February is the perfect time to reinvigorate your writing lessons with some fresh and engaging daily writing prompts. Whether you are looking for story starters or fun Valentine’s Day writing prompts, these writing ideas are a great way to inspire your students to craft thoughtful and captivating compositions. With over 50 February writing prompts for kids in elementary and middle school, encouraging your students to develop a daily writing habit will be a snap.
- Benefits of Using Writing Prompts for Kids
- What Do You Write About in February?
- February Writing Prompts for Kids
- Writing Prompts for 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, and 3rd Grade
- February Writing Prompts for Older Kids
- Tips for Using Writing Prompts Effectively with Kids
Benefits of Using Writing Prompts for Kids
Using writing prompts for kids has a wide range of benefits that can help them to become better writers and thinkers.
Improves Critical Thinking Skills
Writing prompts can improve students’ critical thinking skills by encouraging them to think outside the box and explore different ways to approach a problem. Writing prompts can be used to help students think about and analyze current events, trends, and philosophies that they encounter in their daily lives but don’t necessarily have the opportunity or means to process. Writing prompts that tap into topics that are of interest to them help them make a connection between their world, their writing, and their thoughts and opinions.
Carefully constructed prompts encourage students to take the time to dig into a topic and explore their feelings about it. Often, we aren’t able to articulate our thoughts, feelings, and opinions on a matter until we have gone through this process. In preparing to write about it, students must first think about it and, in doing so, generate conclusions that they must articulate to others. For many, this level of critical thinking is hard to reach without a writing component.
Enhances Creativity and Imagination
With so many different types of writing prompts available, there’s no end to the ideas and topics we can have students write about. By presenting them with sentence starters, story ideas, and other writing prompts, we are planting seeds of creativity that will blossom in them the more time they spend writing.
Some might worry that using writing prompts does the opposite—that by giving a class full of kids the same idea for a story, we’re taking away their creativity and forcing them into a box. With well-crafted writing prompts, however, that should not be the case. Phrased properly, a writing prompt should open up many new worlds of opportunity for students.
For example, a prompt such as Write about a time when you were afraid to do something but overcame your fear and did it anyway challenges students to delve into their personal experiences, mining them for the gold nugget of a compelling personal narrative.
In cases where we’re supplying more specific story prompts or sentence starters, it’s helpful to provide them with a few choices so they can write about the topics they find most inspiring.
Encourages Exploration into Different Cultures, Topics, and Subjects
Students keeping a daily journal may begin to find it monotonous if they don’t have different writing prompts to work with at least occasionally. The trend is to just start rehashing their days, which is not entirely unbeneficial, but we can encourage deeper reflection and writing if we provide some other topics for them to explore.
Centering your monthly writing prompts on a few central themes like the ones below helps students turn their thoughts to cultures, topics, and subjects they might not otherwise consider. They might approach these topics from perspectives other than their own or write their responses in formats other than what they are used to. For example, responding to a prompt about bullying in a poetic format could foster deeper exploration and reflection of that topic than simply asking them to write a research paper on it.
What Do You Write About in February?
Coming up with fresh topics to explore is one of the biggest obstacles in writing. A young writer can use up her whole writing time trying to come up with the best thing to write about. If you’re doing daily writing practice in your classroom, you need a constant supply of new prompts to keep your students engaged.
So if you’re wondering what makes February different in terms of writing activities, let’s look at some special events occurring in February that can serve as a jumping-off point for our February writing prompts.
Whether you are teaching a specific lesson relating to a particular day or you just plan to give a brief mention of it as a segue into your chosen writing prompt, it can be fun to tie some of your writing or journaling prompts into fun or historic events that kids may enjoy learning about. It can be overkill to try to do this every day of the month but consider selecting a few of the events below that relate to what you’re already learning or that you think will resonate with your students and look for different ways to incorporate them into your writing time.
Special Events in the Month of February
- Black History Month – February is Black History Month in Canada and the United States. (Some European countries observe it in October). There’s a whole section dedicated to this topic below. An initial suggestion would be to have students write about a significant figure in African-American or Black Canadian history (e.g. Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King Jr., or Viola Desmond) in an essay, short story, or poem.
- February 1st – National Girls and Women in Sports Day (the date changes annually, but is always in the first week of February). Many elementary students might just be getting into a sport for the first time, while others may have been engaging actively in athletics for years. In honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day, have students write a journal entry discussing either the influence sports have had in their lives or one specific memory relating to sports.
- February 2nd – Groundhog Day. Groundhog Day marks the annual North American tradition of letting a rodent predict the change of seasons. On the 2nd of February, official groundhogs throughout Canada and the U.S. are summoned forth early in the morning. If he sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If not, spring is said to be just around the corner. Groundhog Day is a fun tradition to celebrate with kids and is a good tie-in to a unit on seasonal changes or hibernation. Students might write a poem about groundhogs, a research paper on the accuracy of the groundhogs’ predictions, or a story in which the groundhog’s viewing of its shadow signifies something new.
- First Friday in February – International Stand Up to Bullying Day. Observed twice annually, International Stand Up to Bullying Day encourages people to wear pink shirts and take a stance against bullying. It serves as an entry point to anti-bullying education and raises awareness of the dangers and statistics relating to this serious issue. You could have students write a list of things they can do if they see or experience bullying or have them create pamphlets that educate others about bullying.
- February 7th – Send a Card to a Friend Day. Remember snail mail? The excitement of receiving a letter from a friend or sending a postcard while traveling? Though it’s not nearly as mainstream these days as it used to be, the thrill of sending and receiving special mail remains. Pass your enthusiasm for slow communication onto your students by having them write and mail letters to a friend on Send a Card to a Friend Day. This is also a great opportunity to teach them how to address envelopes and write their return address. You could have them bring envelopes and stamps from home or have each family bring in $1 to cover the cost of expenses.
- February 7th – Safer Internet Day (the date changes annually, but is always in the second week of February). Safer Internet Day aims to “create a safer and better Internet where people use technology responsibly, respectfully, critically, and creatively.” This is a great topic to discuss with older students and it’s easy to do so using the resources provided by ConnectSafely, the organizer of Safer Internet Day in the United States. There are great writing prompts included in the lesson plans such as write three characteristics each of a Media Literacy Hero and a Fake News Villain. Students might also write and sign a class contract agreeing to use the Internet responsibly by adhering to certain commitments.
- February 9th – National Pizza Day. As far as I’m concerned, if you get a chance to work pizza into your lesson plans, by all means, take it! National Pizza Day is simply a celebration of all kinds of pizza. A fun way to work this into your writing lesson would be to have students write paragraphs arguing the merits of one type of pizza over another—who doesn’t have a strong opinion about that? To turn up the heat, challenge students to go head-to-head in a debate such as Pineapple: Does It Belong on Pizza? or Thin-Crust vs. Thick-Crust: Which Is More Dough-licious?
- February 10th – National Umbrella Day. An annual celebration of these useful accessories, National Umbrella Day could be a good tie-in to a weather-themed unit in elementary school. Challenge students to write a short story where rain plays a key role or write a descriptive paragraph about an umbrella but give it a completely different purpose.
- February 11th – National Inventors’ Day. Fittingly celebrated on the birthday of Thomas Edison, inventor of the light bulb, National Inventors’ Day celebrates past, current, and future inventors. This day lends itself well to creative writing prompts. Have students write about something they’d love to invent or write a short story about a successful or bumbling inventor.
- February 14th – Valentine’s Day. Traditionally thought of as a day to celebrate romantic love, Valentine’s Day can be made kid-friendly by focusing on self-love, friendship, and familiar love. Simple Valentine’s Day writing prompts include having kids write a poem or make a handmade card for someone they care about.
- February 17th – Random Acts of Kindness Day. Random Acts of Kindness Day, as the name implies, encourages people to perform random acts of kindness. This is a fun idea to explore with students and can inspire several different types of writing. You could start by reading a book like The Power of Me or Kindness Week and then ask students to make a list of kind acts they could do, write a short story that demonstrates the power of kindness, or write a personal narrative about a time they’ve benefited from someone else’s kindness.
- February 26th – Letter to Our Elders Day. National Letter to an Elder Day exists to encourage intergenerational relationships and help younger people recognize and show love to the elders in their lives. (The story behind this day is beautiful. Learn more about Love for Our Elders.) Students could write letters to their own grandparents or other seniors they know or you could have them select from elders who’ve been nominated to receive letters.
- February 26th – Tell a Fairy Tale Day. National Fairy Tale Day is the perfect time to work with students on retelling a story in their own words. You could either read them a favorite fairy tale and have them all retell the same one or ask them to bring in their own beloved fairy tales (or pick one from a selection in the library) and write a brief retelling. For older students, you could ask them to write a paragraph or essay analyzing the themes in a favorite fairy tale.
February Writing Prompts for Kids
With all these great events happening in February, there’s no shortage of things to write about with your students. The goal now is to choose a good variety of writing prompt types and topics so you can keep students engaged while also checking off your curricular objectives.
Below, I’ve organized 50 writing prompts into two sections divided by grade level—25 for early elementary kids and 25 for upper elementary and middle school. Within each of these sections, there are several types of prompts including sentence starters, poetry prompts, story writing prompts, and non-fiction prompts.
Writing Prompts for 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, and 3rd Grade
While most writing prompts can generally be adapted for a fairly wide age range, many of them will be too complex for early elementary students. They may involve topics that are above their capacity or require too much printing. At this age, we really want to make writing fun, so we can keep it simple by giving them a starter phrase and/or a word bank and asking them to either complete the sentence or write one to three sentences of their own, depending on their ability levels.
For kids in kindergarten or first grade, a simple writing activity is to have them draw a picture response to the writing prompts and then have them write or dictate a sentence that describes their picture. Second-grade and third-grade students will likely be able to write lists, short stories, and paragraphs in response to these prompts. Just adapt them to the particular needs of your students.
- The best way to keep warm on snowy days is…
- My favorite outdoor activity to do in winter is…
- My favorite food to eat in February is…
- If the groundhog sees its shadow…
- The best thing to do on Valentine’s Day is…
- My favorite fairy tale is _____. I love it because…
- If I could invent anything, I’d make a ______, because…
- Every pizza should have ______, _______ and ______ but never ______.
- To be a good friend, you should always…
- When it rains, I like to…
- Write an acrostic poem using one of these words:
- Write a poem of any type using at least three of these words:
- Leap year
Story Writing Prompts
- Write a story with you and your best friend or a family member as the lead characters in a fairy tale.
- Write a story about an inventor who can only come up with good ideas while he or she is dancing.
- Write a story about a day spent sledding down a snow-covered hill.
- Write a story about someone who got special powers from eating pizza.
- Write a story about a lonely dragon who gets cheered up by a special letter.
Other Writing Prompts for Grades 1 to 3
- Make a list of winter sports you have tried and another list of sports you would like to try.
- Write a card for one of your friends. Tell them about your day and ask about theirs.
- Write a few sentences in your journal about a special older person in your life (e.g. a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or teacher).
- Write instructions for making your favorite cold-weather treat.
- Draw a picture of a character from your favorite fairy tale. Write five things about the character.
- Many people use foods like soup, hot chocolate, fresh bread, and chili to warm up on cold winter days. Picture your favorite warming-up food. Use your five senses to describe it. How does it look, smell, taste, feel, and sound?
- Think of a story you’ve read that takes place in the winter. Retell it in your own words.
February Writing Prompts for Older Kids
The different prompt sets in this section can be adapted for upper elementary and middle school students. You might use them for morning work, to teach a new skill (such as opinion writing or research papers), or to practice freewriting as a way of encouraging reluctant writers.
They can be used for both formal and informal writing assignments.
If using a poetry prompt with older kids, you could assign them to write a specific type of poem such as a haiku, sonnet, or ballad or you can leave that decision up to them. It just depends on your objectives for the lesson
- Write a poem about an influential Black American (or Canadian) who is making an impact in the world today. Try to include details about what makes them unique, their accomplishments, and how they’re inspiring others to follow in their footsteps.
- Write a poem about the causes and effects of bullying.
- Write a poem about everything you love—or don’t love—about winter.
- Write a poem about a random act of kindness and its ripple effects.
- Write a poem about a successful female athlete.
February Journal Prompts
February is a month full of love, friendship, and fun. Journaling can be a great way for kids to explore their emotions and the importance of kindness and healthy relationships. Here are some journal prompts for kids to reflect on in the month of February.
- Valentine’s Day is coming up soon—how can you show love to those around you this year? Will you create cards or give out treats to friends? How can we spread kindness through our actions and words all year round?
- Describe your ideal February day using all five senses (taste, smell, sight, touch, sound). Would you want to spend it outdoors or inside? What would be some activities that make this day special?
- Create a list of all the things that make February unique for you personally—from seasonal holidays such as Valentine’s Day to special events or occasions like birthdays or anniversaries. Why are these moments so important to remember each year?
- Think about changes that have occurred since last February—in your life, within your family or community, and across the world—and why these differences matter to you personally.
- Think back to the start of the new year and write down some of the special moments that have stood out to you. It could be something as simple as playing in the snow with friends, learning a new skill, or trying something completely new. Don’t forget to include lots of details and facts about these memories like where they took place, how they made you feel, and what you learned from the experiences.
Black History Month Writing Prompts
Black History Month is a special time of the year to focus on and recognize the achievements, contributions, and sacrifices of African Americans throughout history. For kids, it’s an important opportunity to learn not only about the past but also how their actions today can help shape a better future. Writing activities are one way to engage students in this conversation and create meaningful connections. Here are some Black History Month writing prompts for kids.
- Create your own manifesto or mission statement that reflects your vision for creating a more equal society both now and in the future. How will you act as an agent of change? What values do you want to uphold?
- Imagine you could ask a famous historical figure from African American history any question—what would it be? Write out the dialogue between you two as if you were having a real conversation with each other.
- Write from the perspective of someone living during a time when segregation was still enforced by law in many states across America. Describe what life was like for African Americans at that time and how they responded with courage even when faced with adversity.
- Do research on current events related to civil rights issues in our country today such as police brutality, voter suppression, and economic inequality. Then write an opinion piece expressing your views on these topics and how we can work together towards progress and justice for all people regardless of race or ethnicity.
- Write about the impacts of Black History Month and how it can be celebrated by future generations.
Narrative Writing Prompts for February
Writing prompts are also a great way for older kids to practice their creative writing abilities. With February being a month full of interesting and exciting holidays, there is no shortage of inspiration for story ideas or other creative writing projects. From Valentine’s Day to Inventor’s Day, this month presents plenty of possibilities for kids to write innovative short stories.
- Create a character who lives in the coldest place on Earth and describe what their daily life is like.
- Write a story set in a world where it snows all year round.
- Write a story that is written entirely with dialogue. Include these words and phrases:
- Conversation hearts
- Social media
- Banana bread
- Pink shirt
- Write a story set in winter where two friends try to find something positive in their cold and snowy surroundings. What do they discover during their journey and how does it help them appreciate winter despite its drawbacks?
- Create a story about a young inventor whose invention saves their community from impending disaster.
Other Writing Prompts for Older Kids
While the above prompts tend to lean on the more creative side and are designed to help kids rev up their imaginations, you’ll probably want to add in one or two more formal writing assignments as well. Draw inspiration from the topics you’ve been covering.
If you did a unit on inventors, have them select an inventor to research and write about. If you put a lot of emphasis on kindness and bullying, steer students in that direction. Here are a few examples.
- How do animals survive the winter months in cold climates? Research different animals who live in snowy places. How do they stay warm and find food during the winter months when temperatures drop below freezing?
- Write a letter as though you are an older adult (60+) recording your best advice for your grandchildren. What would you want to tell them about life? What lessons would you most want to pass down?
- Write a biographical essay about Marie Curie, the first woman to win two Nobel Prizes in science, discussing her accomplishments and how they impacted our lives today.
- Create a story based on Leonardo Da Vinci’s notebook sketches, depicting how his ideas may have been received during his lifetime versus today’s world of technological advancements.
- Write down five interesting facts about winter birds that migrate throughout North America every February and March, such as Canada geese or robins.
Tips for Using Writing Prompts Effectively with Kids
These tips will help you get the most out of your writing prompt exercises.
- Set aside time specifically dedicated to writing each day. The more often kids practice writing, the more comfortable they’ll get with it.
- Make sure kids understand that there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to writing prompts. These should be low-pressure writing assignments unless you’re specifically using the prompts for formal assignments.
- Give kids plenty of space to brainstorm and feel inspired by their ideas before jumping into the writing assignment.
- Don’t force kids to share their informal writing, especially if they’re writing about something personal. If you’re marking for participation only, give them the option to hand it in to you with a sticky note that says Please Don’t Read. This can help students build trust in you and feel safe writing about their inner thoughts and feelings in, for example, their journal entries.
Get Started with Your February Writing Prompts Today
Are you excited to use the February writing prompts in your classroom? With this wide variety of creative writing, poetry, and non-fiction prompts, you have enough to keep your young writers busy all month long. Want a printable copy of this list? Enter your email below to get one sent straight to your inbox.