Draw a Story Starters

My kids' favorite way to do a quick writing practice.

One of the things I’ve been working on with my kids is just getting things down on paper when they are given a writing assignment.  They seem to have these mental blocks where they just stare at the paper. So I made these story starters to use during a timed “writing frenzy”.  Since you draw from four different idea bags, this method gives endless story starters. Before we start writing the kids chose one slip of paper from each of the baggies.  In one baggie is the topic, in another is the problem, in another is an adjective, and in the last is an object.  You can mix the cards around any way you like for your story.  In the cards drawn below, either the mom could be crazy or the math homework could be. The rule for our writing frenzy is that everyone has to write for the entire … click to read more

Creative Writing – Twice Upon A Time Tales

Whenever possible I try to dovetail our reading and writing together into one cohesive lesson.  Of course, the obvious way to do this is simply to have kids write about what they’re reading.  Twice Upon A Time Tales are just a creative writing variation of this. The basic concept – kids read a story and then write their own version of it.  (Hence the “Twice” in place of “Once Upon a Time”).  Start by brainstorming a list of simple story elements that could change. Story Elements main character setting (this could be time/ place/ time period/ all of those) several plot details ending role reversal of the bad guy/good guy conflict Same character on a new adventure A Twist on the Tale Next, let kids take one or two changes and run with them.   How would Beauty and The Beast be different with a male/female role reversal?  (Handsome and … click to read more

What Would Happen If….Writing Prompts

I try to spend time writing along with my kids, and even with lots of years of practice and life experience behind me, I still have those days when I feel like there’s just nothing to write about.  Inspiration dries up.  Creativity smothers.  That’s when I know it’s time for some fun writing prompts to get all our creative juices flowing again.  Here are ten fun “What would happen ifs” for when everyone is stuck! What would happen if all the streets were made of water? What would happen if you could become invisible whenever you wanted to? What would happen if a kid could become president? What would happen if there were no television? What would happen if your pet could talk? What would happen if you ordered food from a restaurant, ate it, and then discovered you forgot your wallet? What would happen if the oceans were made … click to read more