Tuesday, November 19, 2019

7 Great Places to Make and Find Story Starters

For many people the hardest of starting a writing assignment is choosing thinking of things to write about. This is particularly true when it comes to starting creative writing assignments. Fortunately, there are many good tools and websites that teachers can use to generate writing prompts. Likewise, there are lots of good websites that offer creative writing prompts for students. Here are some of my favorite tools for creating story starters and favorite sites for finding story starters.

500 Prompts on The Most Dangerous Writing App
The Most Dangerous Writing App is a website that provides a blank canvas to write on for a minimum time of your choosing. The catch is that if you stop writing before the time is up, you lose your work. 500 writing prompts are provided for those who need a little inspiration to get started. In the following video I demonstrate how to use The Most Dangerous Writing App.



Create Story Starters in Google Sheets
Flippity offers a few templates that can be used to create random story starters. One of those is a mix & match template that can be used to combine words or phrases from up to ten categories. Click the shuffle button in the mix & match template to generate a story starter. This video provides a demonstration of how that template works.



Flippity also offers a random name picker Google Sheets template. While it was designed to randomly select a student's name from a list, you could list story prompts instead of names in the sheet and have it display a random story prompt every time the picker is shuffled. Here's a video about how it works.



Flippity MadLibs is another Google Sheets template that can be used to create story prompts. As the name implies, it can be used to create MadLibs-style fill-in-the-blank stories. Watch the following video to see how it works.


Emojis as Writing Prompts
Emoji Prompts uses emojis as writing prompts. To generate a prompt just go to the Emoji Prompts site and click the blue "and then" button to add emojis to the screen. Students can write stories inspired by the combinations of emojis that are displayed.

Writing Sparks
Writing Sparks offers timed writing prompts to share with your elementary school students. Students can respond to the prompts by writing on paper, in a word processing document like MS Word, or by writing on the Writing Sparks website. The Writing Sparks website provides students with templates to complete as they respond to each writing prompt. In the video that is embedded below I provide a demonstration of how to use the free Writing Sparks service.



Scholastic Story Starters
Scholastic Story Starters is a great tool that students will enjoy using to create short, creative fiction stories. Scholastic Story Starters offers four story themes; fantasy, adventure, sci-fi, and scrambler. To create a story on Story Starters a students picks a theme, enter his or her name, chooses his or her grade, and spins the big wheels of prompts. The student can spin the wheels until he or she finds a prompt he or she likes. After the prompt is selected the student can write his or her story using the letter, postcard, notebook, or newspaper format provided by Scholastic Story Starters. When the story is finished it can be printed.