Why should students write about themselves?

Reluctant writers are more apt to write about themselves and their experiences. Intrapersonal learners have their finger on the pulse of their hearts and thoughts, and they delight in journaling. And all writers enjoy a break from essays to splash around in personal writing from time to time.

Designed especially for 5th – 12th graders.

Dipping toes into water now . . .

Personal writing prompts will relieve reluctant writers, delight your intrapersonal learners, and give everyone a needed break from essays! 5th-12th grade.

10 Personal Writing Prompts

 1. NO!

Write about a time when you said no to someone or something and were glad that you did.


2. You’re a Winner

You have won a prize of artwork, and you get to choose what it is.

What medium will you choose: oil painting, watercolor, sculpture, pottery, stained glass, and so on? Also, what image will you choose?

Write your ideas.


3. Rather bald

Do you ever wonder what famous writers looked like? Here is how C. S. Lewis describes himself:

I’m tall, fat, rather bald, red-faced, double-chinned, black-haired, have a deep voice, and wear glasses for reading.

Would you believe this is his description?

Notice that he uses the senses of sight and sound, and he throws in an article he uses every day.

Describe yourself in a sentence or two. Use sight, sound, and smell, and add something about the clothes you like to wear or the items you use every day.


4. Just 91 words

Could you write a story from your life in 91 words?

In honor of an elderly student who died just days before her 91st birthday, the online writing site Gotham Writer’s Workshop conducted a contest. The rules were to write a memoir—a story from your life—in 91 words.

You try it. Select a story from your life, something that you did or something that happened to you, and write it using exactly 91 words.


5. Happy Birthday

Write two accounts of the first birthday you remember having. Write the first account as you would have written it when you were that age. Write the second account using your current writing knowledge and abilities, looking back on the birthday.


6. Today. Right now. This moment.

Look around you: this room, this day, these people, those possessions or items, that music.

In 15 years, what do you think you will remember about today?


7. Do it again.

If you could live one day over again, which one would you choose? Describe what happened that day (or didn’t happen), how you reacted to the events, and so on.


8. Taking care of business

You are starting a business. Money is supplied to you, so that is no problem.

What business would you like to start? What will be your specialty? Jot down some ideas.

Then design a logo, a short motto, and a name for your business.


9. These are my people

If you could travel with a group like a circus, a music group, a sports team, a chess club, a politician’s entourage, and so forth, which group would you travel with?

Choose a group and then describe what it would be like to travel with it for one day.


10. To move or not to move

Laura Ingalls Wilder is most famous for writing the Little House series about Ma, Pa, Laura, Mary, and other family members and friends.

In real life, Laura’s family moved around often. Her father would find or build a new dwelling for them, and they would start all over again. Although it made for an interesting life and exciting books, it also was very frustrating to have to leave friends behind and begin again with new friends, new neighbors, new schools, and so forth.

Write a poem about moving. If you have moved in your life, try to capture your feelings about moving in this poem. If you have not moved or don’t remember moving, your poem can focus on what you imagine it would be like to move or on your feelings about moving (or staying put).

Your poem can rhyme or it can be free verse (non-rhyming).


Here’s a bundle of 13 delightful fiction-writing prompts to inspire your story writers. >>

Find more writing prompts for your middle school students here. >>

Your teens will enjoy these engaging prompts. >>

Copyright © 2017 by Sharon Watson

Image: Springfield Gallery |

Sharon Watson creates the daily writing prompts for, where you’ll find these prompts and hundreds more.