The English Classroom

A HELPFUL GUIDE FOR PRESERVICE AND GRADUATE TEACHERS

The Situation

Your students find it difficult to put together and develop ideas for characters, setting and conflict of their narrative.

The Solution

Story generators are a quick and visual way for students to piece together their story and for you as the teacher to reinforce the importance of charactersetting and conflict.

The story generator is simple. At its core, you will need a column for characters, setting and conflict. Here is a very basic one, that also has a villain latched onto the end to support the conflict of the story. Simply choose one item from each column.

Here is how you model it to students:

“So, I am going to write a story, but I have no ideas whatsoever. Not to worry, I am going to use this story generator to develop my story. Remember, I need to have characters, setting and a conflict. Everything else I can figure out after. My story will be about….a group of teenagers…who wander through the woods…and are abducted by…a group of vampires. Easy!”

And there is your story. Remember, talk out how you develop the ideas. Don’t just say, “pick one from each column” – students need to visual your thinking.

Here is another example. As you can see, you can change around the parameters and make the story more complex. It encourages students to think of other elements of the story.

You might also turn your story generator into a character generator. This would be a great way to create a character that is dimensional and complex. Remember, talk out the process and consider the script that you will communicate to students when modelling.

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