Kick Starters

Sometime the best way to engage students in the writing process is to give them a little nudge. Story starters and must include phrases are a great alternative to themed books. While they create a common thread, they also allow children to tap into their own interests and take their story in any direction they choose.

Story Starters

A story starter is a great way to kick start the imagination. While each child begins in the same place it is amazing to discover where their writing journey will take them. Story starters provide a common element that inevitably leads to a unique story.

Here are some story starter ideas:

  • Reflective Story Starters
  • Imagine if
  • I’ve always wondered
  • If I was invisible I would …
  • When I was little
  • When I grow up
  • If I could have any pet I wanted
  • If kids ruled the world
  • I’d like to solve the problem of …
  • I don’t like it when …
  • If I were miniature me I would …
  • If I were a giant I would …
  • I get attention by …
  • As a friend, I can be counted on to..
  • Once somebody helped me by …
  • People hurt my feelings when …
  • A good friend is someone who …
  • School would be better if …
  • If I had a magic ring …
  • I wish I could …
  • One of the best things about me is..
  • My best vacation ever was …
  • Families are important because …
  • The best thing about my family is ..
  • With my best friend I like to …
  • If I could break a world record, it would be for …
  • Topical Story Starters
  • I’ve often asked myself
  • If I were the teacher I would …
  • If I were five years older I would …
  • If I had a million dollar I would …
  • I get angry when …
  • On Saturdays I like to …
  • Something I do well is …
  • I feel silly when …
  • She went into the study and the book lay open…
  • A long time ago when dinosaurs walked the earth…
  • It was pitch dark as he walked around the corner…
  • As she lay alone in bed the thunder crashed…
  • Everyone said the old house was haunted, but…
  • He said yes to the dare and now…
  • When he walked into the room the window was wide open…
  • Even though I protested, we were packing to go…
  • The dog barked as the boat pulled away from the dock…
  • He had never been on a plane before…
  • The game was in the final minutes…
  • The loud noise startled the cat…
  • The movie was so scary that…
  • The little monkey looked up from his meal…


Include the Phrase

Include the Phrase, may be used anywhere in the story. It provides a common thread and a sense of suspense as to when the reader will happen upon the familiar words.

Here are some Include the Phrase ideas:

  • …and then the doorbell rang
  • …suddenly he came into the room
  • …just then I woke up
  • …it was then I discovered I was lost
  • …just then, my parents came home
  • …that’s when I found it
  • …in the morning it was gone
  • …would I ever see my friend again
  • …it was my first time away from home
  • …that’s when I discovered I was all alone
  • …it was just what I had


Story Themes

Themes may highlight celebrations such as a school anniversary, a strong school message like anti-bullying or even tie into the curriculum. You can work to a whole school theme or vary the topics for each grade.

Here are some theme ideas:

  • 5 Senses
  • 100th Day
  • Aboriginal history
  • Adventures
  • Alphabet
  • Anti Bullying
  • April Fool’s Day
  • Australia
  • Australia Day
  • Author Themes
  • Back to School
  • Bats
  • Bears
  • Bodhi Day
  • Book report (favourite book)
  • Camping
  • Caterpillars & Butterflies
  • Chanukah
  • Children’s Book Week
  • Chinese New Year
  • Christmas
  • Christmas (Around the World)
  • Circus
  • Community
  • Dear Diary
  • Deserts
  • Desserts
  • Dinosaurs
  • Dr. Seuss
  • Earth Day
  • Easter
  • Egypt
  • Elections
  • End of the Year
  • Environment
  • Fall
  • Family
  • Farm
  • Father’s Day
  • Fire Safety
  • Folktales & Fairy Tales
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Friendship
  • Frogs
  • Future
  • Gingerbread
  • Grandparents’ Day
  • Hajj
  • Halloween
  • Hanukkah
  • Holidays
  • Homophones
  • Hurricanes
  • Ice Cream Insects
  • Ladybugs
  • Life Cycles
  • Literature Themes
  • Magnets
  • Math
  • Me
  • Months of the Year
  • Monsters
  • Mother’s Day
  • New Year
  • Numbers
  • Nursery Rhymes
  • Ocean
  • Olympics
  • Past and Present
  • Pets
  • Plants
  • Polar Regions
  • Rainbows
  • Rainforests
  • Recycling
  • School Survival Guide
  • School _____ years ago
  • Science Themes
  • Seasons
  • Shadows & Light
  • Sink or Float – Buoyancy
  • Space
  • Spiders
  • Sports
  • St. Patrick’s Day
  • Summer Solstice.
  • Teeth
  • Time Travel
  • Tornadoes
  • Trees
  • True or False
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Volcanoes
  • Wacky Science
  • Wacky Weather
  • Weather
  • Winter Solstice
  • Women’s History
  • Zoo


Cookbook Themes

Themes may highlight celebrations such as a school anniversary or school fete. You can work to a whole school theme or vary the recipes for each grade.

Here are some Cookbook Theme Ideas:

Multicultural cooking: Assign each grade a country. This can even be tied into world sporting events such as the Olympics or the Commonwealth Games.

Cooking for Kids (Food for Fussy Eaters): Share your child’s favourite recipe; something kids will actually eat. They may want to try new things if their friends like it.

Quick Healthy Meals for Busy Families: No explanation needed here.

Cooking Healthy on a Budget

Cook Using Only 4 Fast Ingredients

Best Barbeque Meals

Dinner Party Ideas

A Bit of Everything: Assign each class an item such as fish, poultry, pasta etc.

Biscuits and Slices

Sweet Sensations

Kids Parties: Not just fairy bread, Ideas for fun party foods and cakes.

Finger Foods

Low fat, Low Carbs

Festive Feasts (for Christmas, Chanukah, Birthdays, etc.)