of using prompts is that they can help you develop your critical thinking skills. When you are asked to write about a specific topic, you may need to do some research or think deeply about the subject in order to provide accurate and informative content.

To get the most out of prompts, it’s important to choose ones that are relevant to your interests and goals. Look for prompts that challenge you to think deeply and critically, and that provide opportunities for you to develop your writing skills in specific areas.

Overall, using prompts for informative writing can be an effective way to improve your writing skills, develop your communication abilities, and learn how to provide clear and effective directions. With practice and dedication, you can become a skilled and confident writer who is able to express your ideas clearly and effectively.

The Role of Research in Informative Writing

When writing an informative piece, research plays a crucial role in providing factual information that is relevant to the topic. Research helps you to gather information from different sources, including books, articles, and websites, that you can use to support your claims and add credibility to your writing.

Conducting research allows you to collect a wide range of information that you can use to provide a comprehensive overview of the topic you are writing about. This information may include statistics, historical facts, expert opinions, and personal experiences, among others.

It’s important to ensure that the information you gather is factual and relevant to the topic you are writing about. This means that you need to be selective about the sources you use and ensure that they are reputable and reliable. You can use tools like Google Scholar or academic databases to find scholarly sources that provide accurate and up-to-date information.

When using information from your research, it’s essential to cite your sources properly. This adds credibility to your writing and allows readers to verify the information you have presented. You can use citation styles like APA or MLA to ensure that you cite your sources correctly.

In summary, research is a critical component of informative writing. It helps you to gather factual information that is relevant to your topic and adds credibility to your writing. By conducting thorough research and citing your sources correctly, you can provide readers with accurate and reliable information that they can trust.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some examples of informative writing prompts.

Informative writing prompts are designed to teach readers about a particular topic or subject. Some examples of informative writing prompts include explaining how a bicycle works, describing how a plant grows, or writing a biography of a famous person.

What are the key features of informative writing?

Informative writing should be clear, concise, and organized. It should include a thesis statement that clearly identifies the main topic of the piece, and each paragraph should focus on a specific aspect of that topic. Informative writing should also include evidence and examples to support the author’s claims.

What are the most important elements of informative writing?

The most important elements of informative writing are a clear thesis statement, well-organized paragraphs, and supporting evidence and examples. Informative writing should also be written in a clear and concise style, with a focus on teaching the reader about a particular topic.

What are some good informational writing topics for 6th grade?

Good informational writing topics for 6th grade include current events, historical events, scientific concepts, and social issues. For example, students could write about climate change, the Civil Rights Movement, the human digestive system, or the effects of social media on teenagers.

Informative/Explanatory Writing: On-Demand ©

  • Description

The pieces in this On-Demand section represent one of the three types of writing named in the Common Core State Standards for Writing: informative/explanatory writing. Students at all grade levels were given a set of texts (or a short video and a text at younger grades) and a writing prompt that asked them about that set of texts.

Students at kindergarten through grade five were given the focusing question,“What can you do to save water?” 

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Annotated student writing samples illustrate the integration of content understanding and writing in the three types of …

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Informative writing prompts

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  1. 22 Explanatory Writing Prompts » JournalBuddies.com

    Write a paragraph about your favorite food. Give three solid reasons why you love this meal. Write a paper about an animal that is facing extinction. Include facts and figures about the current population of that animal and some of the challenges it faces. Write a letter convincing your parent to get a new pet for your home.

  2. 15 Engaging Explanatory Writing Prompts

    1. Defining Friendship Everyone needs friends. What qualities make someone a good friend? How can you be a friend for someone who needs one? Write an essay that explains ways to be a good friend. 2. A Job for Me People do all kinds of jobs. Some people build. Others serve. Some teach. Others sell.

  3. 30 Excellent Informational Writing Prompts

    Take a look now and enjoy! 30 Informational Writing Prompts for Students In autumn, the green leaves on the trees change to a variety of different colors. What causes this to happen? Think about the fact that newspapers are becoming less popular these days and write about what places people get their current events news from instead.

  4. 33 Excellent Expository Writing Prompts » JournalBuddies.com

    33 Excellent Expository Writing Prompts Hooray! Our list of expository writing prompts was created with younger writers in mind, but these ideas are actually very useful good for writers of many ages and stages of life. You see… The basics are a fantastic starting point regardless of the writer's age. So take a look now and enjoy!

  5. Explanatory Writing Prompts

    Explanatory or informative writing prompts are an important tool for teachers and students alike, particularly in light of Common Core ELA standards, which cover this writing style. The...

  6. Expository Writing Prompts: 30 Writing Prompts for School and College

    These topics require a bit more research and test the writer's expository writing skills. They are best used for high school students, although secondary students in advanced writing classes can also benefit from them. 1. There is a strong parent-led campaign in your city to curb down on homework assignments given to students.

  7. 45 Expository Writing Prompts

    Explain. Write an essay that explains how to play your favorite musical instrument. Choose a prominent Black person in history, and write an essay explaining why their accomplishments are important. Explain the steps of the scientific method. Explain why people who are best friends can sometimes still experience conflict.

  8. Over 170 Prompts to Inspire Writing and Discussion

    During the 2020-21 school year, we asked 176 questions, and you can find them all below or here as a PDF. The questions are divided into two categories — those that provide opportunities for ...

  9. Over 1,000 Writing Prompts for Students

    1. Is Social Media Making Us More Narcissistic? 2. Are You the Same Person on Social Media as You Are in Real Life? 3. How Young Is Too Young to Use Social Media? 4. What Advice Do You Have for...

  10. Informative, Expository Writing Prompts

    Write About a State In this worksheet, your student can practice writing informational text. Grade Levels: 2nd and 3rd Grade, Grades K-12, Kindergarten & 1st Grade My Hometown - Writing Prompt This writing prompt has your student writing an informative piece on her hometown. Grade Levels: 2nd and 3rd Grade, 4th and 5th Grade, Grades K-12

  11. 51 Great Informational Writing Prompts

    Informational Writing Prompts 1. Tell the characteristics of your favorite animal. 2. Describe one of your parent's occupations. 3. Share your typical school day. 4. Look around the room, and find something blue. Describe the object and how it's used. 5. What characteristics make someone a hero? 6. Describe your favorite holiday.

  12. Informational Writing Prompts: 50 Ideas to Get You Started

    1. Explain the process of photosynthesis. 2. Write a biography of an important historical figure. 3. Explain how clouds form. 4. Describe how a bicycle works. 5. Explain the water cycle. 6. Write about the history of your town or city. 7. Describe how chocolate is made. 8. Explain how flowers grow from seeds. 9.

  13. 51 Great Expository Writing Prompts

    So be sure to include a free a few of these expository writing prompts in your Writers Workshop block this week so that your students can start becoming factual experts. Expository Writing Prompts. Following you will find a list of expository writing prompts suitable for all grades. 1. Explain the importance of learning how to read well. 2 ...

  14. 50 Fun Prompt Writing Ideas for High School Students

    10 Expository Prompt Writing Ideas. Essentially, an exposition seeks to explain something. And things in our world ALWAYS need explaining! We crave information, and one of my major goals as a teacher is to encourage students to seek out information instead of what just pops up on social media feeds. We have so much knowledge, it can be ...

  15. 100 Expository 7th Grade Writing Prompts for Your Students

    Spark your students' interest with these 100 7th grade expository writing prompts, including compare and contrast prompts, descriptive writing ideas, and more. ... These expository and explanatory writing prompts focus on sequential writing that's inspiring for this age group.

  16. 51 Great Explanatory Writing Prompts

    Explanatory Writing Prompts 1. Write the characteristics of the four seasons. 2. What are the main tourist attractions in your town? 3. Share the traditions of your culture. 4. Why is it important to eat healthy foods? 5. Explain the water cycle. 6. What are some exciting things that you learned this school year? 7.

  17. Informational Writing Unit

    Sure, students are writing explanatory pieces all the time, whether in response to questions, in notebooks, in formal papers and on tests. ... All our prompts are open for comment by students 13 ...

  18. Prompts for Informative Writing: Boost Your Content with These

    Here are 56 prompts for informative writing: 1. Explain the process of photosynthesis in plants. 2. Write an informative essay about your favorite hobby or activity. 3. Explain how to train a dog to sit, stay, and come. 4. Describe the water cycle and how water moves through the environment. 5.

  19. Informative/Explanatory Writing: On-Demand

    Star Student Writing Samples > Informative/Explanatory Writing Informative/Explanatory Writing: On-Demand © The pieces in this On-Demand section represent one of the three types of writing named in the Common Core State Standards for Writing: informative/explanatory writing.

  20. Informative and Expository Writing Prompts Worksheets

    Our informative and expository worksheet prompts stimulate a students mind to prepare to conduct reasearch and respond to the prompt. Research with books, magazines and the internet is growing more and more common. It is important for students to learn how to conduct research online and cite where they get their information.

  21. Explanatory/Informative Prompts Worksheets

    Informative writing. These explanatory writing worksheets prompt students to write the steps (with diagrams) explaining how to do activities they are familiar with (e.g. brushing their teeth). How to ..... Worksheet #1 Worksheet #2. Worksheet #3 Worksheet #4.

  22. 51 Great Informational Writing Prompts for 4th Grade

    19. Share the advantages and disadvantages of owning a pet. 20. Write an article for the school's newsletter offering tips on how to care for a pet. informational writing prompts for 4th grade. 21. Summarize your favorite TV show episode. 22.

  23. Informative writing prompts for grade 3

    Grade 3 writing prompts. Students are prompted to write short informative essays about grade level appropriate subjects. Some example sentence starters (stems) and linking words are provided. Informative writing prompt.