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I want The Story Kitchen to inspire your students to write.
Making random associations is a key element of creativity. It's a way to get kid writers to step outside their comfort zone. I do something very much like this in front of live audiences of school children, so I know the excitement of this process. Here are some options for using it in the classroom.
  • Have students build their own stories first. Give students the list of choices. Have students choose from each column. Then brainstorm as a class as to how they might combine those elements. It's okay to not have a consensus. Each student can write their own interpretation. Then after they've written, read my story and let them compare. I'd be thrilled if they liked their story better than mine!
  • Have students finish the story I've started. After choosing the combination as a class, read aloud the story they've chosen. Then brainstorm possible endings to the story. Kids then can finish the story individually.
  • Have each student choose their own story. During creative writing time, have kids print out the story they've chosen, then write their own endings. It would be fun to compare how different students finished the same story.
All these stories are printable. You have my permission to use them in your classroom and encourage kids to use them at home.

The reading level is high third to fourth grade, but they can be read aloud for younger audiences. The concepts, though, work best for 2nd grade or higher. You should pre-read the story to see how understandable it is for your students.

Here is a total list of stories in The Story Kitchen if you'd like to check through them quickly without going through the menu.

Let me know what you think!. I'm interested in what works and what doesn't. Feel free to email me with questions or comments. Have fun!

I'd love to come to inspire your students in person. Read about
my school presentations.

All text and illustrations © Bruce Van Patter

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