Thursday, May 8, 2014

What the heck should I write about?

Creative writing can be crazy difficult for students who can't
easily come up with story ideas.  
Luckily there are a ton of online sites and iPad/iPhone apps that 
can help them gather ideas and get started writing! 

Scholastic has an AWESOME Story Starter that allows you to
pick a theme{adventure, fantasy, sci-fi, and scrambler},
your grade level{K-1, 2, 3, 4-6}, 
and then generates a creative story starter. 

If you don't like one of the given choices, you can spin again!
You choose your format {notebook, letter, postcard, newspaper} 
and if you'd like to include space for a picture. 

Once students complete their writing they can even print it out!

The Story Starter Jr. is a fabulous and simple site created by Joel Heffner. 
The name tells exactly what the site is- it's a place to get help starting a story. 

You simply click a button and it gives you the beginning sentence of a story. 
If you don't like that story starter, just click the button again to get a new one! 
There is also an original Story Starter site for older kids and adults. 
What a great way to get kids who are stuck started writing! 

Sometimes you just need a good title to get you started.  
Portent's Content Idea Generator has a place to enter your subject.
Once you enter a word and click the arrow, 
a fun title is given. 
If you don't like the title, just click the arrow and a new one will appear.

Here's one I did with the subject of monkey: 

Hubspot's Blog Topic Generator is another fun way to get a few writing ideas. 
Simply type in three different nouns, click Give Me Blog Topics, and you'll be given several ideas!

This Writing Prompts Tumblr account has some GREAT writing prompts
for middle and high school students.

Seriously, these prompts make me want to write a story- there are so many great ones!

There are also some fabulous apps that can help with creative writing topics and starters! 
 I shared about this first one earlier this year and it's still one of my favorites! 
Stories on Stix is a super fun app that is 
great for helping kids think of creative writing topics!
I learned about this app at TCEA and although it isn't free
{it's currently $1.99} I really like it and think it's worth the price! 

The app randomly selects 5 elements of a story: 
who, what, when, where, and a details. 
Students then must write a story using all of the elements.  
Once completed the stories can be shared via email. 

Here's how the app works: 

Open the app and click New Story in the top right corner. 
The five blank sticks will appear. 

Tap on Choose Sticks in the top right corner to generate the 5 elements. 
If you don't like the 5 elements, click Choose Sticks again to get another set. 

Once you have the elements you want to use, 
click the Start Writing button in the top right corner. 
A writing page will appear with the sticks over on the left side. 

Tap the title to edit it and then tap on the first line and begin writing. 

Once the story is completed, click the Share Story button in the 
top right corner to send via email or 
take a screen shot to save the image of the work
{by holding the home button and on/off button at the same time}. 

All stories you create will be shown on the 
home screen of the app each time you open it. 
You can even click the tiny colored notebook on the 
bottom left to change the color of a storybook. 

Writing Prompts for Kids is currently $1.99 and has options for 
Adding a Situation, Adding a Character, Adding a Setting, and Adding an Object. 

This app even includes word option lists and hard to spell word lists. 


Write About This Free is an app that provides visual and voice writing prompts.  
This free version provides more than 50 leveled text and voice prompts! 

Write About This is the full version of the above app and currently costs $3.99
and includes 125 categorized images and 375 text + voice prompts.  

iDeas for Writing is another great creative prompt app that currently costs $1.99. 

This app includes creator of first lines, creator of titles, creator of characters,
creator of random words, and writing exercises. 

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