Story Starters! Motivating Students to Write

Bird Writing with Pencil
Some of my students love to write.
They grab hold of an idea and run with it.
They complain when I give them a sentence maximum.
They beg for more time to write.

And some of my students don’t love to write.
They think writing is laborious.
They complain and whine that they don’t know where to start.
They moan when I give them a sentence minimum.
They sharpen their pencil six times to avoid getting started.

How do I keep both groups happy?

I'm linking up with Jivey for her "Wednesday Workshop"

This week's theme is motivating students to WRITE.

I've come up with a fun activity that motivates struggling writers and encourages proficient writers:
For the activity, each student reaches in a small manila envelope and pulls out a “Story Starter” card. The card has the first sentence of a creative story – it provides inspiration and lets the students’ imaginations do the rest!
Here are some sample cards:

I am also a firm believer in 
I teach my students that writing is a journey and that they need to have a road map of where they’re going before they “hit the highway.”

So for most writing assignments I have them complete a brainstorming graphic organizer (my kids are so used to them they can draw the template in their journals from memory).

You can grab this packet in my TpT store: Story Starters
With the Teacher Appreciation discounts, it's less than $1! 

And, as usual, I want to spread my joy
and give a copy away for free!
Enter HERE - I'll choose a winner at midnight tonight!

Updated Thursday:
Thanks for the sweet comments and to all who entered! Because of the number of entries, I have decided to choose TWO winners!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Congratulations Ursula and Missy!
A FREE copy of "Story Starters" are coming your way! :)

Don't forget: Tomorrow is "Tricks of the Trade" Thursdays!
This week's theme is...
How do you get (and keep!) your students' attention? How do you minimize transition time so that you can teach thoroughly and effectively?
Can't wait to read your tricks of the trade!


  1. Check out Amanda's power writing too- it's a great way to practice "getting started!" We do it in my room too! :) thanks for linking up such great ideas!

  2. I can't wait for tomorrow's linky. I've changed mine so many times and still don't have one I love.

  3. I love the idea of story starters...helps those kids who 'don't know' what to write about. The tarantula one looks like a lot of fun!

    :) Kaitlyn
    Smiles and Sunshine

  4. I always struggled with story starters as a kid.. I tended to use very cliche ones like, "Once upon a time..." or "In a galaxy far, far way..."

    This year my students have loved perspective writing. I had them retell holiday events from the perspective of someone or something else. It was great!

  5. What great story starters! I am not very creative when thinking of them for my students. They are great for the few students I get every year who "never" have anything to write about. Thanks for sharing!

    Foreman Teaches

  6. Writing idea: You are stranded on an island. You can have 1 person with you and three items with you. Who do you take and why? What do you take and why?

  7. Story starters are so fun! I like to cut pictures out of magazines and laminate them on construction paper. Some of the stories that the kids come up with are hilarious! Thanks for the ideas!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  8. Cute story starters! I'm following your store now, but I have my fingers crossed!!! :O)
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  9. Love the way you've organized the page for the story starters! Awesome... so many need that structure!
    Whimsy Workshop


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