Get your students excited about writing by sharing these creative expository writing prompts 4th grade students will love!
Prompt 1: Write a story where the LAST line is “And that’s how McHenry the rabbit became the star of the show.”
Prompt 2: What do you think the expression the squeaky wheel gets the grease means? Write an essay about someone you know who might be considered “a squeaky wheel.”
Prompt 3: You wake up one morning only to find that the year is 1863 and you are in the White House with President Lincoln. What do you tell him about the future of this country?
Prompt 4: You wake up one morning and discover that you are trapped inside of a snow globe. How do you get out?
Prompt 5: Explain what the expression people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones means.
Prompt 6: You have been invited to create a new Superhero comic book series. What type of hero would you create? What would his or her super powers be? And who would be the new villain in the series?
Prompt 7: The garden you planted in the spring has grown wild. The flowers grew up the side of the house and are now creeping in through your bedroom window. Each time you try to cut them back, they grow twice as fast and twice as tall. It’s gotten so bad, your parents think you are going to have to move! But who would buy a house where the flowers are taking over? Think about, and then write about, what you’re going to do to correct the situation.
Prompt 8: What do you think the expression lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas means?
Prompt 9: Children from the country of Chad in Africa do not celebrate birthdays. Pretend you have a new student in your class who has just arrived from Chad and whose birthday is in three weeks. How would you describe the American tradition of big parties and lots of presents to a child who has never had even a small party? Would you plan a surprise celebration for him?
Prompt 10: Write a story about a picnic from an ant’s point of view.
Prompt 11: Your younger sister will be starting kindergarten soon and she is nervous about going. Write a letter to her telling her all about the things that you do in kindergarten. Give examples of your experiences when you went to school for the first time.
Prompt 12: Your parents have said you can have a new scooter, but you need to pay for part of it with your own money which you’ve earned. Write an essay explaining what you can do to earn the money.
Prompt 13: You love, love, love cold weather and everything that goes along with it, from sledding, to building snowmen, to snow days off from school. Now you find that your family is moving to sunny and always hot Florida! Do you think you’ll learn to love having summer year round? Write an essay explaining how you think you’ll feel when you move to your new home.
Prompt 14: You like scary movies, your best friend likes comedies. Your parents are taking you to the movies this weekend. How do you decide what type of movie you’ll see?
Prompt 15: Write an essay explaining what you think the expression a fool and his money are soon parted means.
Prompt 16: You have just won a million dollars in the lottery. Write about all of the things that you would do with your new found fortune.
Prompt 17: Write a story which starts out like this: Once upon a time there were three kangaroos.
Prompt 18: Your mom was baking her famous chocolate chip, animal cracker, banana nut cake, but something went terribly wrong. What happened to the cake and what does it taste like?
Prompt 19: You’ve invited 10 children to your birthday party, but eleven show up. The uninvited guest is a classmate that causes you trouble in school. Write a story about how you would handle the situation.
Prompt 20: Write a short story that has these words in it: thunderstorm, piano, sunglasses, hotdog, gorilla.
Prompt 21: There’s an expression which states, he can’t see the forest for the trees. Write a paragraph explaining what you think that expression means.
Prompt 22: Do you like your name or do you hate it? Write an essay about your name. Why did your parent’s choose it, and if you like it, why? If you don’t like it, why not, and what would you choose for a name if it were up to you?
Prompt 23: You wake up one morning and find that both you and your kitten have shrunk down to the size of butterflies. Write a story about your adventures.
Prompt 24: Something happened on a Wednesday that now makes Wednesdays your least favorite day of the week. What happened?
Prompt 25: Rewrite the story of Goldilocks and The Three Bears from Mama Bear’s point of view.
Prompt 26: You won a stuffed rabbit at the town’s local carnival. When you get it home, you find that he can walk and talk! What kind of adventures do you have together?
Prompt 27: Today you get to create a new pizza. The toppings on your pizza must match a theme. For example, only round foods, or only yellow foods, or even only spicy foods. What theme will you pick and what toppings will you choose?
Prompt 28: Do you think it would be fun sometimes to be an only child? Why or why not? If you are already an only child, what do you love or hate about it?
Prompt 29: Today you’re the backpack of a first grader. Describe the adventures of your day.
Prompt 30: After a big picnic lunch on the fourth of July, you take a nap on a blanket. When you wake up, it’s snowing. What happened? Did you sleep into winter like Rip Van Winkle or is it a surprise summer snow storm?
Prompt 31: You’re in the movie theater with your parents watching a Pixar movie, when all of a sudden you find yourself as one of the characters in the movie. What movie were you watching and what character did you become? Write a story about how it feels to be in the movie.
Prompt 32: “If only I had wings,” you said as you looked at the mess before you. “Then I could fly away from all of this.” Where are you, what type of mess are you looking at, and how did it get that way?
Prompt 33: You have the chance to change the colors of the world around you for one day only. Just for today, the sky doesn’t have to be blue, the grass doesn’t have to be green and snow doesn’t have to be white. What colors would you pick for the world around you and why?
Prompt 34: You have five brothers and are the only girl in the family. Do you consider that to be a good thing or a bad thing? Do you think you are lucky, or do you wish you had a sister?
Prompt 35: You are lucky enough to be in a hot air balloon flying high above everyone. Write a description of all that you see.
Prompt 36: You just made a new friend with someone who has never tasted pizza before. Using descriptive words, describe to her how it looks, smells, feels in your hands, and tastes.
Prompt 37: You are given a reading assignment by your teacher. You must pick one of two books to read. Would you rather read the book about the adventures of an octopus who wants to buy socks for his eight tentacles or a book on the adventures of the dog who flew to the moon? Why did you pick the book you did and what type of adventures do you think the characters in the book you picked had?
Prompt 38: What is something you’ve always wanted to ask your mom and dad, but haven’t? Why not?
Prompt 39: Close your eyes and listen. What do you hear? Write about the sounds using descriptive words.
Prompt 40: Write a poem about the joys (the beach) and the perils (mosquitoes) of summer.
Prompt 41: Which would make a better pet for your family? An anteater or a platypus?
Prompt 42: August is the only month of the year that doesn’t have a legal holiday in the US. If you could invent a holiday for August, what would it be?
Prompt 43: In England they celebrate Guy Fawkes Day with a bonfire on November 5th each year. Research and write about the holiday.
Prompt 44: You are the middle child. You have an older brother and a younger sister. Do you like being in the middle? Or do you wish you’d been the oldest or youngest? Why did you pick the answer you did?
Prompt 45: Your cousin is moving to your town. Write a letter explaining why your town is such a wonderful place to live.
Prompt 46: In a small hometown, it is not unusual to bump into people wherever you go: the library, the supermarket, the local diner. In a big city, you can go to all of these places and never meet someone you know. Which appeals to you more? Why?