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101 Journal Prompts

101 journal prompts title

These journal prompts are great for upper elementary and middle school students. They are loosely arranged by subject. Free free to assign in any order. Responses of a couple of sentences up to page (sometimes) are best, depending on the topic and available time.

The teacher or parent is best equipped to assign and evaluate each outcome.

Printable list of all 101 Journal Prompts


happy stick figure

1. Describe your personality in 100 words.

2.Describe your bedroom in 200 words.

3. Name your three favorite colors, and explain your choices in 300 words.

4. List your three favorite foods, explain why you like them so much, and tell who makes them the best in 400 words.

5. Tell about your most interesting life adventure (so far!) in 500 words.

Before School

6. What was the best thing that happened before school today?

7. What was the most interesting thing you saw on the way to school?

three talking heads with exclamation point

8. Describe a meaningful conversation that took place before school.

9. What’s the very best school day breakfast, and why? How often do you eat it?

10. How much thought do you put into what you will wear to school and why?

At School

Teach-o-bot image

11. What is the best thing you hope will happen at school today, and why?

12. Your favorite teacher has been replaced by a robot for a day. Explain what happens.

13. What is your favorite way to learn? Why?

14. Could AI someday run your classrooms? Why or why not?

15. How can you help someone who is having a difficult day?

cartoony porcupine with big eyes


16. What’s the best animal to keep as a pet, in your opinion? Why?

17. In a perfect fantasy world, what would be your choice for a pet, and why?

18. What’s the best name for a pet giraffe, and why?

19. Would you rather have a pet mouse or a pet porcupine, and why?

20. List three pros and three cons for having a pet gorilla.


21. Name and describe the best book you’ve read in the past six months.

faucet coming out of a stack of books, dripping light bulbs

22. If you could write a fiction new book, what would it be about, and why?

23. If you could write a non-fiction new book, what would it be about, and why?

24. Describe one of the most interesting characters you’ve “met” in a book.

25. Who is one of your favorite authors, and why?

Imagination Journal Prompts

man in green shirt, thinking

26. If you are ever daydreaming at school, what are you most likely thinking about, and why?

27. What’s the most beautiful outdoor scene you can write about?

28. What’s the most magnificent castle you can describe or draw?

29. An unknown animal is chasing you through the woods. You take a quick look over your shoulder. Describe what you see.

30. You’re asleep on the sofa and you feel a tiny creature crawling on your arm. You open one eye and take a peek. This never-before-seen creature looks like…


paper cutout family

31. One of my relatives is going to become famous, and I am going to help. Finish the story!

32. My favorite family times are when we…

33. The funniest thing that ever happen to my family was when …

34. List four or more things that make your family special.

35. List five questions you would like to ask one of your grandparents about their life. (Try to remember to take these questions with you the next time you see him/her!)


36. What is your favorite holiday, and how do you like to spend it?

globe on a leaf

37. What’s the best way to celebrate Earth Day, and why?

38. Would you rather celebrate Bike to School Day on the first Wednesday in May, or No Socks Day on May 8? Why?

39. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa or Hanukkah, what is the main message of the holiday, and how do you incorporate that into your celebration?

40. What’s your favorite holiday memory?

The Past

houses drawn by kids

41. Try to describe the first house you lived in.

42. What was your favorite toy as a young child? Why?

43. Describe your favorite outdoor activity back then. Compare it to your favorite activity now.

44. List at least eight ways your life would have been different 100 years ago.

45. What famous person from the past would you most like to meet? 

The Future

cartoony astronaut with stars

46. What job or occupation do you think you will have in 20 years? Why?

47. What kind of transportation do you expect you will use primarily 40 years from now?

48. What new problems would you like to solve in the future?

49. Do you think people will be living on another planet in your lifetime? Why or why not?

50. What will be the best thing about life in the future?


brown llama

Finish one of these limericks. (A limerick has five lines with rhyme scheme of a-a-b-b-a. The b lines are a bit shorter than the a lines.)

51. A learned young llama named Larry…

52. Mary Mermaid who was lost on the shore…

53. Write a haiku about something in nature. (A haiku is three-lined poem with five syllables in the first and third lines and seven syllables in the second line.)

54. Write an acrostic of at least seven lines about a special friend or an animal. (In an acrostic, the first letters of each line spells the name of the subject of the poem.)

55. Write two sets of couplets on any topic of your choice. (A couplet is a two-line poem in which the last words of each line rhyme.)

Inventions and Inventors

incandescent light bulb

56. Thomas Edison invented the incandescent light bulb, the phonogragh, the movie camera, and many more. How do you think our lives would be different without Edison’s inventions?

57. One of Henry Ford’s inventions was the assembly line. It helped workers assemble cars more quickly than they could have previously. How do you think our lives would be different without this invention?

58. Marie Curie discovered radium and made huge contributions in finding treatments for cancer. If you know a cancer survivor, describe the impact of Curie’s work.

59. What would you like to invent to help humanity? How would you begin the process?

60. Do you know of any inventions that have had a negative impact on our world? If so, describe them and tell what happened.


Soccer ball

61. Why do you think soccer (called football in some countries) is the most popular sport in the world?

62. The second and third most famous sports globally are basketball and cricket. Which one would your prefer to watch/play? Why?

63. Wrestling is the oldest sport. Do you like wrestling? Why or why not?

64. Would you rather watch baseball or play baseball? Why?   

65. What well-known athlete has/had a positive impact on you or on society? How?

Journal Prompts about Hobbies

yarn and knitting needles

66. Collecting baseball cards, coins or stamps: Which would you rather do, and why?

67. Sewing, knitting, or crocheting: Which would you rather do, and why?

68. Drawing, painting, sculpting: Which would you rather do, and why?

69. Do you think playing phone games should be considered a good hobby? Why or why not?

70. Give at least three good reasons for having a regular hobby or two.

It's a Walk In the Park!

Giraffe's head

71. You might find these things at a park: trees, sidewalk, strollers, playground, birds, pool, grass, fresh air, bench, children. Write a paragraph that includes all of these words.

72. Write about a different park in which you find a rhino, elephant, giraffe, and monkey, on a safari in a heat wave. (Obviously, you’re in a different climate, close to the equator.) Write a paragraph using all of these words.

73. Write about a third park in another climate, a tundra. For this one, use fish, glaciers, mountains, wildlife, and forests.

74. Suppose you sit down on a park bench and find a wallet with $500 in it. There’s also a note inside that says, Please return to owner. What would you do?

75. Suppose you sit down on a park bench next to a homeless mother and her young child. What would or could you do?


red shiny apple with green leaf

76. Persuade someone that a grapefruit is healthier and tastier than an apple.

77. Write a blog post on how broccoli can save humanity.

78. I think everyone should eat more _________ because…

79. No one should eat _______ because ….

80. One food that always brings happy memories is _______ because…


Celebrity singing on a record

81. How does someone become a famous celebrity?

82. If you’ve ever met a celebrity, describe who, when and where it happened.

83. Which current celebrity would you most like to meet and why?

84.Which very popular celebrity would you definitely NOT want to see, and why?

85. What are some very GOOD things that some celebrities do, or have done?

Jokes and Riddles

86. What is your favorite joke or riddle? Where were you when you first heard it? Who told it to you?

87. When is it not okay to tell jokes? Give a specific instance and explain.

scrawny chicken

88. A very old riddle is Why did the chicken cross the road? The typical answer is To get to the other side. Make up at least three new answers to the question that are funny!

89. What’s the difference between an old penny and a new dime? The answer is nine cents, because ten minus one is always nine! But maybe you had to stop and think about it because of the distracting information--the condition of the new and old coins. Now try to write your own riddle with a similar pattern. Ask an obvious question, but throw in some extra, distracting info, and see if you can trick your friends.

90. Another popular riddle theme is to “cross” two items. Example: What do you get when you cross chocolate powder with a magic dragon? Answer? Cocoa puffs! The best way to write these is to start with the answer and work backwards. Write two of these “crossing jokes” of your own. 

Writing jokes isn’t always easy, but it’s always fun!

Journal Prompts about Technology

Technology has come a long way since Edison’s bulky movie camera! Think of all the pictures and videos you can make from a small cell phone!

91. What’s the one piece of technology today that you depend upon the most?

92. Would you parents grandparents have the same answer? Why or why not? Try to find their actual answers when writing your response.

laptop computer

93. What’s your favorite thing to do on a computer, and why?

94. What are the most useful functions of a computer in your opinion?

95. What new technologies do you expect to come out in your lifetime? What problems will they solve?  

Journal Prompts about Music

trumpet player

96. If you have played a musical instrument, tell what you played, why, when and what you thought of the experience.

97. If you have not yet played a musical instrument, tell which instrument you might like to try, and why.

98. Why do you think each generation prefers its own kind of music?

99. When do you prefer loud music over soft, and slow music over fast?

100. Would you rather be in a rock band on stage, or in a marching band on a field, and why?

101. Who is your favorite singer and song, and why? 

Would you like to publish some of your ideas? Try Storyworth. It's a great resource for recording family stories!

More Journal Prompts and Writing Prompts


105 Short Story Ideas for home or classroom use! Follow the calendar year with many seasonal and holiday prompts for middle grades on up. You'll always be ready with imaginative story ideas. Try some of these fresh ideas this week! 

Writing Prompts for Kids - Find our complete list of grade-level prompts for students of all ages. 

Vocabulary Words for Spellers of All Ages - Each list of vocabulary words comes from several grade-level sources, including textbooks, dictionaries, and popular online resources. I've chosen words your students are sure to encounter. By mastering the meanings of the words on each grade-level list, students will have a "leg up" on comprehending all the content of their grade. Boost students' vocabulary as they continue to work on their journal prompts!

Author Ann Richmond Fisher

Ann Richmond Fisher is a longtime published educational writer, a former classroom teacher and a former homeschool teacher. Ann's spelling bee resources, graded spelling word lists, spelling games, worksheets, and other language arts resources have become respected around the globe since she launched Spelling-Words-Well in 2010.

Ann is also the creator of www.word-game-world.com.

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