70+ Dynamic 3rd Grade Writing Prompts

, Staff Writer
Updated March 26, 2021
3rd grade writing prompts
    third grade classroom writing prompt
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By 3rd grade, some kids love to write — and others dread it more than anything. But no matter how they feel about writing, 3rd grade is an important year for students to expand their writing skills. That's why you need interesting and versatile writing prompts for your aspiring authors and for your reluctant readers. Keep reading for 3rd grade writing prompts for journaling, finishing the story and building Common Core writing skills.

3rd Grade Writing Prompts: Finish the Story

Sometimes starting the story is the hardest part. Along with traditional narrative writing prompts, these 3rd grade story starters give kids a headstart with storytelling. Have them write these down and then take the story where their imagination leads.

  1. This morning I woke up and my hands had turned into paws! First, I …
  2. Everything was going well until all the pencils in the school disappeared.
  3. When I opened the magical music box from my grandmother, I was amazed to find …
  4. The old woman opened the door and saw a tiny kitten on her doorstep. There was only one problem ...
  5. Today I took my dad's job at work. The first thing I did was …
  6. I woke up from my dream about fishing and discovered that I was next to a lake …
  7. Brett knew that this zoo was different. But what he didn't know was ...
  8. There's only person who knows where the missing jewel is. He is ...
  9. Everyone loves my new invention because …
  10. No one believes that the new student is from the year 1900. I believe her though, because …
  11. When I arrived on the planet where scientists discovered life on it, I never expected …
  12. The best part about living in a submarine is ...

Finish The Story Printable Writing Prompt Worksheet

If your students don't like copying the prompt down, or if you're working with English learners, they may prefer a third grade writing prompts worksheet to write their ideas. Take a look at this printable that is perfect for 3rd grade writers who need a little boost.

"What If" Prompts for 3rd Graders

3rd graders love imagining what they'd do in crazy situations! You can really get them writing by sparking some fantastic ideas. These "what if" writing prompts are super fun and kid-focused for 3rd graders.

  1. What if you lived at school?
  2. What if you woke up one day and could no longer see the color blue?
  3. What if you lived in the water?
  4. What if cats could drive?
  5. What if your teacher gave everyone candy for answering questions?
  6. What if your parents had never met?
  7. What if you met your favorite book character in real life?
  8. What if you could only have one type of food for the rest of your life?
  9. What if you could do one thing so well it made you famous?
  10. What if computers had never been invented?
  11. What if you won a million dollars?
  12. What if you could go on vacation anywhere in the world?

3rd Grade Journal Writing Prompts

Daily or weekly journal writing is a great way to get kids in the habit of thinking like writers. Take a look at these fun 3rd grade writing prompts that are perfect for a class journal.

  1. What is the most exciting thing that has happened to you?
  2. How did you meet your best friend?
  3. Does someone look up to you? Why?
  4. How are you different than you were last year?
  5. Does someone you know make a special food? Why is it special?
  6. What smell reminds you of your favorite place?
  7. What has been the most surprising part of 3rd grade?
  8. How has reading improved your life?
  9. How are you different from your family?
  10. Would you rather be outside or inside? Why?
  11. What was the last thing you made?
  12. What's your favorite sport? When did you first start watching it?

Opinion Writing Prompts for 3rd Grade

Opinion writing is part of the Common Core Standards for 3rd graders. You can help them master both persuasive and argumentative writing with subjects and questions they'll be passionate about.

  1. Should kids go to school until 5:00 in the evening?
  2. Should everyone wear shoes in school? Why or why not?
  3. Do you think the president or prime minister is doing a good job?
  4. What would you do if you were in charge of the school?
  5. What is the best restaurant in your town? Why?
  6. Do you like milk, water, juice, or soda better? How come?
  7. Who makes the best cookies in the world? Why are they so good?
  8. How should people take care of the Earth?
  9. What kind of animal makes a great pet?
  10. What makes someone a good friend?
  11. Should 12-year-olds be allowed to drive?

3rd Grade Informational Writing Prompts

Another part of the Common Core for this age group is informational writing. While that may sound like a chore to some 3rd graders, it's a great way for them to share what they know with topics that interest them.

  1. What was the last thing you made? How did you make it?
  2. What do you know about life in the 1980s?
  3. How do you get home from school? What do you see on the way?
  4. What does someone need to eat to be healthy?
  5. How do you check out a library book?
  6. Explain how to use a specific item in your house.
  7. Think of someone you admire from history. Talk about that person's life.
  8. Pick a pet. How do you take care of it?
  9. What do you know about the history of your family?
  10. Look up dinosaurs in the library. Describe one kind of dinosaur.
  11. What do you know about the history of your school?
  12. How do you study for a test?

3rd Grade Narrative Writing Prompts

Also a Common Core standard for 3rd graders, narrative writing introduces kids to the structure of story and the importance of details that engage the reader. These narrative writing prompts inspire kids to tell a truly excellent tale or two.

  1. Imagine your parents invite an alien to dinner. What happens at the table?
  2. Do you remember your very first day of school ever? Describe what happened.
  3. Imagine you find a time machine. What do you do?
  4. How did you learn to tie your shoes?
  5. What does your pet do all day when you're at school?
  6. Write a story about two talking pigs.
  7. What happened on your last family trip or vacation?
  8. Think about the last time you got hurt. How did it happen?
  9. Imagine a princess who fights a dragon. How does she win?
  10. Write a story about someone who is lost.
  11. What is your earliest memory?
  12. Write about the last time someone was kind to you.

Poetry Prompts for 3rd Graders

Third graders learn about creative writing and are exposed to all types of literature, including poetry. Creative writing for 9-year-olds is all about fun. You can help reinforce the concepts they learn in language arts with hands-on writing experience. These poetry writing prompts will inspire them.

  1. Write a poem about the last time you were really cold.
  2. How does it feel to get a hug?
  3. Write a poem about a secret.
  4. Imagine a balloon. When was the last time you felt like a balloon?
  5. Write a poem about the sound leaves make in the wind.
  6. Write a poem where each line starts with a letter from your name.
  7. Describe a wonderful sound using lots of imagery.
  8. Write a love poem to someone in your family.
  9. Think of a feeling like sad, happy, mad, or excited. What color goes with that feeling? Turn it into a poem.
  10. Have you ever lost a person or pet you really cared about? Write it in a poem.
  11. How does it feel to be extremely tired? Use the words "like" and "as."
  12. What does your favorite person's voice sound like?

Writing Can Be Fun

Third grade is an incredibly important year in language arts. It can determine whether students have the foundational skills to expand their writing. With the right prompts, kids can have fun while they're building and expanding foundational skills. Check out these 3rd grade grammar worksheets for more language arts practice. You can also reinforce capitalization skills with these 3rd grade printables.