A Fairy Tale Writing Prompt!

24 Feb

Welcome to Monday’s Muse! Every Monday morning of the school term in 2014, Write Away With Me will post a writing and/or storytelling activity that you can try with your class or your children at home.

Providing a template or a storytelling model provides a solid structure for creating narratives. Rather than limiting creativity, it often allows writers to soar because it reduces anxiety and the pressure of developing all the elements of a story at once. A good example of using a template or structure as a writing prompt can be found in this activity we did at The Writer’s Club last year.

The Gingerbread Man is the focus of this writing activity. It’s a story structure with repetitive refrains and loved by all.

Now let’s get started…

  1. Read or retell the story of ‘The Gingerbread Man’ and briefly map the main elements of the story.
  2. Divide your class into groups of 4.
  3. Each group must develop an innovation on the original story. They need to work together to:
  • Create a new character made out of something unusual. Some examples are sticks, stones, ice cream, jelly and leaves. The possibilities are endless.
  • Think of a reason the character might want to run away.
  • Name three people that might chase this character.
  • Decide how will the story end.

Allow time for your class groups to record and share their story outlines. You won’t have too much trouble encouraging students to write them down.

Rather than inhibiting the creative process, providing a template such as this, can produce some creative (and often hilarious) innovations on the original story. One of my favourite innovations includes an Ice Cream Cake Man, who decided to take off just as the birthday candles were lit. He was chased by the birthday girl, her parents and and the party goers, complete with balloons and streamers trailing behind them. Unfortunately, the Ice Cream Man eventually melted but a new cake was purchased and all ended well.

Happy Writing

Beth Cregan

After 25 years teaching experience, from Early Childhood to VCE, Beth Cregan combined her passion for books, writing and storytelling to launch ‘Write Away With Me’. Now in its fourth year, Write Away With Me offers a wide range of original and creative storytelling and writing workshops across Victoria. Our high energy workshops cover a wide range of writing styles/genres and a flexible approach, means we can tailor the experience to match the needs of your students and your school. Interested in booking a workshop for your class? Check out our range of storytelling and writing workshops today! Workshops for secondary classes and professional development are also available.

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