Plan your year ahead with these teacher-tested multimedia units including audio and online publishing resources for students, plus lesson plans and free printables for you.
Ready to get students excited about writing? Story Starters is a fun, interactive tool for computers and iPads that generates writing prompts that include direction on character, plot, and setting.
Your students will love watching the Story Starters' wheels spin. If they want to modify the prompt, they can simply pull the handle on the Story Starters Scrambler to change any piece of it!
- First, students choose one of four themes: Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-fi, or Scrambler.
- Then, students type their name and select their grade so they will get a grade-appropriate prompt.
- Next, they pull the lever to spin the wheels and generate a random writing assignment.
- Students choose a notebook, letter, newspaper, or postcard as their writing template. They can opt to include a drawing, too, if they'd like.
- Once they’re finished writing in the activity, they can print or download their completed assignment.
While participating in Story Starters, students will:
- Discuss and identify what makes a story compelling. They may reflect on their favorite stories and what elements work together to create powerful tales. These may include:
- strong characters
- exciting action
- a surprising plot
- details about a place you've never been
- Generate story starters that inspire. Students can choose from several genres to write their stories, including Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-fi, or Scrambler for a random combination. Students produce prompts by using the Spin lever or adjusting one piece of the prompt at a time with the Spin This Wheel buttons.
- Write a short creative writing piece. Students may choose to use the notebook, letter, newspaper, or postcard templates for their writing and may choose to include a drawing with their story. When students print their work, they are rewarded with a brief animation.
The Story Starter machine serves up hundreds of creative combinations that take the writer's block out of creative writing for students in grades K–6.
PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8
These materials will give students the means to develop as writers and publish their work.
Due to changing concerns about privacy and web safety for children, we are no longer supporting Web Hunts, Webquests, Internet Field Trips, and Math Hunts activities for students. This site will continue to offer high-quality educational resources for teachers. Explore some of the most popular and highly-taught activities, below.