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WT 023 Selecting a Topic

Teacher Tips and Answers


WT 023

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Selecting a Topic

You have all kinds of things to write about: delicious foods, goofy pets, thrilling games, special treasures, tough classes, brave friends, new movies, old books, songs that slap, and more! To find a great writing topic, just look around you. What awesome topics are you sitting on?

"Writers store ideas like couches store odds and ends. Find a writing idea by sorting through your mind!”


Couch Kid
© Thoughtful Learning 2025

Keep a Notebook.

Gather great writing ideas in a notebook. Let ideas swim around in there until you are ready to write, and then fish one out. This chapter helps you build a file of fun writing ideas.

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Pay Attention!

1. Look, listen, feel, smell, and taste.

Notice your world. Why is that squirrel so grumpy? What is that wonderful aroma from the kitchen? Write down what you see, hear, smell, and taste—and ask questions about it.

2. Remember key experiences.

Reflect on your past. What happened? Create a life map starting with the day you were born and tracking events. What topics come up?

Couch Kid
© Thoughtful Learning 2025

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3. List bests, worsts, and favorites.

You can write about both good and bad:


  • When I won
  • My best friend
  • The food I love most


  • The hardest school subject
  • The day that went wrong
  • A big waste of time


  • A book I love to read
  • My fuzzy friends
  • A place I hang out

4. Read, read, read!

Make friends with books and magazines. Read stories on the Internet. Find out what’s happening in your home town. Read about weird things like mushrooms and nostrils and geysers. As you read, reflect in writing.

5. Get involved!

Take a walk. Climb a tree. Meet a neighbor. Join a club. Cook something with a friend. Visit a museum. The more you do, the more you’ll have to write about.

6. Write about it all.

Keep a journal or idea notebook about the things you see, hear, read, and do. Writing helps you gather ideas and think about them. When you need a writing topic, check your journal!

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English Language Arts:

Lesson Plan Resources:

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Vocabulary List:
  • topic: what you are writing about

Vocabulary List:
  • journal: a place for writing your personal thoughts

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