Steps in the Writing Process: Conquer Your Writing Slump with the Prewriting Step

Contributor: Peggy Herisson. Lesson ID: 12998

That writing assignment is creeping up on me, and I think I'm experiencing some type of writer’s block! As with any journey, the path to writing success begins with one small step, and this is it!


Reading, Writing

English / Language Arts
learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!


You have that brilliant idea in your head but can't seem to get it onto your paper. The assignment is due, like, way too soon! How can you go from precept to paper to published pearl?

To reach the peak of writing perfection, like anything else, you have to climb some steps.

There are officially 5 steps in the writing process, which you can remember by memorizing this sentence:

Penguin Wally Remembered Every Pattern.

  P = Prewriting
  W = Writing
  R = Revising
  E = Editing
  P = Publishing


Wally the penguin

This lesson is the first in our Steps in the Writing Process series of Related Lessons, found in the right-hand sidebar. Here, we will delve deeper into the prewriting step!

The most important part of Step 1, the prewriting stage, is brainstorming.

  • What is brainstorming?

Brainstorming involves creating ideas that help you choose a topic. This approach involves thinking of random words or phrases to begin developing the structure of your writing project.

Watch How-To Writing For Kids | Episode 1 | Brainstorming, from Teaching Without Frills, to help you understand the process of prewriting:


  • Do you have an opinion or favorite item or a process that you would like to share with another person?

Well, brainstorming is the first step to sharing that concept in writing. Brainstorming involves searching for your idea around your environment. The idea may involve your childhood, a favorite sport, or even an exciting event.

  • What is your inspiration?
  • What makes you shine?

Whatever it is, recognizing it is the first step in generating a set of ideas for your topic.

people brainstorming

Share the idea of brainstorming with someone else by playing a game!

  1. Download two copies of the Brainstorm Game, found under Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar.
  2. Choose a simple object from the list below and find a friend, parent, or sibling to play the game with you.
  3. Each of you will complete one of the Brainstorm Game sheets with words or phrases that describe the object you chose.
  4. Try to answer the questions, "Why," "Who," "What," "When," "Where," and "How," when creating a list of details about the item.
  5. Then, compare your lists!
  • Did you write the same details? What was different?


  • pool noodle
  • plastic plate
  • headscarf
  • hairbrush
  • wooden spoon
  • skipping rope
  • saucepan
  • saucepan lid
  • pair of pants
  • bath towel
  • ruler
  • leaf
  • whisk
  • sock
  • elastic band
  • DVD
  • a forked stick
  • hula hoop


Now that you have an idea of what brainstorming is, go on to the Got It? section to begin creating your topic for writing.

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We help prepare learners for a future that cannot yet be defined. They must be ready for change, willing to learn and able to think critically. Elephango is designed to create lifelong learners who are ready for that rapidly changing future.