Getting good at creative writing takes time and practice, just like running a marathon. It’s always best to prepare yourself before going into battle.
You can use this creative writing exercise to help your child write about any topic that interests them. The idea is to get their creative juices flowing, so these exercises start small (10-minute exercises) and then build up to the full-length, timed writing tasks.
10-Minute Creative Writing Exercises for Children
The following is a list of writing prompts intended to help students think about their writing and give them ideas for how they can improve their work.
You may want to use these as a starting point, or you might find that some of the suggestions spark their interest, which will help them to put their ideas on paper.
Either way, we hope you enjoy reading through this list!
1) What do you like most about yourself? Why?
2) Do you have any pets? If so, what kind? How old are they?
3) What’s one thing you would change about yourself if you could?
4) Describe a time when you were thrilled. Tell us all about it in detail.
5) Write down three things you love about your family.
6) Describe something you would never let anyone know about you.
7) Would you rather be rich or famous? Why?
8) What’s something you wish you knew before now?
9) What’s the best part of being an adult?
10) What’s your favourite food?
11) What’s a word you wouldn’t mind having tattooed on your body?
12) What’s an experience you’d like to share with your children someday?
13) What’s going on in your life right now?
14) What’s another name for “love”?
15) Have you ever felt lonely? Explain.
16) What was the last thing you did that made you feel proud?
17) What’s meant the most to you in your life? Explain.
18) What’s been your biggest disappointment? Explain.
19) What’s just around the corner?
20) What do you see yourself doing 10 years from now?
21) What’s changed since you were young?
22) What’s worth fighting for?
23) What’s important to you?
24) What’s more important: money or happiness?
25) What’s most important to you?
26) What’s wrong with our society?
27) What makes you laugh?
28) What’s making you sad right now?
29) What’s someone who has inspired you?
30) What’s different about you today than yesterday?
31) What’s new in your life?
32) What’s missing in your life?
33) What’s unique about you?
34) What’s special about you?
35) What’s interesting about you?
36) What’s surprising about you?
37) What’s fun about you?
38) What’s exciting about you?
39) What’s scary about you?
40) What’s challenging about you?
41) What’s hard about you?
42) What’s frustrating about you?
43) What’s difficult about you?
44) What’s lovely about you?
11 Plus Exam Writing Prompts: 24 Writing Exercises
There is no definitive list of 11 Plus writing tasks – they change every year, and schools produce new questions so that the exams remain fair every year.
Despite this, there is a style to 11 Plus writing tasks – from creative writing to report writing, there is a distinct style, and we have a shortlist of 24 such questions you can use to help your child build their writing confidence and flair!
1. Write a story about what you would do if you were given £100. What would you buy? How would you spend it? Would you give some of it away? Why or why not?
2. Write a letter to someone good to you. Tell them how much they mean to you.
3. Describe something you like in detail. Give as many details as possible.
4. Write a poem about a favourite object.
5. Make a list of all the things you love doing. Then make a song out of them.
6. Draw pictures of people you know and describe what makes them different from each other.
7. Think about an animal you’ve seen. Draw a picture of it.
8. Imagine you are a character in a book. What kind of person would you be? What would you look like? Where would you live? Who would be your friends?
9. Write a short story about a time when you helped someone.
10. Write a diary entry describing something that happened today.
11. Create a poster with information about yourself.
12. Write down three words that describe you.
13. Write a letter to your best friend. Ask them questions about themselves.
14. List five things you could do on a rainy day.
15. Write a letter to somebody you don’t usually talk to.
16. Write a letter to yourself explaining how you feel about yourself.
17. Draw a place you have never visited before.
18. Write a letter to the world telling everyone how great you are.
19. Find one thing you like about yourself.
20. Write a letter to a stranger telling them about a dream you had.
21. Write a letter to an old school friend explaining why you haven’t kept in touch.
22. Write a letter to Santa Claus asking for anything you want.
23. Write a letter to God thanking Him for everything He’s done for you.
24. Write a letter to Mother Earth telling her she’s beautiful.
11 Plus Creative Writing Task Core Skills
Writing is an art form that requires creativity and originality. There’s nothing worse than reading writing that has sections of it that were copied out of books. This is why we make sure that we teach children how to come up with their ideas, phrases and figurative language – they get top marks for this creativity!
The following are some of the most common skills that are tested in creative writing:
1. Character Analysis
Character analysis is one of the essential aspects of creative writing. It’s about understanding the character and their motivations. Your child will need to know what makes them tick to understand their actions more easily. This will enable your child to create interesting characters who have depth and complexity.
The setting is another key element of creative writing. It involves choosing a location where your character lives and works. Your child should choose a setting that is appropriate for your character and plot. For example, if the character is a lawyer, it would be best to set the scene in a law firm. If the character is a poet, they could live in a small town with a few poets.
3. The Plot
Plotting is also very important when writing a novel. A good plot has twists and turns and surprises. Your plot needs to make sense. It must not only move forward but also follow through on its promises. The 11 Plus exams last for anything from 15 to 50 minutes, which means there isn’t an infinite amount of time for your child to write about a complicated plot! This means it’s important that they get used to thinking quickly and coming up with a simple but effective plot.
Structure refers to the order or sequence of events within a piece of writing. In creative writing, the structure is often referred to as ‘plot’. Your child would need to decide whether your story will start at the beginning and end at the end, or vice versa. Your child may also want to use flashbacks to show something happening earlier in the story.
Imagery is the use of visual images to express emotions. For instance, if you’re feeling sad, you might imagine a funeral procession. When writing, your child should try to use imagery to help convey their character’s feelings about what they are describing.
A metaphor is a figure of speech that describes something as being another. For example, you might say “the sky is blue” because the colour blue represents the sky. However, your child should avoid metaphors that seem too literal. They should always be able to explain exactly what is being compared.
Paragraphs are groups of sentences that are related to each other. They usually contain three main parts: subject, verb and object. Children need to demonstrate an ability to use a mix of paragraph types – simple and complex. They must also be able to use paragraphs effectively.
Punctuation is another key area that many children have to work on. Some children barely use full stops and commas in their writing – and it has a negative impact on the work they produce. This is an essential aspect of the writing task marks – check, check and check cannot be overstressed.
Vocabulary is the range of words that your child knows – some children use a small bank of words and keep repeating them in their writing. However, the 11 Plus writing task requires children to demonstrate that they have a vast bank of words they can use.