Creative Writing Tasks Made Easy – Storymatic Classic & Synapsis Story Generators

Image of Storymatic and Synapsis in a classroom with students

Even before Writing Wednesdays, I incorporated creative writing into my Language Arts instruction. But one of the biggest challenges I faced, particularly when integrating creative writing early in the year, was getting students started. They would stare at the blank page in terror, frozen in place by their inability to know where to start. I tried everything. Picture prompts. Seasonal prompts. Prompts that connected to our learning units. Some approaches were more effective than others, but large numbers of students still just couldn’t figure out how to overcome their writer’s block.

Enter Storymatic.  

Once I brought Storymatic into the classroom, creative writing tasks became much easier to integrate and considerably more effective. Why? Because of its nearly-infinite versatility. Below are five great ways to integrate Storymatic, and its younger sibling, Synapsis, into ELA instruction. 

  1. One-Story-Two-Ways: Have students draw a character and a situation prompt from the Storymatic Classic box and begin writing their narrative. Once they have taken their story to its conclusion, have students pull a different character card and rewrite the same story from this character’s perspective. Once complete, students compare and contrast both versions of their story to explore how characterization shapes our understanding of a story. 
  2. Inside-Out: Have students pull a character card and two or more situation cards from the Storymatic Classic box. They must then write a narrative in which the character faces at least one internal and external conflict based on the cards they draw. Increase the challenge by requiring them to meaningfully connect the internal and external conflicts together. 
  3. “Forced Writing”: Provide students with an image or series of images that will serve as the inspiration for their narratives. Allow them to write for a few minutes based solely on the image prompt. At various intervals, require students to “force” elements into their writing such as characters, situations, dialogue, and sensory details. To ensure variety in the narratives, provide each student with a random selection of character and situation cards from the Storymatic Classic game and require them to integrate one or more of those cards into their story.  Space the “forced” elements out to keep them on their toes. This is a great on-demand revision activity for students.
  4. Genre Exploration: Using the Synapsis cards, have students work in small groups to develop a narrative. Two students share the same set of cards and respond to the same questions except that they each have a different genre. For example, one student may have “your young adult novel” and another may work from “your mystery text.” Once they have sketched their story based on the Synapsis cards, groups can compare and contrast how the different genres affected the direction each story took. 
  5. All-in-the-Family: Combine the Storymatic Classic and Synapsis boxes into one cohesive creative writing task. Students begin by drawing Synapsis cards and developing their story based on the questions they are asked. However, for each question asked of them, they must pull cards from the Storymatic Classic box and integrate those into their responses, further extending the contours of their narrative and forcing them to revise and elaborate on the spot. 

You can order your own set of Storymatic Classic and Synapsis cards by following this link to our marketplace: The Alexandrite Marketplace

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