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Use “Story Starters” To Help Young Writers

Very often young children are reluctant writers because they simply don’t know how to start a story. One way to circumvent this is to provide them with a “story starter.”

Story starters are prompts. They can be a picture, a list, an art project, a simple sentence, or a question. They are an interactive tool that can spark writing and creativity.

Here are five examples of easy story starters to use with young writers:

  • Picture starters can be photos, drawings, or art projects that a child can describe. For example, a picture of a puppy might start a great story about how to be a good pet owner. 
  • List starters are great for organizing thoughts about favorite games to play, trips to the museum, etc. A list of three favorite dinosaurs and their characteristics could easily be turned into an interesting nonfiction story.
  • Sentence starters can be the beginning of a fiction, nonfiction, or fantasy story. For example: “This morning my dog started to talk!” “I love playing soccer because…”  “If you were a superhero what would you do?”
  • Event starters such as “Yesterday my cat had three kittens!” “Nana and Grandpa are coming to visit in a week,” or “Mom and Dad told me I’m going to have a baby sister,” make great openings for stories. 
  • Tie writing to reading. After reading a good book together, have your child draw and write about a favorite part, tell the story from a different setting, or write a different ending.

Becoming a good creative writer can have a very positive impact on a child’s success in school—and in the years beyond.

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