A Zillion Story Starters by Esme Raji Codell

A Zillion Story Starters by Esme Raji Codell

In this post, you’ll find a great link to a zillion (well . . . 150) story starters!

Esme Raji Codell is author of Sahara Special and other wonderful books (including her childhood memoir, Sing a Song of Tuna Fish, often used to teach journaling). She’s a kid’s book specialist, Chicago teacher, once-upon-a-time bookseller, and runs the website PlanetEsme.com (and book-a-day blog, http://planetesme.blogspot.com/.)

Her Planet Esme site has a page with 150 story starters for young writers. Wow! And they are great!

From her Story Starters page (you’ll find them half-way down that web page):

Story starters? . . . Jumper cables? Whatever you want to call them, I wrote these at the start of my teaching career. I used them all the time when children complained, “I can’t think of anything to write about!” These may be reproduced for classroom or homeschooling use; cut them out and put them on index cards, and let children pick them at random. These are also very helpful for journaling exercises.

. . . Children have also asked me “how long does it have to be?” and I tell them, “as long as it takes to tell me what I need to know.”

– Esme Raji Codell

Here’s a brief sample (the topics range from everyday life to silly imagination to . . .):

  • Make a list of 15 questions your parents would answer “no” to.
  • Make a list of 15 questions your parents would answer “yes” to.
  • Write a list of things to remember for an elephant.
  • You are a stray cat in the park. Describe things through a cat’s eyes.
  • Describe something blowing in the wind. What is it?
  • Write a story from the point of view of someone with a very difficult job.
  • Write a letter to the child you might have in the future.

There are so many, many more here. You’ll enjoy just reading them. (Thanks, Esme, for sharing this wonderful list!)

And pick one to try out in your writing journal.

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