68815967_a67be183a2_mwriting.jpgPhoto courtesy of flickr contributor, "re birf"

Developing Story topics: “You do have something to say.

Most young (and old!) people feel that they have nothing extraordinary to tell. Showing students several examples, and having them participate in cooperative sharing activities allow them to gain confidence in sharing their own experience. Certain prompts can elicit ideas: A time you had to grow up, making a friend, losing a loved one, a “bike” story, the story of your name, a tribute to a family member—these all can inspire students to begin thinking about their own experiences. Christina Baldwin in her book Storycatcher Gives a list of many starting points for stories. Often times, a popular topic is a sports story. A word of caution: If the story merely consists of “winning the big one,” another idea should be considered. Sports stories usually work only if two conditions are met: one, if the person gains or learns something from the experience; and two, if the story focuses on a specific moment or person. Students should be discouraged to explain the whole season, or else all we have is a highlight film.

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