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A book list for elementary writers curated by Claire Stano and Sheena Crenshaw of 826michigan. Check out the book, read, then use the prompts below to write your own story!

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut

Barnes, Derrick D. author.

Write a detailed description of an everyday experience that is important to you and include as many sensory details as you can remember: how do things look, sound and smell? How do you feel during the activity? Do your emotions change as things progress? Suggested topics: family dinner, starting a school day, recess, sports practice, playdate with friend, trip to the library, or trip to the grocery store.

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A Library Book for Bear

Becker, Bonny

Write stories about characters experiencing something new, like meeting a new person/friend, traveling to an exotic destination, learning a new skill, or starting a new school year. Think about how your character will feel having a new experience. Are they scared, excited, curious? What do they think and notice in this new situation?

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Cora Cooks Pancit

Lazo Gilmore, Dorina K.

Writers often draw on their families for inspiration. They may write directly about the experiences of their family members or they may just draw details (the author named the main character after her grandmother Cora), events or feelings from their family members. Write a story that draws inspiration from your family. It can be a true story or based on your imagination using real details from your life.

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Mango, Abuela, and Me

Medina, Meg

Write a story about a pet who has a special skill that helps bring people together.

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Me and My Fear

Sanna, Francesca author, illustrator.

What is a time when your emotions changed over the course of the day? Write stories that involve emotions that change. The stories can be based on a real event when you had strong emotions or you can make up an event.

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Symphony of Whales

Schuch, Steve

Write a story in which someone learns or gets clues on how to solve a problem in their dreams but then has to wake up and solve the problem in real life. First think: What’s the problem? Then think: How does your character go about solving the problem?

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Squids Will Be Squids

Scieszka, Jon

Write your own fables that teach a lesson to readers! Your fables can be funny like Squids Will Be Squids or serious. What are some morals or lessons that you know? How could your characters learn the moral?  

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Bluebird

Staake, Bob, 1957-

Tell a story about a time when you lost someone or something special and use pictures!

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The Hound from the Pound

Swaim, Jessica

Write poems or stories featuring rhymes. Poems might tell a story or describe something in detail, helping us to see something new about the thing or idea they describe. Even if it's an old story, the words and rhymes you use will make it new and unique to you. They can also include made up or nonsense words to help the reader truly understand the experience!

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Zathura

Van Allsburg, Chris

What are some exciting experiences that you have had? What are some surprises that you have faced? How did you deal with those surprises? Write the story of an adventure you’ve had based on real experiences or ones that are made up.

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Not all Princesses Dress in Pink

Yolen, Jane

Write a story titled Not all ________Do___________, a counter-story about a trait that people often assume they have. For example: Not all 7-year-olds eat glue. Some 7-year-olds write long stories with 20 characters. Or not all monsters lurch and roar; some stop to smell the flowers and eat honey.

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