5th Grade January Writing Assignments

One of the best ways to ensure you stick with a daily writing habit is to have plenty of prompts on hand. Kids thrive when they are given boundaries with generous margins. The twenty writing prompts in this free printable January writing prompt calendar provide the perfect amount of structure to stimulate your young writer while allowing for plenty of imagination!

Example writing prompts from the January calendar

  • If you could live in a TV show, which one would it be? Why? What character would you play?
  • Convince your parents to let you play a winter sport.
  • Are you outgoing or shy? Write a paragraph explaining how it feels to be in a roomful of people.
  • What are 3 things you like to do on Saturdays?

The calendar is not dated, so you can use it year after year whenever you need writing inspiration for your elementary students in grades 3-8.

Ideas for using your January writing prompt calendar

There is no single way to use the calendar. It’s flexible, so you can make it work for you and your children! Here are a few options.

  • Print it on colored paper —maybe blue for January.
  • Print it on white paper, and let your child color in the prompts as she uses them.
  • Number the grid with the dates you have homeschool lessons in January.
  • Let your child skip around on the grid, choosing the prompts out of order.
  • Hole punch the calendar and put it into a writing notebook or journal.
  • Tape or glue the calendar into a composition notebook or journal.
  • Hang the calendar on your refrigerator or bulletin board for daily reference.

Download the January prompt calendar here or use the preview below.

If you would like to share this prompt with others, please link to this post instead of linking directly to the PDF file. Feel free to save and print this PDF file for your own personal use. Please do not sell or host these files anywhere else.

Receive daily writing prompts via email

Would you prefer to have these prompts delivered to your inbox each day? Sign up for our prompt of the day emails, and that’s exactly what you will get. Each morning, Monday through Friday, you will receive a new message with a writing prompt you can use that day in your homeschool writing lessons.

Take your pick! Download a January calendar PDF or get the free emails. Or get both for double the writing reminders.

January Writing Prompts

Creative Writing Ideas and Journal Topics for Winter and January

Winter and January Writing Prompts: Are you looking for a creative list of writing prompts and journal ideas to use during the month of January?

Below, you will find a list of general January writing topics and a list of specific calendar dates for January which contain creative writing ideas related to that particular date in January. I have created this list of January writing prompts and ideas for elementary school teachers and students, but many of these creative writing ideas and topics would also be appropriate for other grade levels.

You will find some winter and January writing prompts below that contain underlined links. If you click on an underlined link:

  • You will be directed to another page on Unique Teaching Resources that contains detailed lesson plan ideas and printable worksheets for those January writing prompts.
  • You will be directed to another website that contains useful information related to those particular January writing prompts.

General Winter and January Writing Prompts:

  • Write a S.N.O.W. acrostic poem
  • Every snowflake is unique. I am unique because ...
  • If I were a snowflake
  • The first snowfall
  • My favorite book to read on a cold winter day
  • The worst snowstorm
  • The snowman suddendly began to move ...
    • These snowman shaped creative writing templates can be used for many of the January writing prompts that are found on this page.
    • Click on the link below to view the page where these snowman templates can be found:
      Snowman Creative Writing Templates
  • Stuck inside on a snowy winter day
  • Oh, no, it snowed and I can't ...
  • When it snows I like to ...

Specific January Writing Prompts:

Celebrations, Events, Holidays, and Dates in History:

Scroll through this page, or click on the links below, to read
about each of these January writing prompts and holidays.

January - National Soup Month

January is National Soup Month. Soup became popular with the invention of canning in the 19th century, when a chemist at the Campbell Soup Company invented condensed soup in 1897.

  • Create a new soup that mixes in some of your favorite food items as the main ingredients. Write down the name, ingredients, and directions for your soup recipe.
  • Using a can of soup brought in from home, have your students design and color a new label for the can that features a soup that they have created.
  • To "soup something up" is to improve it, or increase its power (most often used for cars, airplanes, and the like). Write about something that you would like to "soup up."
  • A soup kitchen is a place where food is offered to the homeless or hungry for free. These meal centers are often located in low income neighborhoods and staffed by volunteer organizations. During National Soup Month, encourage your students bring in donations of canned food. At the end of January, donate this food to a soup kitchen in your local area.
  • Visit Wikipedia's soup page to learn about different types of soup and traditional regional soups.
  • Find kid approved soup recipes on My Recipes.com Kid Soup Recipes.

January 4 (1643) - Isaac Newton's Birthday

Isaac Newton was born on January 4, 1643 in Woolsthorpe, England. He was an English physicist, mathematician, and astronomer. He is considered by many to be the greatest scientist of his time.

Note: You will also see Newton's birthday listed as December 25, 1642. These differences are due to whether old style or new style dates are being referred to.

Isaac Newton discovered the Law of Gravitation. This discovery started with an apple falling from a tree.

  • How do you think the apple taught Newton about gravity?
  • Why do you think Newton's discovery of gravity was important?
  • Research Newton's Three Laws of Motion and design a poster highlighting the information that you learned.
  • Write about your trip to the moon. What was it like to be in an atmosphere that had no gravity?
  • Visit Wikipedia's Isaac Newton's Page to learn more information about this influential scientist.
  • Students can complete an individual or group project about Isaac Newton using my Character Body Book Report Templates or my Biography Book Report Newspaper Templates.

January 4 (1809) - Louis Braille's Birthday

Louis Braille was born on January 4, 1809 in Coupvray, France. He was the inventor of Braille, which is a worldwide system used by blind and visually impaired people for reading and writing.

Braille is read by passing the fingers over characters made up of an arrangement of one to six raised points. Louise Braille's work changed the world of reading and writing for the visually impaired forever.

After two centuries, Louis Braille's system still remains an invaluable tool of learning and communication for the visually impaired. Braille has been adapted for many different languages around the world.

  • How do you think your life would be different if you were blind?
  • In a recent survey, 88% of people listed sight as their most important sense and almost half of these people said the thing they would miss most if they were blind would be seeing their friends and family. What would you miss the most if you were blind?
  • National Braille Week is observed from January 4 - 11 in the United Kingdom. NationalBrailleWeek.org is a website that contains information about this week and information, games, and videos about braille.
  • On Arthur's PBS You've Got Mail page, students can type a message and have it translated into braille.
  • Using the braille code found on Wikipedia, have your students create large posters of their names, or short messages, written in braille. Students can use a bottle of glue and glue dots over their written braille messages, thus created raised dots that can be felt by touch.
  • Visit Wikipedia's Louis Braille Page to learn more information about Louise Braille.

January 11 (1849) - Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell
First Woman Physician

Elizabeth Blackwell was born in Bristol, England on February 3, 1821. Her family emigrated to the United States in 1832. Elizabeth Blackwell attended Geneva Medical College in New York, where she was the only female student.

On January 11, 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to earn a medical degree in the United States and she graduated on January 23, 1849, first in her class.

During her retirement, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell maintained her interest in the women's rights movement by writing lectures on the importance of education. Blackwell is credited with opening the first training school for nurses in the United States in 1873.

January 15 (1929) - Dr. Martin Luther King's Birthday
Third Monday in January - Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. He is best known for being a prominent leader in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods.

In 1955, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the Montgomery Bus Boycott and in 1957 he helped to found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech and established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history.

In 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and discrimination through civil disobedience and other nonviolent means. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee.

Martin Luther King Day was established as a federal U.S. holiday in 1986 and it is observed on the third Monday of January each year. Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed on January 20, 1986. Martin Luther King Day was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

A memorial honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. opened on August 22, 2011 in Washington, D.C.

  • In his "I Have a Dream" speech, Martin Luther King Jr. called for racial equality and an end to discrimination. Why do you think that this speech is considered to be one of the greatest and most notable speeches in human history?
  • Beginning with the words "I Have a Dream," write your own speech about your hopes for our world and its people.
  • Describe someone that you admire who shares Dr. King's beliefs. Tell what you admire most in this person.
  • On Kids National Geographic, students can view photographs of some of the most historic moments in Dr. Martin Luther King's life.
  • Have your students complete a Biography Newspaper Project about Martin Luther King Jr. These newspapers can be assigned as individual or group projects.
  • Have your students complete a Character Body Book Report about Martin Luther King Jr. These reports can be assigned as individual or group projects.
  • Write a famous quote by Martin Luther King Jr. on your chalkboard or whiteboard and have your students respond to this quote.
  • Visit Wikipedia's Martin Luther King Jr. page to learn more about his life and work.

January 18 - Winnie the Pooh Day

Alan Alexander Milne was born on January 18, 1882 in Kilburn, London. January 18 is Winnie the Pooh Day and this day was created to celebrate the birthday of A.A .Milne, the creator of everyone's favorite bear!

A.A .Milne's first collection of stories, called Winnie-the-Pooh, was published in 1926, which was followed by The House at Pooh Corner in 1928. He named the character Winnie-the-Pooh after a teddy bear owned by his son, Christopher Robin Milne, who was the basis for the character Christopher Robin.

  • Winnie the Pooh's pals include Christopher Robin, Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet, and Roo. Create a new animal character for the Winnie the Pooh stories. What would this character's name be? Describe what the character looks like and how the character acts.
  • Have your students take the Winnie the Pooh Which Character Are You? Quiz on Disney's Winnie the Pooh website. For a creative writing assignment, students should write a story pretending to be that Winnie the Pooh character.
  • On Just-Pooh, students can find fun information about Winnie the Pooh and his friends, read the latest Pooh Bear news, and play games.
  • Visit Wikipedia's Winnie the Pooh Page to learn more information about Winnie the Pooh and A.A .Milne.

January 23 - National Handwriting Day
January 23 (1737) - John Hancock's Birthday

National Handwriting Day is celebrated on January 23 in conjunction with John Hancock's birthday.

John Hancock was born on January 23, 1737 and he is remembered for his large and stylish signature on the United States Declaration of Independence. Due to his famous signature, the term "John Hancock" has become a synonym for "signature" in the United States.

The art of handwriting is fast becoming a lost skill. In this day of computers, more and more information, notes, and letters are sent back and forth via a keyboard and the Internet. Celebrate National Handwriting Day by using a pen or a pencil to write a handwritten note, poem, letter, or journal entry.
  • Make some old fashioned paper for your students by dipping plain paper in tea and letting it dry. At home, you can burn the edges of these papers to make them look even older. Your students will enjoy completing a creative writing assignment on National Handwriting Day using these old fashioned papers.
  • Write a friendly letter to someone that you usually e-mail and mail your letter.
  • Brainstorm with your students how the forms of written communication have changed over the years: from writing on stones, feather pens and ink bottles, the Pony Express, typewriters, computers, email, and text messages.
  • After your class discussion, have your students write an essay about the pros and cons of these changes in written communication over the years.
  • Visit Wikipedia's John Hancock Page to learn more information about this Patriot of the American Revolution.

January 24 - Opposite Day

Opposite Day is celebrated on January 24 and it is a crazy and fun day when everything you say, do, see, and hear can be the opposite.

Opposite Day is celebrated primarily among children and it is a day when everything they say means exactly the opposite: good is bad, left is right, full is hungry, etc.

Schools often have an Opposite Day, but not always on the actual date of January 24. On this day, have your students wear clothes that they do not normally wear. Popular ideas include wearing socks that do not match and wearing a hat backwards.

  • Write directions for how to do something (how to make something or how to get from your house to the mall), but make all of the directions the opposite.
  • Opposite Day would be an ideal day to have your students give oral presentations and debate two opposite sides of an issue.

January 29 - National Puzzle Day

January 29 is National Puzzle Day, but don't be puzzled by this day! Puzzles are a favorite pastime for millions of people, young and old. This day honors puzzles of all size, shape, and form.

Many people do puzzles to keep their mind sharp, or to learn new words. Crossword puzzles are by far the most common. Sudoku, a number puzzle, is the most recent puzzle rage.

  • Be sure to give your students some kind of puzzle to do in class today!
  • What is your favorite type of puzzle to solve and why?
  • On The Kidz Free Online Jigsaw Puzzle page, students choose from 6, 12, 25, 40 and sometimes 100 piece jigsaw puzzles to play online!

End of January Writing Prompts

Free Download:

January Calendar Set

My free January calendar set is designed to fit inside the monthly calendar pocket charts that many teachers use. The calendar pieces can also be displayed on a classroom bulletin board.

This January calendar set contains the following printable worksheets:

Above: The large January calendar title is a 2 page banner.

Above: This printable calendar set for January includes large days of the week templates for the 7 days of the week.

Above: This free January calendar set includes smaller pieces for the 7 days of the week that will fit inside your calendar pocket chart.

There are 31 square calendar number dates in this teaching resources set.

There are squares for you to print and write your students' names and birthdays on.

There are 11 printable worksheets in this free teaching resources set.

Click the link below to download this free January calendar set.

Click Here ===>12 Free Printable Classroom Calendars

Note: On the above page, you will find links to download all
12 of my FREE classroom calendar sets for January - December!

Below are some ideas and examples of teaching resources
that can be used for some of the Winter and January
writing prompts that are found on this page:

Snowman Writing Templates

Your students will discover that writing is "snow" much fun with these unique snowman templates. These creative writing templates will make a brilliant winter bulletin board display!


Click below for more information about:
January Writing Prompts
Snowman Creative Writing Templates

S.N.O.W. Globe Templates

This S.N.O.W. acrostic poem is designed inside a snow globe template. There are separate templates for girls (shown here) and boys. Your students will enjoy these fun winter poetry lesson plans.


Click below for more information about:
January Writing Prompts
S.N.O.W. Globe Templates

Our Frosty Winter Stories

These snowman language arts worksheets are ideal for a wide range of creative writing topics and will make a colorful winter bulletin board display.


Click below for more information about:
January Writing Prompts
Our Frosty Winter Stories

Penguin Chill Out Stories

You can use these worksheets for a science unit about penguins, a reading response to a story with penguins in it, or as a winter writing assignment.


Click below for more information about:
January Writing Prompts
Penguin Chill Out Stories

Winter Tree Worksheets

These winter tree creative writing templates are ideal for a wide range of creative writing topics and will make a dynamic winter bulletin board display.


Click below for more information about:
January Writing Prompts
Winter Tree Worksheets

Winter Wonderland Worksheets

These winter wonderland language arts worksheets are ideal for a wide range of creative writing topics and will make a colorful winter bulletin board display.


Click below for more information about:
January Writing Prompts
Winter Wonderland Worksheets

Reading Sticker Charts - Winter Themes

Snowglobe Sticker Chart

This "Reading is SNOW Much Fun!" is a unique reading sticker chart set that contains a winter theme.

This set contains 2 snow globe templates: one for boys and another for girls (above). This set encourages students to read 16 books during the winter months of the school year.


Click below for more information about:
January Writing Prompts
Reading Snowglobe Sticker Chart

Penguin Sticker Charts

Encourage your students to "Chill Out With a Good Book" with these cute penguin reading sticker charts.

These penguin shaped reading sticker charts are a fun teaching resource to use to motivate your students to chill out and read during the winter months of the school year.


Click below for more information about:
January Writing Prompts
Penguin Reading Sticker Charts

Multiplication Incentive Charts and Classroom Displays

Multiplication Chart

This unique multiplication chart grows in height as your students learn their multiplication facts.

As students learn a new times table, they place an ice cream scoop on top of their cones. When students have learned all of their times tables, they will have 10 (or 12) scoops on top of their cones.


Click below for more information about:
Ice Cream Multiplication Sticker Charts

Multiplication Display Set

There are 12 multiplication displays in this resource set for the 1 - 12 times tables. The ice cream cones stack on each other to create tall vertical displays.

The cone displays come in a variety of different bright colors and they will create an eye catching math display in your classroom.


Click below for more information about:
Multiplication Classroom Display Set

Word Problems - Key Words

This ice cream classroom display set highlights the key words used for solving addition (shown above), subtraction, multiplication, and division word problems.

These brightly colored ice cream bulletin board sets will make an eye catching word problem display in your classroom.


Click below for more information about:
Key Words For Solving Word Problems

Click on one of the bottle caps below to view the different categories of
Winter (and Christmas) Teaching Resources that are available on my website:

Click on one of the calendars
below to go to a specific page
of monthly writing prompts:

On these pages, you will find creative writing prompts
that pertain to each month's themes, holidays, and events.

Thank you for visiting my January writing prompts page.

Please be sure to check out the other pages on Unique
Teaching Resources
for a large variety of fun lesson plan activities
that will engage your students in learning and save you valuable time.

Creator and Website Manager
Unique Teaching Resources


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