Monday, September 10, 2012

Student Story Ideas!

So my little writers have been working SO hard to write new and interesting stories! But I have been hearing a lot of "Miss Moellering, I don't know what to write about...." lately. I have been having a hard time finding time to confer and set our writing goals because I am spending so much time thinking of ideas for my friends.

So they told me they would like a place to go to help them get some ideas. So I created two different ways for students to get writing ideas.

First, I made story sticks. These sticks give the students a simple idea to create a story from. I just bought a bag of colored craft sticks from Dollar Tree and wrote the story idea on both sides. The sticks are all kept in an old peanut butter container (these are the BEST for storage of everything!)

My rule is that the student gets to choose 3 sticks, and then they must choose a story idea from those 3. If not, some of my friends would spend ther whole writer's workshop looking for an idea :)


Some examples of story ideas are:
  • magic carpet ride
  • building an igloo
  • getthing a bad haircut
  • swimming in the ocean
  • trip on a rocket ship
  • biggest bubblegum bubble ever
  • being in the circus
  • secret clubhouse
  • giant water balloons
  • if I could fly
  • if I was invisible
  • if I had a secret power
  • building a fort
  • going to the dentist
  • a trip in a submarine
  • my new invention
  • crazy pink hair
  • finding monsters under your bed
  • star in your own TV show
  • play a trick on your mom
  • my dream vacation
  • you just won 1,000,000
  • baby kangaroo in your class
  • zoo animals invade your school
  • aliens bring you on their ship
  • flying an airplane
  • the mysterious talliwaggle
  • you found a magic wand
  • my crazy grandma
  • when I'm 100 years old
  • the day my dog could talk
  • if I were the President
  • my best day ever
  • my amazing treehouse
  • there is no such thing as TV
  • you are on a deserted island
  • you wake up as a chipmunk
  • you wake up as an alien
  • you wake up as an earthworm
  • you wake up as a butterfly
  • my trip to the rings of Saturn
  • my incredible rock concert
  • the day I met a mermaid
  • the day I met a vampire
  • the day I met a ghost
  • you shrink to the size of an ant
  • you grow to the size of a house
  • you get sucked into the TV
  • you get sucked into the computer

Second, I made something I called You Pick 3! Once again, I used the colored popsicle sticks and peanut butter container for storage. For this, however, it is important to have 3 different colors of popsicle sticks in the jar, because the 3 colors stand for the person, place, and thing that the student will then write about. 

Some examples of people:
  • astronaut
  • king/queen
  • race car driver
  • magician
  • firefighter
  • Phineas and Ferb
  • explorer
  • robot
  • mail carrier
  • basketball player
  • sumo wrestler
  • dinosaur
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • parrot
  • monkey
  • wizard
  • cowboy/cowgirl
  • alien catcher
  • ninja
  • babysitter
  • grandma
  • the President
  • clown
Some examples of places:
  • ocean
  • hospital
  • castle
  • waterslide
  • candy factory
  • rain forest
  • dark cave
  • volcano
  • McDonalds
  • Starbucks
  • beach
  • Africa
  • China
  • Neptune
  • airport
  • school
  • playground
  • park
  • the Moon
  • Walmart
  • doctor's office

Some examples of things:
  • eggs
  • snakes
  • purple ketchup
  • flower
  • sledding
  • dolphin
  • fire
  • marbles
  • toothbrush
  • lightbulb
  • toilet paper
  • umbrella
  • tacos
  • peanut butter
  • ice
  • lava
  • string cheese
  • remote control
Another "idea helper" I am letting my kids use is not something I made, but is an awesome online resource from Scholastic. It is called the Scholastic Story Starter Machine!

It is awesome! You can level it for your grade, and then the students are able to pull the level for a cute story idea! I just have my students take their idea back to their own writing paper, but for a special treat, sometimes I let them type their story on the computer!

Then, we needed a "visual" (look at my kiddos using correct terminology!) to give us ideas. So yesterday, I had the kids write 3 ideas on a sticky note. I took those ideas and made a poster of ideas for writing that will be posted all year.

Picture to come tomorrow..... :)

I know, I know...I am an amazing artist (not...). The kids seem to enjoy it though!

Lastly, we have an ideas packet that we fill out at the beginning of the year. I do this even before we start writing any stories. I show the kids my ideas packet with tons of ideas. They will probably still need a lot of direction :) You can get my ideas packet on Googledocs here!

I am hoping that after this week, my ears will finally stop ringing with "I don't know what to write about...." I can only dream :)

Enjoy your Tuesday!


The Colorful Apple said...

Such a great idea - thanks for sharing! I'm going to check out that website too!

Sara :)
Smiling In Second Grade

vicky1970 said...

Hi Sarah
Cute blog, good post too. Just found you and am your newest follower. I teach first in CA.
Traditions, Laughter and Happily Ever After

Anonymous said...

This Website is such a great source!!!! I used that story making website, it is amazing what you said was exactly true!!

Sophia 8)

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