Perfect End

Story Soup


Story Starters for Grades 3-5

Every good story has just four basic ingredients: setting, characters, problems that make stuff happen, and a perfect ending. Simple, eh?

You find these four ingredients in every kind of story: true stories, news stories, movie stories, and those stories made up out of your own imagination. Leave out one of these ingredients, and your story won’t work.

So what are these ingredients?

Setting: Where does it happen? (Classroom? Your backyard? On a giant slice of pepperoni pizza? The planet Ginormon?)  When does it happen? (The last day of school? In the winter? At night? On a really hot day 311 years from now?)

Characters: Who's the story about? (Characters are usually people, but not always. They might be  animals, space aliens, elves, or maybe even a monster or two.)

Problems: What happens? Make sure your characters have plenty of trouble. (No trouble = boring story.)

Perfect Ending: Will it be funny, sweet, sad, or a big surprise? You decide! Just make sure your main character is the one who solves the problem!

If you leave out one of the four ingredients, the story won't work, but throw in all four, and soon your story will be cookin’!

Try it!  Write a story starting with the people and places below. Don't forget to add your own problem or two or ten, and then come up with a perfect ending. 

Story Starter #1

School Gym

A giant loose snake, a kindergarten kid, a 4th grader with a super power.

Story Starter #2

A garden

A cat, a bird, and a cricket

Story Starter #3

A bedroom with a line drawn in chalk down the middle


Story Starter #4

An art museum

A three year old with a crayon, a mother on a cell phone, and a really large museum guard.

Story Starter #5

A shack on a beach

A boy who must stay hidden, a dog with a really great nose, and a cat who hates water.

Story Starter #6

A broken rocket ship

A dentist, a girl with braces, and angry space aliens

Story Starter #7

The world’s largest pizza (the size of New York)

An actress in spiky high heels, an international soccer player, and a kid

Story Starter #8

The top of the world tallest building

A super hero who is afraid of heights, and a robot

Story Starter #9

Inside a volcano

Two best friends and a bunch of bats

Story Starter #10

The South Pole

An explorer, someone's grandmother, and a polar bear

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