Collection Overview
Teaching Writing #writeout place-based poetry

Poetry-powered Prompts for Writing Outside

Write Out

7 Posts in this Collection

My hobbie (one of them anyway)…is using a lot of scotch tape… My hobbie is to pick out different things during what I read and piece them together and make a little story of my own.”

—Louis Armstrong

From spoken word to blackout poetry, to small verse and everything in-between, this collection brings together a range of poetry-powered “sparks,” or writing prompts, to encourage writing outside and in public spaces in your community. With a focus on poetry, each resource includes 1-3 prompts along with linked resources meant to support an exploration of a range of poetic forms and approaches.

These prompts have been created and curated for writers – young as well as the young at heart – by Park Rangers of the National Park Service and educators from the National Writing Project. They are intended to engage interests and support writers in getting started; as educator Peter Elbow writes, “the most effective way … to improve your writing is to do free writing exercises regularly.”

Check out the resources and then head outside and find a comfortable place to be (a “sit spot“) … this might be in your backyard, on your front stoop, or in a local park or other public space. Use a notebook or a journal, a microphone and a camera, go digital or stay analog … experiment with approaches that work best for you!

Interested in sharing what you wrote? Here are a few ideas how do this whether you are outside together, at a distance from each other, and/or sharing multimodal compositions.


Resources curated by KHCantrill. Photograph of students at Springfield Armory, used with permission from the Western Massachusetts Writing Project.


Up next

Content type
Stop To Smell the Roses – Figurative Language and Other Poetic Devices: Prompts for Writing Outside
This resource is available to support place-based writing outside anytime of year and comes with related resources and age-level recommendations. Originally developed for Write Out (
Read more
Content type
Upcycled Words! - Found and Erasure Poems: Prompts for Writing Outside
Content type
Framing Nature: Prompts for Writing Outside