Giving your students interesting writing prompts gives them the opportunity to think about something that they might not ever consider, from their feelings to how they would solve problems that adults toil over and often over analyze. Often, kids have a wonderful way of surprising us with simple, innocent, yet valuable insight through their writing, because they haven't gained all the life experience that adults have—which, let's admit it, often stifles our creativity.
Still, it can be difficult to come up with new, exciting writing topics from year to year. And, after you've read 1000 essays on what a child wants to be when he grows up, odds are reading them will become a tad monotonous. Giving your students a variety of topics from year to year keeps them thinking and you from growing tired of the subject matter.
Luckily, there are books that are written specifically for teachers who like to change things up and give their students new topics to think and write about. As a blogger, I know it's hard to constantly come up with fresh ideas every day, and it can be a big help to have a little launching point from an outside source. In fact, I picked up such a book for myself, and while the themes are meant for more of a child's classroom atmosphere, I've found that many of the prompts in 350 Fabulous Writing Prompts by Jacqueline Sweeney offers up a lot of great ideas that can be modified for adult writing, too. I especially like the sections on “The Future” and “Real World Conflicts.”
Giving children chances to express and explore through written essays affords them the opportunities to think, grow and share. Having a variety of topics on hand keeps the creativity flowing and treats you with new essays and perspectives from year to year.