Inspired students find writing much more fun. This list of 100 7th grade expository writing prompts will spark your students' interest and get those pencils moving. From compare and contrast essays to detailing problems and solutions, kids will be motivated to explain their thinking with these age-appropriate prompts.
To get kids writing, descriptive writing prompts need to be suited to the junior high world your students inhabit. These description-based informational writing prompts can help:
Describe your bedroom, including details from all five of your senses.
Everyone has a "happy place," such as a wonderful vacation spot or favorite reading nook. Describe yours in detail.
Tell about the experience of walking up to the school and coming inside, but find ways to make sure your description is unique.
When was the last time you saw a rainbow? Describe it and your experience that day.
Close your eyes and imagine the face of someone who really understands you. Now open your eyes and write about the person without using their name.
Describe the setting in one of your favorite books. Don't reveal the title until the end.
Write about your favorite cookie. How is it made? What makes it great?
Imagine you're packing for a trip. What do you put in your suitcase?
Introduce a family member, such as your mom, younger sibling, or cousin. Give some background about what this person does.
Describe the ideal outfit for an activity. It can be a fun event like a dance or a specific gear-related hobby like rock climbing.
Describe the technology of today's world to someone who lived 100 years ago.
Talk about a path or road you've taken many times. Describe what you see and hear along this path.
Give a description of the local movie theater.
Tell someone what it's like to ride a school bus.
Describe your favorite childhood toy or blanket, using every sense.
What will the world be like in 40 years?
What kind of weather do you like best? Describe a day with that weather.
Tell about a local attraction, such as a museum, zoo, beach, park, or other fun spot.
Describe a forest where you've taken a walk.
Imagine you are about to open your locker. What do you see?
From giving instructions to telling a story, writing sequentially is an important skill. This is also a great opportunity to practice using transition words. These expository and explanatory writing prompts focus on sequential writing that's inspiring for this age group.
Imagine you meet someone who has never made hot cocoa. Write a series of instructions, including tips for water temperature and the ideal number of mini marshmallows.
Tell someone how to get from your school to the nearest grocery store or gas station.
Explain to your grandmother how to download and install a new app on her phone.
Write up a new set of instructions for your favorite board game.
You're having a sleepover with three friends at your house. In order, what are the steps you take to get ready?
When was the last time you made something with your hands? Maybe it was a woodworking project, a snack, a scarf, or something else. Tell how you made it.
Imagine aliens have been spotted at the movie theater. Write about what happens, using the words "first," "next," and "finally" somewhere in your story.
Look up your favorite musician online and read an article that talks about his or her career path. Now describe that career path in your own words so your teacher will understand it.
Have you read a good book lately? Summarize the plot. Spoilers are allowed.
Who do you know who does something really well? Discuss the steps that person took to get good at this activity.
Write a plan for your life, starting from today, and ending when you are a grown up.
Do you remember the first time you met your best friend? Tell the story of how you met.
When was the last time you won an award or were praised for your work? Write an essay describing everything that went into that great moment.
Imagine someone from 1900 time jumps into this year. Give them a basic idea of how to use a dishwasher, including all the steps they need to follow.
Describe the process you use to get ready for school in the morning.
Tell someone who has never done any cooking how to make toast with butter, jam, or whatever spread you most enjoy.
Describe every step in your family's celebration of an important holiday.
Summarize a fairy tale you like from beginning to end.
What is your secret talent? Write about how you do it, one step at a time.
Some stories skip around instead of going in order. Think of a movie or book that does this. Then, put the story in order instead.
Seventh graders are building analytical skills, and you can help support this growth with compare and contrast writing ideas. These prompts will inspire kids to consider how things are alike and how they are different:
How is life different today than it was when your parents were in 7th grade? How is it the same?
Some animals have a lot in common, and that makes their differences stand out. Think of two animals you like and compare and contrast them.
Pick two beverages, such as coffee and tea or Coke and Pepsi. How are they same? How are they different?
Do you have a sibling or cousin? Talk about what family traits you share and how you are different.
Look at the school lunch menu. Pick any two meals and compare and contrast the options.
How is a smartphone the same or different than a landline telephone?
Pick two characters in your favorite book, movie, or TV show. How are they the same and different?
People talk about "comparing apples to oranges" when two things are really different. Compare apples and oranges. Do they have any traits in common?
How are people and trees the same? How are they different?
How are you and your best friend alike? How are you different?
Think about mac and cheese from a box and homemade mac and cheese. In what ways are they the same and different?
What is the best pizza you've ever had? How about the worst? Compare and contrast these two pizzas.
How is Barack Obama like Abraham Lincoln? How is he different?
How is a photograph like a drawing? In what ways are they different?
Compare and contrast your house now with the house you'll have when you grow up.
Rules change about how society thinks people should discipline kids. Compare and contrast how your parents discipline you with how they may have been disciplined as children.
Teenagers in the 1800s had to help out on farms, work in factories, and sometimes even go to war. How was being a teenager the same in that era compared to today, and how was it different?
Compare and contrast one of your current teachers with your kindergarten teacher.
Think of two places you've gone on vacation. Compare and contrast them.
How is a pencil like a sword? How is it different?
Being able to effectively show how one thing affects another thing is an essential writing skill for students to master. Help them get started with these inspiring cause and effect writing prompts:
What choices did your grandparents make that got you where you are today?
Think of the last weather cancellation at your school. What happened on that day because of the change in plans?
How does drug or alcohol abuse harm families?
What causes kids to have a good relationship with their parents?
What is something your sibling or cousin did that affected you?
How did your choice of breakfast affect your day?
If they passed a law saying school had to go year-round, how would that change your life?
Everyone knows bullying is bad, but what makes it happen?
Why are people comforted by owning animals?
Why do some kids rebel against their school or parents?
If kids are too busy and over-scheduled, how does this affect their school work?
How will climate change affect your life?
What causes kids to get braces, and how do braces affect kids' lives?
How do cell phones affect family relationships?
Why do some children give up on school?
Pick a historical figure. How did that person change the world?
Think of a decision you made that had unintended consequences. What happened?
How did the internet change the way people live?
Think of an invention, such as the printing press, sewing machine, car, or home computer. How did this invention change the world?
How does studying for a test change your grade? Why?
Describing problems and solutions is an essential part of communication, and 7th graders are developmentally ready to explore this topic. These problem and solution writing prompts will help:
Think of a problem at your school, such as bullying, too much homework, or too little time between classes. Why is this a problem? What is the best way to solve it?
Climate change is a problem facing the world, but there are individual solutions people can try. Describe one solution a kid your age can use to help this problem.
If you could change something about the way your school looks, what would you change?
How can your school make things easier for kids with sensory issues or autism?
Some studies show that American students aren't as well educated as kids from some other countries. How can your school fix that problem?
For some students, stress gets worse in middle school. What can kids, parents, and teachers do to help?
Imagine you're making breakfast and realize you don't have any bread to make toast. What do you do instead?
There's often a longer line for the women's restroom than the men's. What is the best way to solve this problem?
How should your town attract visitors and new residents?
Why don't people recycle? What can your school do to help?
Imagine your school library is destroyed by a water leak. What can you do to solve the problem?
Your family is out for pizza when you suddenly realize your parents forgot their money. What should they do?
Your dog literally ate your homework. How do you negotiate with your teacher?
Imagine a new student walking into your school for the first time. How could your school be more welcoming?
Feral cats can get out of control in an area. What is the best way to keep them under control while still being kind to them?
Imagine your town wants to build a new baseball diamond but needs to cut down a bunch of trees to do it. What should they do to make people feel okay about the trees being cut down?
You are planning a party but your mom says she doesn't have enough forks for all your friends. What kind of food should you serve?
Wasting water is bad for the planet. How can people conserve water?
Not everyone who can vote actually does. What is stopping people from voting? How can those problems be solved?
What is the best way to get kids to do their homework?
Expository writing is an important part of the common core standards for 7th graders. It's also an essential communication tool for life. Going beyond the fundamentals of spelling and 7th grade grammar, this type of writing encourages kids to think logically and practice their analytical language skills.