For this beach writing prompt lesson, students write their thoughts and memories about the beach!
Here in central North Carolina, we’re about 2 and a half hours from the beach. Most of the students I work with have been there at least once and many others go there multiple times a year.
For students who have never been, they can complete this beach writing prompt by writing what they imagine about the beach, questions they have about the beach and whether or not they’d like it.
Feel free to show any or all of these 4 minute videos to help get the kids thinking about the beach and things that could be fun or that could go wrong.
Milo Goes to the Beach (recommended for K-2)
Milo–The Sandcastle (recommended for K-2)
How to Build a Sandcastle (recommended for Grades 2-5)
Anytime I teach journal writing, I explain to the students that a journal is a great place to jot down their most honest feelings; excitement, frustration, disappointment, angst, fear, anger, humor etc.
Similarly, the beach can generate so many of these feelings. I explain that some people LOVE it, some people HATE it and some people like it for some reasons and dislike it for other reasons. The students and I brainstorm these reasons and then they write.
Common Core State Standards
NOTE: This lesson can address the following Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.K.1, W.1.1, W.2.1, W.3.1, W.4.1, W.5.1, W.K.3, W.1.3, W.2.3, W.3.3, W.4.3, W.5.3, L.1.2.A, L.1.2.C and L.2.2.B.
NOW FOR THE LESSON!
To get a full understanding on how I conduct each writing lesson you may want to read the Writing Prompts Introduction post. The beach writing prompt lesson outlined below (and all other prompts posted) will make more sense and be easier to follow and use.
Tell the Story Line
- First tell the story line: You’re going to write your honest thoughts about the beach and also tell a short story about a time that you were at the beach.
- Then, ask the students to reminisce any experiences they’ve have at a beach.
- Next, explain to the students that they are going to write a journal entry about the beach.
- Lastly, remind them that a journal is a great place to jot down their most honest feelings; excitement, frustration, disappointment, angst, fear, anger, humor etc.
Brainstorm with the students how the beach can generate so many different thoughts and feelings. List reasons why people would like or dislike the beach.
Here are some examples:
- Building sandcastles
- Flying kites
- The sound of the waves
- Looking for shells
- Crab hunting
- Dolphins eating
- The heat
- Sand sticking to you
- Salty water
- Smelly water
- Shells cutting your feet
- Applying sunscreen
Give students time to think about reasons why they like/dislike the beach.
Show the 5 Sections
- Reason 1
- Reason 2
- A short Story
As mentioned in my writing prompts introduction: K-1st Graders are encouraged to write 1 sentence for each section, 2nd Graders 2 sentences, 3rd Graders 3 sentences and so on.
NOW TO WRITE!
- On the 1st line, right side, write the date.
- Skip a line.
- Then, on the 3rd line, left side, write the greeting, Dear Journal,
- Skip a line.
- Next, on the 5th line, left side, write an introduction using 1-2 sentences:
I love the beach! We’re going to the beach this summer and I can’t wait! OR I can’t understand why people like the beach.
- Fifth, write a reason you like or dislike the beach. Explain the reason.
- Sixth, write a reason you like or dislike the beach. Explain the reason.
- Finish with a fun, funny or bad memory that happened to you at the beach.
- Lastly, write a conclusion.
I can’t wait to go to the beach again! OR I hope I never have to go to the beach again.
- Under the conclusion and in the center of the paper write the salutation: (Your Friend,)
- Finally, under the salutation write your name.
Print the Lesson
Once, the children complete their writing, they can glue tiny googly eyes, sequins and sand in their border for their beach art accent. This easy beach art accent motivates students to write and rewards them for their work! In addition, it adds color and charm to any child’s story about the beach.
You’d be amazed at what a little sand can do for young timid writers! I haven’t done an official survey, but I’m pretty sure this is the most popular crafty art accent among my writers.
Calendar Pictures are the easiest and cleanest art accents that I use. Kids LOVE to choose a picture to write about. However, adding sand to the border of their story really excites students.
For all of my writing classes, students write on bordered paper. That way they can decorate the border around their writing with an art accent. You can print and use this paper as well. Here is the paper for Grades K-2 and Grades 2-7. Here’s a printout of a border with no lines to use with very early writers.
NOTE: Because sand is heavier than other art accents we use, printing out the lined paper on card stock is best for the beach art accent but not necessary.
Materials that you’ll need for this art accent are:
- Lined paper with a border. Here’s the paper I use for Grades K-2 and Grades 2-7.
- Tiny googly eyes* to represent crab eyes.
- Sequins* to represent shells. You could glue shells* just as well!
- Sand from your neighbor’s sand box! If you need to purchase sand, sand from Amazon can work*.
Here are the steps!
- First, glue pairs of tiny googly eyes* around the border to represent crabs. Here are self-adhesive googly eyes from Amazon*.
3. Place the paper in a plastic container to catch the sand.
4. Line the empty spaces in the border with Elmer’s glue, then spread the glue.
5. Sprinkle sand over the Elmer’s glue.
6. Pick up the paper to shake off the loose sand!
Check out this student’s completed work!
Spelling/Vocabulary-4-11 Words: (Writing Game #3) Use the words couldn’t, wouldn’t, shouldn’t to play!
Tale or Truth-telling your own stories (Talking Game #6)
The Hot Tamales! prompt is a great journal piece as well–it’s one of the funnest lesson’s I’ve taught!