As the weather turns colder this fall season, these fun literature-based November journal writing ideas will give your kids some creative ways to sharpen their writing skills. These picture books, famous poems, and historical documents, all centered around the month of November, can be a great way to add some pizzazz to your daily writing practice.
You may also enjoy reading these similar posts that are perfect to use in November.
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These creative writing prompts are intended to give you some fun writing ideas to use with your kids in November. This collection of November journal prompts are arranged by different literature styles: picture books, poems, short stories, and historical documents. Sometimes kids can experience writer’s block when they look at a blank page, but these creative prompts, along with regular journaling practice, will inspire them with thought-provoking ideas.
Kids may want to designate a notebook specifically for this November study. Have them design a colorful journal cover so they can enjoy this keepsake for years to come, pulling it out to read and review in future November months.
Sleep Tight Farm by Eugene Doyle
Read the book Sleep Tight Farm to your kids. In this book, the family slowly puts the farm to bed for winter, the season of rest. Ask your kids to think about what your family does to prepare for winter. Do you have a garden or animals? What preparation do you do around your home to get ready for the colder dormant season? Maybe you don’t have a garden or homestead, so this may look a little different. Do you close your pool? Switch out your summer clothes? Do some fall cleaning? Shop for winter clothes or supplies?
Writing Prompt: Have your kids rewrite the book telling what you do in your family to prepare for the winter season. What does this look like in your everyday life in these fall months?
What’s the Big Deal About Elections by Ruby Shamir and Matt Faulkner
The Tuesday after the first Monday in November has been designated as Election Day. This picture book helps kids understand the election process, its history, and how to get involved. It answers questions like these. What are elections? Who gets to vote? Why do we vote? How do we elect our leaders? How do we vote? Read this book with your kids or have them read it themselves. Discuss the questions at the end of the book, “What do you think our government should spend its time on? What do you think our leaders should pay attention to?”
Writing Prompt: Write a how-to-style narrative explaining the voting process to a new voter. Explain how they can register, where to find information on candidates, and different ways to get involved.
The Wall by Eve Bunting
On November 11th we remember our veterans. The Wall by Eve Bunting is a wonderful picture book to read on this special day of the month. This story will help kids remember and honor those who paid the ultimate price. The Wall is the story of a father and son who visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to find the boy’s grandfather’s name. Read this book aloud to your students on Veterans Day. Discuss the book by asking the following questions. What is a veteran? Can they name veterans they know? How can we support our veterans?
Writing Prompt: Write a letter to a veteran thanking him or her for their service to our country. This is a wonderful way to show them your appreciation for preserving our freedom.
Sarah Gives Thanks by Mike Allegra
In this inspiring true story, Sarah Josepha Hale, a widowed mother of five, we learn about a young woman who, despite many unfortunate circumstances, becomes a writer and editor in a popular woman’s magazine. During her lifetime thanksgiving was celebrated mostly in the New England colonies, but Sarah wanted to see that change. She petitioned several presidents, asking them to make Thanksgiving a national holiday, but to no avail. After many failed attempts, President Abraham Lincoln finally gave Sarah’s idea some consideration and declared Thanksgiving to be a national holiday in 1863.
This is a good book to read with your children because it gives some unknown insight into the history of Thanksgiving through the decades. Additionally, it inspires young writers to persevere and make their stories known.
Writing Prompt: Have your kids write a letter to President Abraham Lincoln persuading him to make Thanksgiving a national holiday.
In November by Cynthia Rylant
Cynthia Rylant gives a beautiful description of the changes we see in November in this book. What do the animals do? How does the landscape change? What new things do you see as the seasons change? In what ways is the food different? This book is meant to be read aloud to children.
Writing Prompt: Have your kids make a list of all the changes they observe in November. What is your favorite thing to do this time of year? Using their five senses, create a word bank telling what they observe in their surroundings: acorns, leaves, pumpkins, wind, snow, coats, etc. Use this list as an outline to write a similar narrative describing November. Encourage them to use illustrations!
The New England Boy’s Song About Thanksgiving Day by Lydia Maria Child
What is Thanksgiving without this famous poem? Read the original poem with all twelve verses or listen to the song. Ask them to describe the poem. What do they see, hear, smell, taste?
Writing Prompt: Starting with the same line, “Over the river and through the wood,” write a similar poem differently, using your own words. Try to use the same rhythm and meter.
November Night by Adelaide Crapsey
In this short poem, Crapsey compares the falling leaves to the end of life. This poem is a great way to introduce your kids to the Cinquain style of poetry. Review the rules for writing a cinquain. They are five lines long. Cinquains have two syllables in the first line, 4 in the second, 6 in the third, 8 in the fourth, and two in the last. A cinquain does not need to rhyme.
Writing Prompt: Write a cinquain with “November” in the title.
Read the Psalm together. Make a “thankful list” together, remembering God’s many blessings from the past year.
Writing Prompt: Write your own prayer to God expressing your gratitude for his provision.
An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving by Louisa May Alcott
Thanksgiving may quickly become your favorite holiday after you read this endearing short story with your children. Louisa May Alcott beautifully tells how a 19th-century New England family prepares for Thanksgiving dinner.
This story begins by introducing the Bassetts and their eight children as they prepare the farm and food for Thanksgiving Day. All the food preparation is coming along nicely when suddenly mother and father must leave to take care of Mrs. Bassett’s ailing mother. The children must manage the house and cook themselves for the upcoming feast. The day is full of old family stories, cooking blunders, and unexpected events, but Mr. and Mrs. Bassett return earlier than expected and the mother is pleased to see a beautiful meal all put together by her children.
Thanksgiving Writing Prompts: Describe the scene in your home if the same circumstances happened to you! Your mother and father are called away and the kids will need to make the Thanksgiving meal. What’s on the menu? Who does the cooking? Will your favorite Thanksgiving dish be on the table? How does it turn out?
These suggestions are great for high school or middle school students because of the rich language. It will also help them become familiar with historical texts.
Read this short historical speech to your children. Have them take a turn reading it aloud. The vocabulary in the text is a little challenging, but it will take very little time since it is only a few sentences. What important events were happening in the United States during this time?
Writing Prompt: Rewrite the president’s speech in your own words. (Think narration here, have kids retell the speech in their own words, as they understand it.)
After reading this short speech, ask your kids when this speech was given. Was it before or after the Gettysburg Address? Before or after the Civil War? Why would these special events call for a national day of Thanksgiving?
Writing Prompt: Imagine you are the president. Write your own Thanksgiving Proclamation. Make sure to include why we should have a national day of Thanksgiving.
What happened on Cape Cod on the 11th of November? What was the purpose of this voyage to the new world?
Writing Prompt: For some daily practice, write a few journal entries of the pilgrims and their experience in the new world. How do they spend their time? Describe what they see. What is the first priority in building a new colony? What problems do they encounter? Describe their daily life.
The Pilgrim-Wampanoag Peace Treaty from Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford
Read this excerpt from Of Plymouth Plantation written by a great historical figure, William Bradford. What signs did both sides give to show their friendliness in making this treaty? What were the terms of the agreement?
Writing Prompt: Write your own peace treaty between the native Americans and pilgrims. Include your terms of agreement.
I hope this list of November writing prompts has given you some inspiration for your writing lessons during the special days in this holiday season. You can use these as daily writing prompts or insert them into your regular lesson plans to switch things up a bit.
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Hi, I’m Sheri! I am a Christian saved by grace, married to my high school sweetheart, and a thankful mom to ten incredible kids. I’m a former public school teacher who never thought I would someday be a homeschool mom! Drawing on 13+ years of homeschooling experience, follow along to find help for getting started, tried and true homeschooling advice, life skills learning, simple Morning Time ideas, and interviews with everyday homeschool moms just like you!