This project was adapted from its original purpose to fit the needs of my classroom. The original website explains how a mom took some of her sons old toys and put them into bags so he could create a story on a boring rainy day. I adapted this to a classroom writing assignment.
Children love to say that they can’t think of anything to write about. Even though their everyday life experiences could turn into amazing stories if they just sat down and thought for a moment. Sometimes when my students are predicting what they think a story will be about, they give some very creative thoughts. I wish they could take those creative ideas and turn them into a story, but alas, that never seems to happen.
As an effort to boost creativity, I gathered some random objects from my house and put them into seven bags. I put a list of the objects that belonged in each bag to eliminate (I hope) the walking off of certain objects. I think the cotton ball and Dixie cup are safe, but SpongeBob and the super ball might be tempting for some kids’ pockets.
It is my plan to make a rubric to grade the stories that students will write. I want their story to have all of the elements of a well-written composition (rising action, climax, characters, setting…) and I want it to include at least 3 of the 5 objects from the bag in it somehow. My plan is that they will use the objects creatively. I know that I will hear questions about how the students can use the objects. One item is a ladybug ring. I imagine someone coming up to me and asking if they have to use it as a ring or if they can use it as just a ladybug. It will be difficult for some students to realize that they can use them however they want. I think that is the best way to foster the most creativity in children. It is kind of sad that sometimes they are so used to rigid structure and rules that when there are few rules, they don’t know what to do.
I truly hope that this project is met with excitement and enthusiasm instead of the usual “That’s boring!” that we hear oh so often.
Total cost: $0