Anything Goes
Primary Market
Education, Primary Ed
Character Focus
Uniqueness
Items Needed
1 or more Toobeez sets, paper, pencils, story map, 1/student (optional), chart paper (optional)
The Activity Time
20 minutes for ideas; Add 20 minutes for writing

Objectives

  • Allow creativity to flow
  • Create a short story based on a writing prompt
  • Develop a simple plot around which to base the story
  • Discuss and reflect on the experience
Character Focus
Uniqueness
The Challenge

Students will write a short story (either individually or in pairs) from creative ideas they imagine and develop from a prompt built from Toobeez.

Preparation

Time: 15 minutes

Materials

  • 1 or more Toobeez sets
  • paper
  • pencils
  • story map, 1/student (optional)
  • chart paper (optional)

Setup

  • Create one to three structures out of Toobeez for students to use as writing prompts for a short story
Activity Plan

Time: 20 minutes for ideas; Add 20 minutes for writing

Space: Medium

Instruction: Individual or pairs

Helpful Hints

  • Be sure to review these tips prior to beginning the activity, and if necessary, share reminders with the group during the activity.
  • Some examples of structures include:

– a tower (is someone or something locked inside?)
– a door (where does it lead – another room or another land?)
– a box (is it a treasure chest, a present?)
– a helicopter, a boat, a spaceship or more

  • Allow students (or pairs of students) time to brainstorm different ideas for their unique stories
  • Timing this activity can provide practice for standardized tests for students

Here are available Training Options!

Activity Instructions

1. Circle up the group.

Discuss the difference between non-fiction writing (such as a biography or a research paper) and fictional writing (such as stories or poetry). Have students discuss the different purposes and the importance of both of these types of writing, as well as the possible audiences of each.

2. Review the term “rhyme scheme” with the group before continuing.

*Creative writing is difficult to define because this type of writing encompasses many areas and ideas, as well as the unique imaginations of each individual writer. Story ideas can vary. Sometimes these pieces are structured and sometimes they are not. Creative writing can include plays, poems, narratives, commentaries and more.

3. Read aloud the following Activity Challenge Box to the group.

Challenge: Students will write a short story (either individually or in pairs) from creative ideas they imagine and develop from a prompt built from Toobeez.

4. Display the Toobeez structure(s) before the class.

5. Students will then use brainstorming techniques or a story map to brainstorm ideas for a short story. Have students focus on a simple plot line to keep their story from going on endlessly. Students should create a simple conflict for their character(s) to face.

6. Conference briefly with students as they plan their stories. Once the short story has been mapped out, students may begin to draft their story.

7. After the activity, move to the “Activity Discussion and Processing” section of the activity.

Sample prompt structure: You can provide a story starter to accompany your structure or you can let students write simply from imagination.

Sample Story Starter One afternoon, while hiking in the woods with your friend, you came across a mysterious bridge you had never seen before… .

Sample Story Starter
One afternoon, while hiking in the woods with
your friend, you came across a mysterious
bridge you had never seen before… .

This structure could represent a bridge. You can share what your structure is, or you can let the students’ creativity take over. You can also provide a story starter like the one below to help students generate ideas.

This structure could represent a bridge. You can share what your structure is, or you can let the students’ creativity take over. You can also provide a story starter like the one below to help students generate ideas.

Assessment

  • Students worked cooperatively in pairs (if applicable)
  • Students created unique story ideas and developed simple plot lines for their short story
  • Teacher observed good student participation

Activity Discussion and Processing

To close the lesson, end with a group discussion about what was learned during the activity. Circle up the group, and work through the following questions. If possible, record the group’s responses on flip chart paper so all comments are displayed.
  • What did you find challenging about writing from a visual prompt?
  • What do you do when you encounter writer’s block?
  • Why is using your imagination important?
  • How do you get unique ideas for writing?
  • When is being different from others a good thing?
  • What value do you place on your individuality?

Activity Variations

1. Add some drama.
Once students have completed their stories and are ready to publish them, have the students adapt their stories into a screenplay format. Use the original prompt structures as a prop in the students’ plays!
Author of the Toobeez Language Arts Activity Workbook and Independent Writing Consultant. Anderson Editorial Services is a company dedicated to providing writing services for creative, informational and educational writing. Whether developing, editing, formatting or proofreading, Anderson Editorial is committed to producing the highest quality of writing.
All Activities of Victoria Anderson, M.Ed.

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