Oh to have Bob Dylan's complete lyrics for a textbook! His extensive song catalog could keep students well-fed indefinitely. This is a quick, fun exercise that pairs Dylan's often elusive writing with the mystery of chance.
You will need some of Mr. D's lyrics on hand. I recommend http://www.bobdylan.com/songs. If you open a word processing document, you may alt+tab between the lyrics and the document to cut and paste intriguing lines. Print the lyrics out with enough white space to cut them apart. Place them inside a container that allows students to reach in and pull out a slip of Bobness without peeking.
These Boblines now become the opening lines of your students' creative writing. Here are three examples:
"Girls like birds flying away"
"I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it."
"Well, I’ve spent my time with the fortune-telling kind."
Okay, four. I've always wanted this curious line to open a story, "Jewels and binoculars hang from the head of the mule."
Imagine the beautiful stories waiting to bloom right inside your classroom walls.
And there's always that kid who asks the same question when you are requesting fiction, but he just wants to be certain, "Can we make this up?"
"Yes. Yes, you should."
Here's Dylan's song "Forever Young" that he wrote for his son Jakob... if you are itching to hear some Dylan right about now.