Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Scary Stories

 One of my favorite times for creative writing in my classroom was during October and the Halloween season. For some reason, my students were at the peak of creativeness during this time. Monsters and unique situations were all in the land of possibilities. Nothing odd or unusual was off-limits (other than sex, drugs, or illegal activities) in their stories. This was the land of pretending for all ages. 

I usually set the mood off with some scary music. I played some of my favorite old songs especially Monster Mash. 

Sometimes I would give a list of scary story prompts to the students and let them pick one of them. Or they could make up one of their own stories. I had them first picture the scene in their minds and then I had them describe the scene.  I would do the same thing for their characters. Have the student describe them. They can jot down words on the paper or even draw a picture.  Once this was done, I would have them get out a fresh sheet of paper and have them start writing the story. 

I had a little recipe that would help them get started.

  • Write about the setting so the reader can picture what it looks like. Where are the characters? What does the surrounding area look like? What does it feel like? Is it cold or hot? 
  • What are the characters like? Describe them. Are they tall or short? What makes them look scary? What things do they do that scares others? 
  • Then I have them begin the narrative. Tell me what is happening. 
  • How does the story end? What happened? 

Usually, when students follow this recipe, they write very interesting stories. When they are done, I will help them make corrections and write up a display copy to be shown either on a bulletin board, or a newsletter or to parents. They can also draw an illustration of the story to go with it. 

Here are some prompts you can use: 

  • The Monster in the Closet. 
  • My friend, the Monster. 
  • The Scary Monster
  • The Friendly Monster
  • The Scariest Thing that Happened to Me. 
  • One Dark and Spooky Night. 
What other prompts would you add to this list? Please share. 

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