Do you wish your students were able to write independently? They can! All they need is a little help getting there. The best independent writing activity for Kindergarten that I've used are picture prompts! Picture prompts can help students become more confident in writing independently by giving them a picture to write about. I started using these picture prompts during my whole group lesson and writing center to help my students start writing sentences independently.
How to Use Picture Prompts
First, students would pick a picture from the picture prompts. This is the topic that their sentence is about. Next, they would think of a sentence using that word and say it out loud to make sure it makes sense. Then, they would write their sentence down, underlining the word they used. Last, they draw a picture to match their sentence.
Do you see how much this student completed on their own? All I gave them was ONE word and they were able to write a sentence independently. YES!
To keep it fresh, I just switched out picture prompts based on the season or holiday. Now I had holiday writing I could send home or display on the bulletin board! You can find these Holiday and Seasonal Picture Prompts and Writing Pages here.
Ideas for Differentiating Picture Prompts Writing Activity
Differentiating this picture prompt writing activity is essential to meet the diverse needs and abilities of students in your class. Here are several ways to differentiate a picture prompt writing activity:
Focus on Vocabulary and Drawing the Picture
Some students may be ready to write a whole paragraph about a certain topic, while others may need a little more assistance. One way is just to focus on drawing a picture and writing the word. Drawing a picture to match the writing is an important skill when learning how to write. This is a great option if you have any English Language Learners to help them learn new vocabulary and practice writing words without the overwhelm of trying to write a sentence.
Use a Sentence Starter
Another way you can help aid your students is to have a sentence starter, like “I have a ___.” or “We go to the ___.” After your students trace or copy the sentence starter and read it, they will pick a picture that goes with the sentence. Once they can come up with sentences on their own, you will no longer have to use sentence starters. For more independent writing ideas, make sure to check out this YouTube video here: 3 Simple Beginning Independent Writing Activities to Try.
Write Collaboratively with Other Students
Allow students to work in pairs or small groups to create sentences together based on the same picture prompt. Collaborative writing can help students support each other and learn from their peers.
Encourage Additional Sentences
For those students who may already be writing independently, encourage them to write more than 2 sentences. They can use the additional words provided to form additional sentences. I've even had some of my students write little stories or describe how to do something using First, Next, Then, and Last.
Find this Picture Prompts Independent Writing Activity here:
You can also find this Picture Prompts Writing Activity on Teachers Pay Teachers here.
Writing Independently in Kindergarten
Independent writing activities with picture prompts can be a game-changer for kindergarteners. They not only enhance literacy skills but also foster a love for writing and self-expression. By providing visual cues and encouraging creativity, your students can succeed with writing independently! Let me know if you try this independent writing activity with your Kindergarten students. I hope this writing series was helpful as you build your independent writers!