Story Starters is an interactive tool that allows you to generate an infinite number of beginnings to four different types of stories. For this example, I signed in as a 4-6 grader. The varying levels increase or decrease the vocabulary and complexity of the plot.
I decided to try an adventure. Once I clicked on it, I was presented with a slot machine interface. I 'pulled' the handle and I received four elements for my story starter.
If I didn't like this, I could just 'spin' again. Or, I could re-spin a specific part of the starter by spinning only the one wheel I hoped to remove.
I decided to go with: "Describe the appearance of a stubborn gerbil who must locate a secret vault." Kinda fun huh?
Next I was given four choices for how to format my story. I chose the Postcard.
When you click on the postcard, it takes you to a writing page where you can begin crafting your story.
I like that it keeps your 'prompt' in front of you all the time. See it there on the right above the 'Done Writing' bubble? If at any time you want to change the format or change up your story, you can simply click the back button. Here is my beginning:
When you are done, it gives you a variety of ways to output your story. You can print directly or download it to your computer. In this particular example, I could have drawn an image for the front of my postcard, or I could do it afterward, which was much more appealing to me than drawing with my mouse!
The three other 'modes' all provide equally quirky and fun beginnings.
So, there you go. The next time you are stuck, or want to help your students to do some creative writing, I suggest giving Scholastic's Story Starters a try! I'd love to hear your thoughts about using this tool. How do you think you might use it? Please post your thoughts in the comments section.