Writing Prompts with Pencil and Paper Brain Breaks


This writing template bundle has nearly 100 different pages to download and print!  Whether your students need different sized lines, interesting brain breaks, or help structuring their writing sample, this set has them covered.

Of all the academic subjects, it is fair to say writing is the most strenuous for students.  It is open ended, open to thousands of mistakes, and full of gray areas.  Math has definite answers, a specific way to tackle the problems, and direct feedback about whether the student has succeeded or not. Teachers and caregivers spend countless hours trying to find ways to motivate students to write. 

This print and go packet is customizable, great for all levels of learners, as well as an efficient way to gather student data on writing samples. Take some stress off your plate while developing your lesson plan, using these printable writing prompts, with built in brain breaks.


Writing is important. Being able to effectively communicate is one of the cornerstones of learning and success.  Students struggle at different stages of writing.  Some have not mastered letter formation, sizing, spacing, line placement, or sentence structure.  Others have the syntax mastered, but can not generate ideas. A good number of learners have the ideas, but can not get them down on paper correctly. 

Writing prompts are targeted at students who have letter formation, basic spelling, and sentence structure mastered. These students are ready to get ideas onto paper, tell a story, and effectively express themselves.  There are many students being asked to write paragraphs who have not mastered the basics yet. For these students, an open ended writing prompt may prove to be too difficult.  These printable pages can be graded down to copying words, tracing, or dictation.

This Writing Prompts and Pencil and Paper Brain Breaks Packet is almost 100 pages of different variations to choose from: 

  • Pages with different types of lines – thin, thick, dotted, colored, spaced
  • Pages with different brain breaks – math facts(addition/subtraction/multiplication), design copy, pattern drawings, complete the drawing, draw about your writing 
  • Prompt pages including writing checklist at the bottom for students to check their own work

How to use these printable writing pages:

There are numerous different ways to use these writing prompt pages with students. They can be graded to make them easier, or more challenging. 

  • Give more advanced learners a blank page and ask them to write two paragraphs. This is the most challenging level.
  • Print a writing prompt on the page for moderate level learners. This sparks their ideas, giving them a jumping off point. Writing prompts can be about anything. The student’s weekend plans, favorite animal, something about the lesson you are teaching, a favorite memory, or anything that will get them writing.
  • Lower level learners may need a writing prompt along with a word bank to help choose relevant words. 
  • Writers might use the page to brainstorm ideas, or write down relevant words that come to mind, if they are not able to write sentences. 
  • Write a sentence on the board or at the top of the page for students to copy. 
  • Create a writing binder to track progress throughout the year.

The Brain Breaks:

Students who have difficulty writing, often need an outlet for frustration or “being stuck.” The brain breaks on the paper provide a way for learners to focus their energy temporarily on something else, without disrupting the rest of the class or totally getting side tracked away from their seatwork. 

Math facts, while tedious to some, may be predictable and effortless for others. They change the direction of the thought process long enough for the student to breathe.  Other students may find the math fact brain break equally challenging and frustrating.  There are several different types of brain breaks to meet the needs of the individual learner.

Create-a-drawing brain brakes allows the hand and fingers to warm up, while providing a creative outlet, without right and wrong answers. Again some students may struggle with this level of creativity, so this may not be the activity for them.

Design copy tasks help the hand muscles of a tense writer loosen.  While there is a right and wrong answer, there are different levels of success.  This may not be as challenging as open ended drawing, or as rigid as math facts.

Prompt pages with checklists:

It is important for higher level learners to be able to self check their work. Many students turn their work in quickly, believing it to be correct, without ever checking their work.  Others check their work, but have no idea what they are looking for.   There may be too many variables for them to remember what to check.  This checklist helps learners remember what to look for, while beginning the process of self awareness.

Whatever the level of your students, these printable writing pages can meet the needs of most of your learners. They provide a method of gathering data, longitudinal studies, and teaching key concepts. Built in brain breaks can help break the frustration, refusal to work cycle, to help motivate the reluctant student to keep trying.