Category Archives: Writing prompts

18th Century Steampunk Fantasy

Found here. Read more about it here if you’re interested.

The world is a crazy mix of old and new, of real and imagined…

Use this animation as a springboard for writing about a remixed world.

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Posted by on September 13, 2011 in Writing prompts


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Toasted cheese – daily writing prompts

Feel like starting your English class with a short writing exercise? Here’s a quick and easy way to make this happen – check out Toasted Cheese.

Or why not have the students collaborate to create a classroom calendar for writing prompts?

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Posted by on August 25, 2011 in Writing prompts


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Screwed Up – a love story

Here’s a love story with a difference.

Screwed Up from Kris Hofmann on Vimeo.

Could you write a love story with inanimate objects as your protagonists? Why don’t you make your own stop-motion animation?

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Posted by on August 16, 2011 in Writing prompts


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The defective detective

Watch this film, and then write your own humorous story about a ‘defective detective’ inspired by this animation. Notice the attention to detail in the animation. How can you demonstrate the same attention to detail in writing without detracting from the plot and humorous style?

A film by Avner Geller and Stevie Lewis debuting exclusively in the the Cartoon Brew’s 2nd Student Animation Festival. Read more about it here.
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Posted by on July 21, 2011 in Writing prompts


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Drawing conclusions – Shaun Tan’s wordless interview

Australian award winning author and illustrator, Shaun Tan, recently agreed for SPIEGEL to interview him. True to his creative and innovative nature, Tan answered the questions not with words, but with pictures.

   Read the 16 questions and answers here.

  • Work in pairs. One person asks questions about the other who draws the answers.

  • Create your own questions and answer them in pictures.

  • Guess the questions to somebody’s illustrations.

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Posted by on June 18, 2011 in Writing prompts


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Deception, lies, magic and ipods

The composer Debussy said:

Art is the greatest deception of all. Art is the deception that creates real emotion, a lie that creates a truth, and when you give yourself over to that deception it becomes magic.

Use this video and Debussy’s quote about art and deception to write/compose something of your own.

Here’s the link to Marco Tempest’s website.

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Posted by on June 17, 2011 in Writing prompts


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The power of words

Use this short film as a prompt for writing. Please come back and share how you used this with your students (in the comment box).

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Posted by on June 9, 2011 in Writing prompts


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A fish with a smile

Watch and enjoy. Use this animated story as inspiration for your own story, poem, animation, song, discussion. How many themes can you discover?

Found here. This animation was inspired by a picture book by the famous Taiwanese author and illustrator Jimmy Liao. The short won first prize at the Berlin Film Festival in 2007.

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Posted by on June 2, 2011 in Writing prompts


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Vovo (Portuguese for grandfather)

Watch Vovo, a short film by 25 year old award winning director and animator, Luiz Lafayette Stockler.

This is a short, simple but powerful story. How does the animation enhance the spoken text? What makes the simple pictures bring the story to life? Do they offer additional information which is not contained in the text? Comment on the perspective of the pictures, eg the focus on Vovo’s feet when he’s opening the fridge.

Write a short story about someone who matters to you. Create a storyboard either on paper or  online. Think carefully about your pictures and make them sparse. Play around with your perspective.

You can read an interview with Luiz Stockler here. Here is his website.

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Posted by on May 26, 2011 in Writing prompts


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The Barber of Seville

Here’s a humorous take on Rossini’s opera, The Barber of Seville.

The plot here is based on fantasy, and reminds me of The Sorceror’s apprentice, originally a poem by the German poet, Goethe, before it was popularised by Disney.

Use this video as an inspiration and do one of the following –

  • write a poem
  • draw a cartoon sequence
  • write a short one-act play
  • record a radio play
  • video a dramatised version of your own
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Posted by on March 24, 2011 in Writing prompts


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