Yep, soon it’ll be NAPLAN again and your students may have to write a creative piece. Routine writing practice has enormous benefits in the English classroom and one of the things you can do in the lead up to NAPLAN is to get your students to crank out a story a week. Each time they do it, they can respond to a different type of prompt (written, visual or story starter) and also experiment with a different creative technique. To help you in this endeavour (and to give you a taster of our upcoming creative writing PD), we’ve a got a student handout on different ways to start stories such as:
Start at (or nearly at) the end:
Like starting in the middle, starting at the end can create a ‘hook’ – an engaging opening that makes the reader want to read on. Start at the ending if your story has particularly dramatic parts that can be referred to or introduced in your opening.
- Use dialogue from the end of the story.
“Why did you do it?”
It was the third time Mr. Larkins, the school assistant principal, had asked me that. What he wanted to know was why I’d stolen the principal’s car, done burnouts on the school oval and then phoned in a fake bomb hoax to the school.
“So…?” he asked again.
The thing is, I don’t really know why I did the things myself. My best explanation is…
- Describe a feeling that happens right at the end.
After I woke up that Friday after everything had happened, I didn’t believe that I was actually still alive until Sarah told me I was on the news.
- Write a reflective comment.
Looking back now, it’s difficult to believe that the things I’m about to relate ever actually occurred.
Download the complete handout from here: Story openers