Inspiring Writing

The PGCE English Conference takes place next week and focuses on inspiring children as writers. From puppets to story cubes, curiosity bags to picture books, there are so many resources available in the Curriculum Centre to help motivate children to write. Here are some of my favourites:


Pie Corbett’s Story Maker’s Chest

Pie Corbett

Items in the chest include:

  • playing cards with characters, plot ideas, and settings
  • story wheels which help select different feelings, wishes or fears
  • a curiosity bag of ideas

This is a great resource that can be used to inspire children to write a story while having fun.


Creative Storytelling: Building Community, Changing Lives by Jack Zipes

Creative StorytellingThis book is full of wonderful ideas on how to encourage children to create their own fairy tale or folk tale. Zipes begins each session by re-telling a traditional tale. He then introduces the children to various games which he uses to inspire them to create their own version of the story – e.g “What If” games.

What if Little Red Riding Hood was a boy named Little Blue Runner?

What if the wolf was an owl?

What if Little Red Riding Hood had magical powers and could change the wolf into a tree?




Inspiring Writing by Liz Chamberlain

Inspiring WritingChamberlain explores museum trips, outdoor journeys, story stones, quality children’s literature, poetry walls and technological devices as ways to inspire creative writing in the classroom. One example describes how a teacher used the Harry Potter books for inspiration for a letter writing task. A large parcel wrapped in brown paper and addressed to “the owls” was brought into class. When it was opened, it revealed letters written on parchment to Albus Dumbledore from potential candidates applying for entry to one of the four Hogwarts houses. The children were then asked to write a letter on parchment paper to Dumbledore, which would be delivered by Owl Post, applying to join their favourite Hogwart house.



Story Starter Picture Cubes

A very simple idea where three different cubes are used to help children create a story. They can roll a blue cube to decide on the character, an orange cube to determine the setting and a green cube to decide the plot or situation.

story cubes


Story Box: Create Your Own Fairy Tales by Anne Laval

This is a game that can be used to create a fairy tale story. There are 20 puzzle pieces – which include characters such as witches, wolves, snakes, princesses, kings, frogs and giant rabbits. The pieces have illustrations printed on both sides and it is up to the children to pick the next puzzle piece and create the story.

story box


Picture books

Picture books are fantastic resources for inspiring creative writing – The Mysteries of Harris Burdick immediately springs to mind or The Jolly Postman for letter writing.

There are also quite a few picture books where the main character creates the story using a magic pencil or crayon. This character draws different objects on the page which then come to life and determine what happens next. Using these picture books as a stimulus, children could brainstorm new objects that the character could draw, creating their own version of the stories.

Harold    bear hunt    JourneyDog Loves Drawing


Have you got a favourite resource that you use to inspire writing? Feel free to let us know.




One thought on “Inspiring Writing

  1. Making books with children are an excellent way of motivating writers. Paul Johnson shows you how to make simple books often with only 1 or 2 sheets of A4 that will motivate any learner. Check out his ideas in our curriculum centre. Pamela

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