Beginning writers will create stories with better structure when they are able to focus on its characters, setting, and plot.
- egg cartons cut in half (vertically, so the lid is still attached), preferrably three half egg cartons per student
- small strips of paper
- a coin or a small ball
- On six small strips of paper, write out different settings for a story. (eg: a haunted house, at the bottom of the ocean, a deep, dark forest, a train station, a volcano, on the planet mars) This will be the setting carton.
- Tape these strips of paper inside the egg cups.
- On six more small strips of paper, write out different characters for a story. (eg: a princess, a robot, a scientist, a teacher, a bus driver, a magician) This will be the character carton.
- On six more small strips of paper, write out different problem situations that can happen in a story. (eg: a potion is stolen, an earthquake, all the animals of a zoo escape, a computer takes over the world, the dentist finds 5 cavities, a pet dissapears) This will be the problem carton.
- Throw a coin or a small ball in the setting carton. Shut it and shake it, making sure that a hand is covering the open end of the carton. Open the carton and what ever cup the coin or ball is sitting in will be the story’s main setting. To identify a secondary setting shake the carton again. Write them both down on a piece of paper
- Then identify the character and the main problem of the story the same way.
- After this, on the piece of paper there should be two settings, a character and a problem. Now the student proceeds to write or tell a story with all of these in mind.