Digital Storytelling #4: Finding inspiration to get your class writing – story starter ideas

Submitted by Fiona Beal
This post could be a useful one with ideas for you to use with your students to to help them find inspiration for writing! It is a collection of story starter sites on the Internet that could help to get those creative juices flowing.   They are also useful for getting the reluctant writer going. Nowadays with all the wonderful free applications available on the web a teacher doesn’t have to stress about this any more. There’s an abundance of ideas ‘out there’. 

1. Padlet

This is an idea I tried last year. Open a wallwisher page (  and ask the class to think of a good start to story. There are always those students who rise to the occasion and add their bit. Of course there are those who just sit and think during the whole exercise. Then, when everyone has added their ideas, let everyone choose one of the ideas and start writing!  This usually works well. For yourself this could just be a brainstorming tool to get ideas and then move them around to create an order.


2. The Story Starter Junior (

This site provides 729 story starters for kids and won an award in 2008. Every time you click on the story starter button a new idea appears.


3. The Story Starter (

Here is it’s companion site which is for older students and adults. This one has over a milllion story starters.


4. Creative Writing prompts (

This is another site that has won an award. All you do is point to one of the 346 numbers and a box appears with a prompt.


5. The Storyboard Generator (

This site allows you to generate a play script. You choose your avator and a script idea, and then…who knows! All sorts of possibilities emerge. Try it and see.

storyboard generator

6.  Fun Fairytale generator  (

This is a fun fairy-tale generator site that will capture the imagine of the daring younger learners.


7. A character generator (

This site supports Key Stage 1. You choose the type of clothes, hair and skin colour that you want your character to have.  Then you type on the notepad a sentence about your character. You can then click on the Print button at the top of the screen and your character and the sentence will be printed. The idea is to show it to the teacher and talk about who you have created.


8. Storyplant from the BBC (

This will really appeal to the younger learner. A story guide takes one on a fascinating journey and helps the student to develop their story.



9.  Boomwriters (

This seems to be a site that you join – free to schools – and it takes you on a writing journey. It could be worth investigating!


10. Inspiring ideas (

This looks worth exploring – 34 more ideas in a Google doc. Click on the picture to be taken to the actual Google doc so that you can view all 34 ideas.

11. Scholastic Story Starters

This is for K-6th grade. Here you can choose a theme fir starting a piece of writing in one of these categories – Adventure, Sci_fi, Scrambler or Fantasy. The teacher is given help to use the application. To me this looks like a good scaffolding application for writing. .


12. Flickr storm

Flickr is a treasure trove for a teacher. It is a collection of free photos. Flickr Storm would be a way to collect pictures and postcards on a topic of interest, save them to a tray and then write a story using them as illustrations. For example, I typed in the word ‘princess’ and was given a selection. Each one I then click on would be enlarged into the tray on the right hand side of the page.


13. 17 larger than life objects

This blog has a great number of photos with some objects that are unusually large. This would certainly inspire a story!


14. 5 card Flickr


You start off by picking one of their images to add to your story. You continue in thisein till you have collected five images that you like. Then you write your story. There are a number of examples of stories previously written to look at with their selected images.


15. Wonder of the day blog

This is a site with pictures videos and words about something wondrous. The students could take a look around till they feel inspired to write.


16. 100 best first lines from novels

In this site the students could read the first lines until an idea strikes them.


17. The Newspaper Clipping Generator

Your students could use this newspaper generator  to generate a story from a list of headlines that you have collected. They write in the headline of choice and then start their report.


18. Story Starters from the Young Writer’s Workshop

This site is the ‘Young Writers workshop’ There are plenty of ideas for younger students on this site. When you make a topic choice it takes you a template with a starting line and this can be printed.


That’s all for now. 

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