|If I knew how to rotate this picture, I would.|
Here's a simple way to build up your reserves of ready-to-go writing activities. You will need glue sticks, scissors and your magazine mountain. Each child will also need one 3 x 5 note card.
Students should choose 10 items to paste on their note cards. The selections should be familiar objects, nothing too obscure. Please encourage them to consider placing their items together in a visually appealing manner; backgrounds are nice. On the lined side of the card, they should list their choices just in case they are difficult to discern. They should also put their initials in the corner. This will allow you to give them a smallish grade for assembly.
Review all submissions and choose some of the best offerings to use the next day...and keep them for next year's students.
For a creative writing exercise, students randomly select another child's card. The challenge is to tell a story using at least 5 of the 10 objects depicted. For added difficulty, they may try to include more. I also require a lead that is either action or dialogue to set the wheels of the plot in motion right away. Don't let the creative nature of this prompt get bogged down with too much straight narrative backstory. Yeah. None of this bland, "Hi! My name is..." prose either.
Students love responding to art created by their peers, and because it's a simple assembly of magazine pictures, everyone's open to sharing his/her work. Of course, if a child ever wants to keep art or writing between the two of you, you should honor that wish...unless it's something that makes you think the kid's in danger. In that case, contact guidance for, well, guidance.