Friday, April 12, 2013

Ten Jumpstart Journal Prompts: This morning when I woke up...

These prompts generally lead to narratives. They offer wish fulfillment, exercises in empathy, opportunities for creativity, and some practice with narrative structure.

My own child often claims that he can't think of anything to write about, even when I offer him what I think is a fun prompt. So I sometimes offer a few (too many?) “jump start sentences” to help him get going:
  1. My mom woke me up this morning and handed me the phone. It was the president of Cool Homes for Kids. He said that my mom had put my name in a lottery and I had won it! The company would give me as much money as I needed to build any kind of house I liked, anywhere in the world. Wow. I said thanks, and hung up the phone. I began to plan my house. First...
  2. This morning I woke up in a huge dark cave. The walls were soft, like cloth. As I made my way out, I realized with a shock that I was still in my bed—but I had shrunk down to the size of a mouse! What would I do? This could be good, or this could be bad. What would Dad say when he saw me—or didn't see me? Would I be able to speak to him?
  3. When I woke up this morning, I was not in my bed. I was curled up on the floor, and as I began to get up, I saw furry paws where my hands should have been. I straightened my legs, but my hands (paws) didn't leave the ground—and I was only as tall as [your dog or cat's name]. Oh, wow. This could be good, or this could be bad. And where was my body?
  4. When I woke up this morning and pulled the covers off, the covers seemed to move by themselves—and there was nothing underneath them! I stared. I knew my legs were right there, but I didn't see them. I looked at my arm. I saw nothing. I was invisible! Wow. This could be very cool. Or it could be pretty bad.
  5. One night, Dad told me that I would be allowed to spend the next day doing exactly what I wanted to. The next morning, I woke up at x:00 a.m. I was so excited to start my day!
5 more possibilities:
  1. I was [another member of the family].
  2. I woke up on the ceiling—gravity didn't work for me anymore.
  3. I was a stuffed animal. (Is the “real” kid still there? Are the other toys alive?)
  4. I was in the far distant future (or past). (Include a couple of details to get your writer started.)
  5. I was on another planet. (Include a couple of details to get your writer started.)

I haven't tried all of these, so I can't vouch for them 100%. But that's kind of the way it is with any prompt and any kid, right? 

Comments, ideas, variations or suggestions are always welcome.

1 comment:

  1. I really like this idea. I think I'm going to try this with my kids this summer. Will be really fun to see what they come up with!