An object, a picture and a line
Take into class an assortment of small objects, as many and as varied as you can manage eg a matchbox, a postcard, a candle snuffer, a pair of glasses, a lemon squeezer, a paper knife, a bottle opener…….
You also need a selection of small pictures which can be photographs, pictures cut out from magazines or old calendars etc.
In addition you need a small selection of pieces of card, each with a sentence on it, and you should have at least two of each so that there is overlap and some duplication in the stimuli.
Eg. The parrot spoke better English than its master. Greed was her only lover
Walking those darkened streets I felt terribly alone
Display the objects and tell the group they are to choose one before you give them two other things. After they have chosen ask them to handle the object, try to explore it for a few minutes using different senses. Two people could share the same object if they are happy with that. (Duplication, and seeing how the item is used by different pieces and/or in partnership with different pictures and lines, could be a useful focus for discussion later).
Then give them all a picture and a card at random.
They are to think about the options, decide on a way to use their three stimulus items in one story and write for 20-25 minutes, writing 500 words or more. The items could be turned into something else by the use of imagination and symbolism eg a nut cracker might become a dragon, a lemon squeezer might become a character who preys on and drains others, as some people can. Equally the items can all appear in the story literally as themselves.
Share and discuss the outcomes paying attention to the different ways that people may have combined and used the same items.