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: Write a story where the last line is…And that's how Freddie the freeloading dog came to live with us.
Prompt 5: Write a story using these words in your story: airplane, mayonnaise, pencil and bathing suit.
Prompt 6: 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 7: 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 8: 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 9: There is a proverb which states, lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas. What do you think that proverb means?
Prompt 10: You have the ability to fly today. Where would you go and what would you do?
Prompt 11: 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 12: 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 13: 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 14: 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 15: Describe what you think a bird thinks about when she's sitting in her nest.
Prompt 16: 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 17: You found a magic ring in an antique shop. What happens when you wear it?
Prompt 18: 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 19: You've discovered a treasure map in an old library book. What is the treasure and where is it located?
Prompt 20: 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 21: 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 22: 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 23: 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 24: Write a poem and try to include these words in it: flop, pop, hop, top, mop, shop, stop.
Prompt 25: 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 26: A spaceship has just landed in your backyard. Describe the alien that steps off the ship and what you do when he approaches.