Bob Boone

Teacher Advice -- December, 2007

Let's start with prompts that can be used in one class period. These should be short and specific and designed to get the kids writing immediately. Often I give my students the first sentence of a short story that they must write "Now." Like all stories it must have a beginning, middle and end. It must be built around a conflict or issue. I think you and your students will enjoy the results. While the work will have a long way to go, it's going somewhere. Here are a few sentences that have served me well.

1) Living on a farm year round can be hard.
2) Let me tell you why I burned the money.
3) "Hey look," a voice echoed through the neighborhood.
4) Before I turned off the lights, I checked the locks.
5) Mrs. Spears kept a strange flag in the closet next to her fishing tackle.
6) The car glided across the road and onto the frozen lake.
7) The hippies are everywhere, but not in my neighborhood.
8) I wasn't tired or bored, but I still decided to yawn.
9) Never underestimate angry grandmothers.
10) Why was Reverend McBride staring so hard at me during his sermon?

You could also use these as final sentences or as the crucial sentence of a story. Remove this and you ruin the story.

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