Most 3rd graders have vivid imaginations and love to share their ideas about everything. Give them an opportunity to let loose with these creative 3rd grade writing prompts and fun story starters.
Prompt 1: Your Uncle Jimmy is famous for the silly gifts he gives on birthdays. Today is your birthday and he really outdid himself this time. You couldn’t believe your eyes when you opened your birthday present and saw a _____! Describe what Uncle Jimmy gave you.
Prompt 2: You woke up this morning and discovered that you have lost your ability to smell. You can’t smell stinky things, which is good; but you also can’t smell great things like pizza or flowers or your mother’s perfume. What smell do you think you will miss the most and why?
Prompt 3: A new girl has joined your class in the middle of the school year. You think you’d like to be friends with her, but she is from another country and doesn’t speak English. Do you think you can help her learn English? What could you do to teach her?
Prompt 4: When you woke up this morning you discovered the streets were completely flooded. You need to get to school, but don’t have any kind of boat; not a row boat, a kayak, nothing! What would you do to make a floating device to get to school today?
Prompt 5: Write a story where the last line is…And that’s how Freddie the freeloading dog came to live with us.
Prompt 6: Now that scientists have concluded that all warm blooded animals dream, what do you think a yak dreams about? Describe either a nightmare a yak would have or a funny dream which would make a yak happy.
Prompt 7: Write a story using these words: airplane, mayonnaise, pencil and bathing suit.
Prompt 8: You are a candy bar on the shelf in the grocery store. Someone has just put you into their cart. Think about what other items might be in the cart with you. Write a story about your adventure.
Prompt 9: Lucky you! You have been chosen to create the new mascot for your local football team. Describe the type of mascot you would create. Why did you choose the character you did?
Prompt 10: You went scuba diving on your vacation and discovered an old shipwrecked pirate ship. What types of items do you think you’ll find when you explore deeper into the ship?
Prompt 11: What does the smell of chocolate chips cookies baking in the oven remind you of? Does cake or pie baking make you feel the same?
Prompt 12: There is a proverb which states, lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas. What do you think that proverb means?
Prompt 13: You wake up to go to school one day, but it’s still dark. The sun didn’t rise in the sky. When you get to school, the teachers are all talking about the sun disappearing. What do you think happened? What will happen to planet Earth? Can Earth survive without it’s sun?
Prompt 14: You have the ability to fly today. Where would you go and what would you do?
Prompt 15: Everything you touch today turns to gold. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? What would you do when it was time to eat your pizza for lunch?
Prompt 16: The lunch menu for your school says Thursday’s lunch will be a surprise. You like surprises, so you bought a school lunch that day. But you never expected to see this on your lunch tray. What was the surprise lunch?
Prompt 17: Today is anti-gravity day. Instead of what goes up, must come down, everything is the opposite. Anything that isn’t nailed down to the ground is floating all around you. Your shoes, your bed, your lamps, everything. The only thing stopping them from flying into outer space is the ceiling of your bedroom. Is this a fun thing or an annoying thing? How would you get dressed? How would you get into bed? Write a story about your day.
Prompt 18: You brought a cute little puppy home from the pound. Within one month he got so big, he couldn’t fit in your car. By the end of two months he couldn’t fit in your room. And by the third month he’d grown too big for your house! What would you do?
Prompt 19: You are an elf in Santa’s workshop, but you want to change jobs. You don’t want to work with the teddy bears anymore. What do you really want to do and why?
Prompt 20: Describe what you think a bird thinks about when she’s sitting in her nest.
Prompt 21: It’s the first day of summer vacation and you’ve already broken your leg! Describe what you think you’ll be doing all summer.
Prompt 22: You found a magic ring in an antique shop. What happens when you wear it?
Prompt 23: Write a story about a time you and your brother or sister did something your parents told you not to do. Did you get caught?
Prompt 24: You’ve discovered a treasure map in an old library book. What is the treasure and where is it located?
Prompt 25: When you woke up this morning you discovered you were in your dog’s bed on the floor and he was snoring in your bed with his head on the pillow! What do you think happened in the night to make you two change places?
Prompt 26: You saw a blizzard outside your bedroom window when you woke up this morning. The problem is, it’s August and you’re supposed to meet with your friends at the pool this afternoon. What happened to summer?
Prompt 27: You sign up at your local fair to join in the watermelon eating contest, because the winner gets a new bicycle. But when the contest begins, instead of a slice of watermelon, everyone has a fried octopus on her plate. Would you eat the octopus and try to win the bike?
Prompt 28: If you could only eat one food for a whole year, what would it be? Why did you pick that food? Describe why you like it so much. How long do you think it would take for you to get tired of the food? Or do you love that particular food so much that you think you’d never get tired of it?
Prompt 29: It’s the first day of school and when your teacher walks into class, she has all of her clothes on backwards. Even her shoes on are the wrong feet! What do you think is going on?
Prompt 30: Write a poem and try to include these words in it: flop, pop, hop, top, mop, shop, stop.
Prompt 31: What do you think would happen if everyone in the third grade was allowed to bring their pets to school for one week? Do you think it would be fun? Or do you think there’d be too much chaos and too many problems?
Prompt 32: A spaceship has just landed in your backyard. Describe the alien that steps off the ship and what you do when he approaches.
Prompt 33: What if your last name was Nebraska or Kansas or Oklahoma? Would that be a neat thing or would you not like it? Write about how you would feel if you had one of those names as a last name.
Prompt 34: Write about the worst nightmare you ever had. Describe how you felt when you woke up and realized it was just a dream.