Review by Stacy Zeiger, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2013
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Writing Prompts for Kids

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Writing prompt and word choice app has potential to empower, enrich

Subjects & skills
  • English Language Arts

  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Creativity
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (3 Reviews)

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Pros: Multiple story components give students control over their writing and better words help them spice it up.

Cons: While it's fun to tap and check out all the story combinations, this could potentially distract students from the goal -- actual writing.

Bottom Line: Kids can learn about creative writing and the elements of fiction; switching some of the story-idea components can help spark great new ideas.

Writing Prompts for Kids can work well for individual writers, small groups, or even whole-class instruction. You can use the prompt generator portion to help students come up with creative ideas to write about, or perhaps to get them through severe cases of writer's block. You could also use the app to help teach some of the elements of fiction.

Using the "Favorites"  feature, teachers can give kids time to experiment, generate prompts, and save some of their favorites. Later on, simply ask them to choose one prompt from their Favorites list and get writing. When they're done writing, have students use the Better Words feature to help improve word choice and variety. This feature may also lend itself well to a peer-review or whole-class activity where students can help find better words to spice up a sentence or story.

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Writing Prompts for Kids helps students generate creative writing prompts, and -- once they've written something -- can help them improve their word choice and variety. The prompt-generating tool contains a situation, a character, a setting, and an object. Students may want time to tap as they refine their search for the best prompt, and they can save their favorite combinations to return to later. 

Once they've start writing, students can return to the app to get new ideas, or to use the Better Words feature where they can find suggestions for words to use in place of common verbs and adjectives. For example, using the Better Words section students will find that the word "said" to have 25 different suggestions. Instead of simply saying words their characters can "mutter," "divulge," "recite," "announce," and "declare."

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Writing from a random prompt can be fun, but also challenging at times. With Writing Prompt Generator, Instead of being tied down to a randomly generated prompt, students gain some measure of control over the prompt. With this, the writing process can become much more engaging and fun for kids, and they're more likely to take more ownership and pride in their work. If they don't like the situation or setting, they can change it. If they have trouble writing about a character, they can tap to find a new one. It's great that every part of the prompt can be changed; students can fine tune a prompt to their liking.

Along with encouraging kids to take control over what they write about, Writing Prompts for Kids also encourages them to take control over the words they use. Using the Better Words section, they learn more about word choice and discover alternatives to common verbs and adjectives.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Silly sound effects keep kids tapping through story-element combinations -- they'll like having control over the generation process. However, if they tap too fast they could accidentally pass a story element they like.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Kids have some control over aspects of prompt generation, and they can save favorite prompts. Kids can also get help with spelling and word choice. A sharing component for students' writing would be a nice touch.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

The app lacks directions, but it's simple to use -- kids are likely to figure it out on their own. Opportunities to further extend learning would be a welcome addition.

Common Sense Reviewer
Stacy Zeiger Homeschooling parent

Teacher Reviews

(See all 3 reviews) (3 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Crissy W. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Village of Barboursville Elementary School
Barboursville, WV
Super easy to set up and use!
This is good to give students writing practice. It is not really customizable other than allowing you to pick a different category from the main categories (situation, characters, setting, and objects). You can have it pick an instant prompt, or you can select items from each category. An additional feature that is included is a built in thesaurus with a list of words and synonyms that go with them. Also, it includes a list of misspelled words. The thesaurus and list of misspelled words can help students. What I like about this is that students can work on it individually at their own level and can customize their individual story and add better words and check their spelling. I do not like that it is not customizable. It can help teaching by individualizing writing, letting students work independently, and ease of use by students. Read full review