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Fall is a season for the senses. Deep red apples, crispy piles of leaves, orange pumpkin- everything. Wood stoves and fireplaces warming our toes, chilly Northern breezes, cozy socks. Dark mornings, harvest time, soup weather. Autumn, the perfect season to invite our children to pick up a pencil and tap into what they are feeling, seeing, smelling, tasting, and hearing. It is a time to tell stories, real and made up. It’s a good time to encourage writing.
Here are a few autumn writing prompts to help young writers find their writing voices this season.
Autumn Writing Prompts for Young Writers
Before you begin- Children and teens, adults too, have stories to tell, but sometimes we need courage, encouragement, and enough time to find our voice. A journal, a nice pen or pencil, a quiet place to sit, a few prompts, and time to write without worry about spelling, grammar, assessment, or critique is important. Offer prompts as ideas, not assignments. If a child wants to write about summer, dolphins, or aliens, that’s fine too. Maybe another day they’ll write about autumn. Our goal should always be to get kids wanting to write and writing.
Go outside and see how many different textures you can find. Touch trees, leaves, nuts, the ground. On a page in your journal, write down how each item feels. Collect their colors too. Write down all the colors you see. Next, use the words on your page to tell a story.
Notice the Scents:
What are your favorite autumn smells? Make a list of all them. Do any of these smells evoke a memory? Write down that story.
Listen- Find a spot outside or near an open window and be as silent as you can. What do you hear? Take a walk in the woods or your neighborhood. Pay attention to the trees, breeze, sounds off in the distance. Write down all the things you hear or think you hear. Begin a page in your journal with the words, “I hear . . .”
What do you love to do in the fall? Can you relive your best memories? What are your worst? Tell about your perfect fall day or day that didn’t go so well.
What spooky stories do you know? How might you finish the line, “On a dark night in autumn . . .”
Make it Fun:
Create an Acrostic Poem with the word Autumn or Fall. Write down a word or sentence that begins with each letter of the word you choose. Try to describe the season.
Go outside, find a place you’d like to sit and draw the things you see or draw just one thing that catches your attention. Next, tell its story. Maybe bring it to life. What would it say? Or describe how you feel right now. Write down what you’re seeing, feeling, thinking.
Fall is a good time to slow down, pick up a pencil, and pay attention to the change happening right before our eyes. Invite your children (and yourself ) to pause, find a tree to lean up against, a hammock, or a comfy chair, and see what stories find their way onto the page.
Kelly Sage is a mother, homeschooler, writer, and teacher. She writes about nurturing the love of learning on her website Curiosity Encouraged, facilitates local writing circles, and offers online classes for children and teens through Outschool. She lives in Bloomington, Indiana with her husband, two children, and a handful of critters.