Election-themed Prompts

Elections are fraught with anxiety, tension, and maybe even crying, but election-themed writing prompts do not have to be.

Your 5th – 12th graders will cast their vote for any of these interest-grabbing ideas.

No matter your political party, these prompts are winners, and you will be, too, when you share them with your students.

Stepping into the booth . . .

Elections are fraught with anxiety, tension, and maybe even crying. Election-themed writing prompts don't have to be. Suitable for 5th-12th graders.

1.The deep meaning of fish

According to USA TODAY, 87% of anglers (folks who fish) said they would vote for a candidate who would “protect their right to fish.” *

What issue is so important to you that you would vote for one candidate over another?

Note: It does not have to be any of the candidates or issues in this current election.


2.The etymology of “slogan”

The history of the word slogan is an interesting one. We use it now to describe a catchphrase in advertising or in political campaigns. For instance, Kentucky Fried Chicken’s slogan is “Finger Lickin’ Good” and Subway’s is “Subway. Eat Fresh.”

For political slogans we have “We’re stronger together” (Hillary Clinton), “Make America great again” (Donald Trump), and “Working together for a better America” (Gary Johnson).

The way we use the word slogan today is pretty tame, but it used to mean something fierce. Originally it was a Scottish war cry, words yelled in battle to frighten the enemy.

When you look into a word’s history, you are studying its etymology, not to be confused with entomology, which is the study of insects. A word’s etymology will tell you the language of origin and what it first meant, like the fact that slogan is Scottish and meant a war cry.

Here are five words for you. You can either look up their etymology (original language and meaning) in a dictionary or invent humorous ones for them. One of them was completely made up on the spot and one is extremely gross:



3.The candidates’ most-used words

Let’s have some fun with two of the 2016 U.S. presidential candidates.

According to, here are some of Donald Trump’s most-used words:

win         winning    we      they       huge         classy        zero          weak     stupid

amazing               tough       tremendous      loser          smart           dangerous        terrific


And these are some of Hillary Clinton’s most-used phrases, according to

To go after          I think it’s important          What I will do          Barriers that stand in the way

I know how         I want to make sure        And we need to       We have to go        To do more


You are running for office. Write your own speech and use at least seven of the words and phrases you find from one or both candidates.



Can your students write a speech without using the personal pronoun “I”? Follow this link to find out. >>

Looking for fun middle school writing prompts? Look no further!

Engage your teen writer with these intriguing high school prompts.


Download a free sample of our popular middle school writing curriculum Jump In here.

Download a free sample of our updated and improved The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School , 2nd Edition, with FREE Grading Grid samples here.

Download 2 free chapters of our unstuffy high school literature course Illuminating Literature: When Worlds Collide here.

Looking for a captivating literature course for your 7th and 8th graders? Download a free lesson from Their Blood Tingled here.

Do you have a story writer at home? Download a free sample of our elective Writing Fiction [in High School] here.

*USA TODAY, July 29-31, 2016

Copyright © 2016 by Sharon Watson.

Photo credit, fish: Romolo Tavani |
Image credits: Sharon Watson