Writing Activities For The Primary Grades

Build on letter recognition and spelling with creative primary writing activities.

Though primary students have limited writing skills, their teachers provide skills and inspiration for writing that lasts throughout their lifetime. Therefore, well-planned, creative and inspiring writing activities in primary school years are important. Involving primary students in relevant, creative writing experiences gives them a writing foundation that can aide success in future written tasks.

Journal Reflections

In “30 Ideas for Teaching Writing” by the National Writing Project, encouraging young children to write about events in their daily lives is listed as one technique for writing inspiration in the primary classroom. Students come to school full of stories they want to tell, so make use of that enthusiasm by having them keep a reflection journal. Use the journal daily as morning work so students can share life stories. Also, use the journal as a means of reflecting on events or lessons of the school day. Meet with students and have them share the writing with you in writing conferences during which you give students mini lessons on aspects of writing such as punctuation, word choice or sentence fluency.


Sometimes beginning primary writers are intimidated by the writing process as they try to remember all the elements of effective writing they are being taught. Poetry offers a short, entertaining alternative that still provides opportunities to teach writing skills. Read students examples of different types of poetry they are capable of writing, such as acrostics, simple rhymes, haiku and diamant poems. Teach them the format of the chosen type of poem and provide inspiration for the poems in the form of a class pet, puppet, school mascot, family member or holiday.

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Graphic Organizers

Graphic organizers help students plan and organize their writing. Some students may have trouble remembering the different parts of composition and graphic organizers gives them a tool for remembering the parts as they plan. Teach students different types of organizers, such as webs and flow charts. To maximize ownership and encourage use of the graphic organizers, provide students with a list of the elements, the organizer must have, then, after showing them some samples, have students create original graphic organizers to use and share with classmates.

Word Walls

Vocabulary challenges many primary students. Word walls are often used in primary classrooms as a means of keeping students aware of, and using, new vocabulary. Encourage students to use word walls by allowing them to create the walls themselves. Cut out large shapes of items connected to different concepts you are learning, such as a large frog for animals on a science word wall or a giant pencil for descriptive writing vocabulary. Allow students to color the shapes and write the vocabulary on them. Encourage students to use them by offering stickers or extra points when you discover the use of word wall words in student writing.