As teachers and parents we expect a lot of children. They have to maintain rigorous schedules, follow directions all day long, cram a ton of learning into a day, do their homework, read books, and be happy the whole time. For some kids, the breaks offered by creative writing challenges provide welcome moments of self-expression; for others, it is hard to break the routine of adult-directed activity. When it comes time to create a story, I've heard, "but I don't know what to write," more times that I can count. While it used to be a battle to struggle through the activity with these students, the 21st century has provided some pretty amazing solutions!
At The Story Starter you can find over one trillion creative prompts for hesitant writers. The Story Spinner Online is the brainchild of Bonnie Neubauer. Her online creation will deliver students a starting phrase, a setting and four words that must be included in the story. The Story Kitchen starts a story for the user using the elements you choose (think superheroes and genius kids!) and then asks you to finish it. And then there are our Smarten Up Tools inspirational images (a couple examples below)!
Sometimes all a student needs is a little bit of inspiration to put the gears in motion. Why not give it to them? You never know what will come of it!