Ideas for Stories and More— Yes! In this post, you’ll discover how to create your very own Choose Your Own Adventure Storybook with your class in four simple steps. Plus, there are 10 fabulous story prompts for you to share with your writers. Enjoy!
Table of contents
- Creating Excitement, Engagement, & Interest
- Step 1: Explain Choose Your Own Adventure Stories to Your Class
- Step 2: Select a Choose Your Own Adventure Writing Prompt
- 10 Imaginative Ideas for Stories
- Step 3: Draw a Diagram of Plot Ideas on the Board
- Step 4: Decide How You Want to Write the Story
- Related Links & Resources
Creating Excitement, Engagement, & Interest
So many times, as teachers, we structure writing as an individual activity and center it around assignments that kids honestly are not excited about. The sad thing about this is that kids who might actually love writing think that they can’t or shouldn’t enjoy it.
Here at Journal Buddies, we love writing prompts that can get every kid in the classroom excited to write!
If you have some particularly tricky students, we have a list of prompts below that can get even the most resistant kids to participate – and maybe even enjoy it!
However, if your kids are more extroverted and struggle to have that quiet time alone, we have an awesome idea that will get your energetic talkers interested in creating stories.
Now, you can create your very own Choose Your Own Adventure Story with your class!
Choose Your Own Adventure books are a staple for young readers, to help kids get engaged, and let their creative juices flow. This format isn’t limited to library books, even though that’s where kids usually interact with them first.
Read on to discover four simple steps to writing a Choose Your Own Adventure Story with your students.
Step 1: Explain Choose Your Own Adventure Stories to Your Class
While it is true that many kids already know about these books, it’s possible that some of them don’t know what a Choose Your Own Adventure Story is. Explain to them what these stories are before you begin creating yours to make sure everyone understands and is on the same page. This is especially important with elementary students.
Here’s a brief summary to help you get started:
Choose Your Own Adventure, or Secret Path Books, is a series of children’s gamebooks where each story is written from a second-person point of view, with the reader assuming the role of the protagonist and making choices that determine the main character’s actions and the plot’s outcome.Wikipedia
Step 2: Select a Choose Your Own Adventure Writing Prompt
As always, if you want to start writing, you have to decide on something to write about. In the genre of “Choose Your Own Adventure Stories,” the reader is the main character and they decide at each fork in the road what action they want to take next.
So, we’ve found it’s been fun to contextualize a fantasy story in a situation where your class is the protagonists, and they’re placed in a zany setting where they have to make all kinds of decisions. You can use this as a fun, short activity, and write a whole novel from your students’ perspective. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered on story starters!
Here are some of our favorite story prompts for inspiration you can use with your writers.
10 Imaginative Ideas for Stories
- Your class gets stranded on a deserted island.
- Your principal announces that everyone in the school is going to be gifted with a superpower. What kind of hero would each person be?
- Your class decides to ditch school for a day.
- You (the teacher) turn into a lizard on the first day of school!
- The class decides to adopt an… unconventional class pet.
- A classmate goes to the bathroom and gets flushed down the toilet!
- A student discovers that there are secret tunnels under the school that have mysterious portals.
- Your whole class gets abducted by aliens and taken to another planet, but the internet on the teacher’s cell phone still works in space.
- A stranger comes into the high school claiming to be on a noble quest… but he’s hiding from police officers.
- A young girl in your class gets a visit from her future self, who gives her a diary that explains the next 10 years of her real life. What happens if she decides to read it?
Step 3: Draw a Diagram of Plot Ideas on the Board
If you have a whiteboard or chalkboard in your classroom, we highly recommend this method of keeping the story straight. Start out with whatever short story idea you chose in the middle of the board, with two options branching off on either side that represent the first two options your students come up with.
For example, you could write text in the middle of the board that says “Unconventional class pet” with two lines branching to the left and right that say “dragon” and “cheetah”.
You can continue to make a chart that branches out twice for every decision, mapping out the various plots. Make sure to write small if you want to fit everything! You can either work around the board or pursue one branch of the story at a time, then create a new branch.
Step 4: Decide How You Want to Write the Story
You can decide which approach you want to take with your own class when it comes to this activity. Here are a few options we recommend:
- Oral Storytelling: You can complete this exercise all out loud and just chart the story out on the board to keep track of it. This is the quickest way to carry out the exercise.
- Have a Scribe: You can select someone from your class to be the scribe, who writes out a rough draft of the story as you go. This can be a bit tough to tackle, though, due to all the different branches of the story.
- Create the Full Story: You can use the concept map you drew on the whiteboard as an outline of the story and assign each student to write certain parts of it. If you want to assemble all the pieces and you’re working with younger students, you will likely have to do the work of assembling it all into pages, with guides like “if you choose to swim in the lake, skip to page 15.” If you want to go all-out, you can print out the book and give it a cute cover, and talk to your students about how they can create published works.
As always, this creative writing activity isn’t one set-in-stone process. You can adapt it to whatever fits your class and assignment flow the best. Hopefully, this activity will help your students see that writing doesn’t look any one way, and it can be such a fun exercise to bolster creativity!
When you write as a group, you can create new worlds together and come up with great story ideas you’d never find on your own. Writing as a class will never leave you staring at a blank page, and it can create memories that will last a lifetime.
Related Links & Resources
- Adventure Writing Prompts
- Story Prompts, Tips, and Ideas
- A History of Choose Your Own Adventure Books
- How to use Google Forms to make a ‘Choose your own Adventure’ book
Until next time, write on!
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