July 4th writing prompts in a jar

July 4th writing prompts in a jar • WriteShop

IT’S SUMMER. Your kids would rather ride bikes, toss a baseball, and run through the sprinklers than sit indoors “doing homeschool.” Make writing time fun by taking clipboards, pencils, and papers outdoors, and inspire your kids with writing prompts that center on Independence Day.

  1. Copy, paste, and print out (or hand write) the following prompts on red, white, and blue paper strips. Place them in a jar.
  2. Have each child draw two slips of paper from the jar.
  3. Ask them to choose their favorite of the two. If you have a reluctant child, set the timer for 15 minutes.

Voila! A patriotic, short-and-sweet summer writing activity!

July 4th Writing Prompts

1. My Freedoms

What does freedom mean to you? List five ways you can exercise your freedom.

2. Parade Float

You have been invited to design a float for the 4th of July parade. In one word, what will be the theme of your float? Explain how you will express this theme through decorations, costumes, and music.

3. Word Bank Story

Write a story using words from this Independence Day word bank.

4. Message in the Sky

Imagine watching a fireworks show with your family. In a burst of red, white, and blue, an urgent message suddenly appears in the night sky. What does it say? What will you do?

5. Story Fun

Write a story using these words: watermelon, fireworks, parade, thunderstorm, splash, race, tunnel, cousins, bicycle, dog. (Let younger children choose just 3-5 of these words for their story.)

6. Mouthwatering Menu

Plan the perfect 4th of July barbecue or picnic. Make a list of foods you would serve. Then, choose one or two and describe them in detail to make them sound as tempting and mouth-watering as possible.

7. It’s Been One of Those Days

Imagine a 4th of July celebration that is filled with mishaps. Write a story that tells about three things that go wrong.

8. Dear Pen Pal

Write a letter to an imaginary friend who lives in another country. Explain why we celebrate Independence Day, and describe five things you like about living in America.

9. It’s a Tradition!

Write about your family’s 4th of July traditions. Where do you go? What activities do you do? What foods do you enjoy?

10. Holiday Acrostic

  • Create an acrostic:
  • Vertically on your paper, write either “INDEPENDENCE DAY” or “FOURTH OF JULY.”
  • Next to each letter, write a word, phrase, or sentence related to the holiday’s history or your family traditions. (For example, “J” could be Jefferson, Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, or Juicy watermelon.)


Visit BusyTeacher.org for a collection of Independence Day printables and worksheets including 4th of July finger puppets, Old Glory worksheet, and a color-and-cut 4th of July visor!

Did you enjoy these writing ideas? If so, be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays!


  • Posted July 2, 2012

    Stacey Lane

    Its Monday and time to print this list and get the kids writing about July 4th. Thanks for the ideas!

    • Posted July 6, 2012


      You’re welcome, Stacey! Hope they have fun with these prompts!

  • Posted May 24, 2016


    This is such an awesome idea! I’m planning on doing an idea jar for my boys’ summer research papers, but I hadn’t thought of having them pick 2 and choose a favorite. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Posted May 24, 2016

      Kim Kautzer

      You’re welcome, KT! It’s just one way of giving the kids a little more control over their topic–which generally means they’ll be more eager to write!

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