The Syrup Never Ends!-Writing Instructions

The syrup never ends in this instructions writing prompt.  The Never-Ending-Syrup Sundae writing lesson was created with ice cream in mind, but as always, children are free to come up with their own unique ideas!

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never ending syrup sundae art accent

Common Core State Standards

NOTE:  This lesson can address the following Common Core State Standards:  CCSS.ELA.LITERACY.W.K.2, W.1.2, W.2.2, W.3.2, W.3.2.A, W.3.2.C, W.3.2.D, W.4.2, W.4.2.D, W.4.2.E, W.5.2, W.5.2.D and W.5.2.E.

I wrote this lesson for our Marvelous Machines summer writing camp where we were inventing machines and writing manuals for each machine.

The Never Ending Syrup Sundae

I called this machine, “The Never-ending Syrup Sundae.”  Basically, it’s a bowl with compartments at the bottom that hold different syrups for the ice cream.  Each compartment has a button.  The left and right sides of the bowl have straw-like tubes (pipe cleaners*) that shoot the syrup up the pipes and down onto the bowl of ice cream.  That way, you can eat a layer of ice cream with syrup, then push a button to add more syrup!

Here’s my art accent example I created to show them the idea:

syrup writing prompt

Students Who Are Lactose Intolerant

For children who are lactose intolerant or simply don’t want to write about ice cream, remind them that they can create the machine using any food/sauce combination.  I had one camper who created the machine for gravy and mashed potatoes.  It could work just as well for ketchup on fries or syrup on pancakes!  Remind your kids that the ideas are endless.

Landscape Bordered Paper

I use lined paper in landscape format so we can better draw the bowl/machine in our border.  Here’s the paper I use for Grades K-2) and for Grades 2-7)


To get a full understanding on how I conduct each writing lesson you may want to read the Writing Prompts Introduction post.  The lesson outlined below (and all other prompts posted) will make more sense and be easier to follow and use.

Tell the Story Line

Begin the lesson by telling the story line:  “You’re going to write an instructions manual for a food machine that squirts syrup, gravy, ketchup or some kind of sauce.”


Give students time to brainstorm food/sauce ideas.  Chocolate syrup on a sundae, gravy on mashed potatoes, ketchup on fries, syrup on a pile of pancakes….what have you!

Show the 5 Sections

  • Introduction/Parts
  • Set Up
  • Operation
  • Care
  • Warnings

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.


  1. Begin by writing the title on the first line (not in the border).
Introduction and Parts

2.  On the 2nd line, write an introductory statement. This can be in the form of a question or exclamation.

Do you like sundaes?  Do you ever run out of chocolate syrup and still have a lot of ice cream left in your bowl?

3.  Then, on the next line, left side, write the word PARTS.  Under the word PARTS, list the parts that you will need to put the machine together.

Base, Buttons, Bowl and Syrup pipes

Set Up

4.  Fourth, on the next line, left side, write the words SET UP.  Under the words SET UP, write 1-5 sentences that tell how to put the machine together.


5.  Fifth, on the next line, left side, write the word OPERATION.  Under the word OPERATION, write 1-5 sentences that tell how to use the machine.


6.  Sixth, on the next line, left side, write the word CARE.  Under the word CARE, write 1-5 sentences telling how to care and maintain the machine.


7.  Seventh, on the next line, left side, write the word WARNINGS.  Under the word WARNINGS, write 1-5 sentences listing any dangers that the machine could cause.

Print the Lesson

Here’s the full lesson for you to print out and use.


Once students finished their writing, they worked on their Never-Ending Syrup Sundae art accent around the border.

syrup writing prompt

Here are the steps!

Again, the campers wrote on lined paper, in landscape position, with a border.  Here’s a printout of the lined paper I use for Grades K-2 and Grades 2-7.  If you’re working with very early writers, you can use bordered paper without lines.

  1. First, draw the base of the bowl. Color it in with marker.

2. Cut out 3-5 buttons using construction paper and glue them to the base.  Label the buttons.

3. Third, draw the bowl on the left and right side and color it in.

4. Fourth, draw the ice cream.

never ending syrup sundae art accent

5. Fifth, color in the syrup using any color.

never ending syrup sundae art accent

6. Sixth, use a glue dot* to stick the pipe cleaner to the base of the bowl on each side.  Bend the top of the pipe cleaner* on both sides so that it squirts onto the ice cream.  Use a glue dot* to stick down the top of the pipe cleaner where it bends.

never ending syrup sundae art accent

Done and Yum!

Your never ending syrup art accent is finished.

Print the Instructions

Here are the instructions for you to print out and use as well as a sample to print and hang.


Brainstorm.Erase.Guess.:  (Talking Game #3)  Brainstorm Ice Cream flavors and toppings to play!

syrup writing prompt

Silly Sentences:  (Writing Game #2) Use 8 instruction words in the left circle and 8 ice cream toppings in the right circle.

Spin. Describe. Guess.:  (Talking Game #5) Describe ice cream flavors!

How Many Words?