Elementary Language Arts Lesson Plan- Story Starters


Story Starters

Curriculum Area: Language/Literacy

Title of Activity: Story Starters

Age: 8 to 9 year olds (3rd graders)

Goal of the Activity: The goal of this activity is to teach children that writing can be inspired by pictures and to give them an opportunity to practice writing narratives while following grammar rules.


· Children will show their ability to write a narrative by composing a story based on pictures.

· Children will demonstrate creativity by making up a story based on pictures.

· Children will show the depth of their vocabulary by including a variety of grade-level words in their writing.

· Children will show their knowledge of language conventions by writing according to grammatical rules.

Rationale for the Activity: This language activity will provide the opportunity for children to create a written narrative as well as edit and revise their own work (DAP, p.283). It also allows children to write about a topic of personal interest to encourage a love of writing (DAP, p.311).

Learning Standards:

Georgia Performance Standard ELA3W1l: The student demonstrates competency in the writing process.

Georgia Performance Standard ELA3W2: The student writes in a variety of genres, including narrative, informational, persuasive, and response to literature.

Amount of Time Needed for Activity: 45 min-1 hour

Materials Needed: (enough for every child in the class)

· Large construction paper

· Scissors

· Glue

· Notebook paper

· Pens/pencils

· Magazines of many varieties (home, fashion, science, travel, health, sports, etc.)

Space Needed: Plenty of table or desk space for each child

Detailed Procedure:

1. Explain the activity to the class.

We are each going to cut out pictures from these magazines and glue them on the paper.

You can make a collage, scene, timeline, or anything else to tell a story. Be creative!

Then you will write a one-page story that goes with the picture you created.

Or you can do it backward: you can write the story and then find pictures to illustrate it. You decide!

2. Allow 30-45 minutes for the children to finish their stories and pictures. Give them writing cues and encourage their creativity.

What about this advertisement? Where do you think this man is going?

What a great idea to put these two pictures together to make a new picture!

What pictures stand out to you in this magazine? How could you put them together to tell a story?

Why did you choose this magazine? What kinds of things are in the magazine?

3. Then ask the children if anyone wants to share their story with the class and allow them time to do so.

Does anyone want to share their story with the class?

Read us your story and tell us about your picture?

How does the collage illustrate your story?

Which did you create first? The story or the collage?

Adaptations and Extensions:

• You can incorporate this activity into a topic the class is studying by asking students to write a story and make a collage that fits the theme (i.e. careers, cultures, science, etc.)

• For children to practice social skills, allow students to work in small groups of 3 to 4 to collaborate on a story and collage or do the activity as a class and create a mural collage.

• To practice problem-solving skills, give the students a scenario or problem and ask them to come up with a solution with a collage illustration.

• To go along with a book you are studying, have the students summarize the story and illustrate it to make their own version of the book.

• For children with ADHD, allow them to tell you their story or allow them to type it if they lack the focus and patience to hand-write it.


This activity plan was created by K. McMichael, CHFD 5130 student, University of Georgia.

Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs from Birth through Age 8 (3d ed)- By Carol Copple & Sue Bredekamp, eds.

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