edit: I was just thinking that this might be an idea that you might like to use but with different writing tasks so I went back and added a spinner without words so that you can write your own in. :-)
A simple spinner...we'll put a brad with paperclip in the center.
I plan to use this mainly for the 1st and 2nd graders. This allows for them to explore with writing without Ms. Amber truly assigning something. :-) And also, the 1st and 2nd grader are siblings and I want them to not feel they have the "same" assignment.
A couple ideas I've been toying with...journal prompt sticks and journal prompt bookmarks.
I came across this idea on Pinterest.
Another blogger had a red mark on one end of the stick and a green mark on the other so when they had used them in their class they would flip it over so the red was showing so they didn't get a repeat. With homeschooling, I'm not sure how I would want to do that as I'd rather each of them choose their own.
There are SO many journal prompts on the Internet if you are looking for them. Here's a few to get your started.
Mercury Mine (September to December ideas)
Journaling Helps (narrative and opinion prompts)
In my browsing I came across Journaling Bookmarks on an adult journaling website. I decided that would be even easier than sticks for this year. Less prep for sure! They could check off or highlight what they've done already. So here is one to get you started. :-)
You can download this journaling bookmark freebie if you think it would be helpful. :-)
If it works out well and I make more, I'll share them. My thinking is to print on cardstock and provide a highlighter to mark the ones they've done. Perhaps I'll laminate them to be used again. Haven't decided for sure yet. I tried to get the special character...empty checkbox to work...but it wouldn't. Maybe by next time! I went September to December, FYI. They aren't necessarily seasonal prompts, one or two on a month. It's just an easier to plan it this way.
I have multiple binders of themed borders and writing paper, from my school-age program days, so I figured I might as well put them to use. :-) The children will be able to write whatever they wish on the papers. I will encourage them to look through their lists, picture prompt pages, and etc to help them come up with an idea of what to write.
Here are some printables I came across for this activity.
What the Teacher Wants has a set she uses for teaching narrative writing that would work.
Coming soon will be a selection of "How To" cards to choose from.
Cut and Paste Stories
Again, something I had in my possession already. I have a selection of purple folders here from my child care days and so all the writing papers will be organized in their own purple folder.
I like this printable from Joy in the Journey
She also has a lined writing page for a final copy of the story they create. However, I plan on these activities to be "short and sweet" and they will look back through their lists, picture prompt pages, etc to help them come up with ideas for the themed papers. :-) For the actual pictures...I don't want to step on anyone's toes when it comes to copyright and to be truthful, I usually just use google images for pictures that I use around the home here. So, I will not be sharing the actual pictures. Remember that you can also use old calendars or magazine pictures too!
Printables I found to go with this.
SparkleBox has multiple free fold and go book templates.
But truthfully, what I planned on doing was the simple fold and snip books and various sizes and colors of cut and staple booklets. :-) We are starting off pretty simple!
Here is one of many instructions on how to make the mini foldable books.
List making is a great way to help the children learn to brainstorm which is the first step of the writing process. I found that my students here had "brainstorm blocks" last year. It was REALLY hard for them.
I've got about 22 "list" templates ready with a few more ideas in my head to do when I get a few moments. Some of them have lines like a list, some don't. I wanted to do a variety. Here are 3 examples.
Here the children will use ROY G. BIV to help them remember the color of the rainbow and list objects in corresponding colored pencil and band. For example, someone might write...strawberry, crayon, leaf, jello, barn, apple, raspberry in red pencil in the top band of the rainbow.
Here the children will write words to describe grapes. One word per grape, in either green or purple pencil.
Here there are two lists. The apple on the left asks them to list words to describe an apple. The one on the write asks them to list ways to use apples. The center apple asks them to draw their favorite way of eating an apple.
In addition to these pages, I will have several sheets of blank list pages so they can create their own topic if they wish.
Feel free to print a copy of the List Writing Templates here. FYI, it took awhile to upload so it will probably take a bit to download.
A lovely homeschooling mom came across this poetry book at a garage sale and picked it up for me, knowing I was on the look out for ways to implement more poetry writing. How sweet! I will use that book this year so I don't have as much prep work. It's labeled for grades 1-6, has 3 levels of learning for each type of poem, pages that break down writing the poem, and even some cute "publishing" poetry pages for their final copy.