Writing Short Stories: Basket Story Activity

basket stories $2.00 Order the pdf here: Karenzo Media Basket Stories

This series includes characters, settings, and conflicts suitable for a fantasy/sci-fi story.

Coming Soon: Christian Stories Series (teaching values and morals)

This activity works well as an individual project, but is more fun if done with a partner or a group. Alternative use: Set up a Basket Story learning center.

There are three sets of cards here: characters, settings, conflicts. Each set has 12 cards. You can use a plastic bag, an envelope, a box, or a basket for each group. Print out a packet of three sets for each basket. The number of baskets you make up depends on the number of groups you have in class.

There are an infinite number of stories that can be created with these cards because you never know what card you will pull next! The students love this, even students who say they hate creative writing. This activity is set up in such a way as to give students a huge opportunity for using their imagination.

For instance, perhaps they pull the following cards – young boy, tree house, broken. They can choose any time period, any season, any weather, etc. as long as they use those three cards in the story. The conflict ‘broken’ means that something must be broken – the tree, the tree house, the boy’s heart, the boy’s leg, something in the treehouse or on the ground, etc. Once they set the conflict, students must decide how the character will react to that conflict. Will he deal with it himself or bring another character to help him (pull a new card from the character set)?

basket stories 4basket stories 3

basket stories 2

Directions for students:

Take one card from each set (character, setting, conflict). Begin creating a story from these three items. Whenever the group feels a character, setting, or conflict needs to be added to the developing story, they will draw out another card from the particular set. All items pulled must be used and no substitutions are allowed! Continue pulling cards and writing the story until time is up and the teacher calls for stories to be wrapped up (a resolution written). Students may set the actual time period of the story at any time they wish (past, present, future).


WANT THE COMPLETE SET ALREADY PRINTED, CUT, LAMINATED AND READY TO USE? You can order that here in my store as well.

Order at TeachersPayTeachers.com in my store Karenzo Media

Published by: Karen Y. Hamilton

Walt Whitman says about his autobiography, Specimen Days “…At any rate I obey my happy hour’s command, which seems curiously imperative. May-be, if don’t do anything else, I shall send out the most wayward, spontaneous, fragmentary book ever printed.” This is what I feel at this juncture of my life, the need to gather together memories of my ancestors as well as my own memories into some semblance of order. Because all of those fragments, all of the fragments that make up any life, become stories. I am the mother of three sons, who affectionately (I hope!) call me 'gypsy mom' because I tend to wander around a bit soaking in the universe's wonders. I am currently working towards an MFA in Creative Writing at Florida Atlantic University. I have published essays with Heritage Press, Florida Living, and the St. Pauls Review. I am currently working on a book of poems about the Florida Everglades pioneers and a memoir about grief and the bonds of friendship. I live in my hometown, Jupiter, Florida and work as a freelance writer and curriculum specialist.

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