Stories from ingredients
Students' imaginations are vast. However, if they are asked to write a story in class, usually it is impossible to get them to think of anything quickly and anything interesting and motivating at all. How can we counter this?
Well, one way is to influence the stories students write by giving them ingredients to use in the stories. Grab eight pictures from magazines or your picture drawer at school, put some bluetak on the back and stick them to the whiteboard. They must then include these 'ingredients' in their story. The pictures may not seem to be connected in any way. Even better! The story will need more invention and will undoubtedly be more interesting for having to include a gun, a banana, a goat, four old women in a café and a pair of tweezers. Students working in groups will need to use more spoken language to construct a good story
Alternatively, split the board into three columns. Go round the class asking students for a noun (first column), a verb (second column) or an adjective (third column) without telling them what they are going to do with them. Once you have a good selection, set them a time limit and get them to write the story in groups, saying there will be points for accuracy, imagination and humour, for example.
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Angus Savory 18-08-2011