Tag Archives: visual storytelling

Creative Thinking Prompt: You Are The Storyteller: A Coloring Story

Creative Thinking Prompt:

You Are The Storyteller: A Coloring Story

Collect several different coloring books. With an adult’s permission, tear out pages that spark your interest. Color these pages. Combine different mediums such as markers, colored pencils, and ink. Remember it’s okay to color outside the lines. Next embellish these pages with textured 3D objects such as ribbons, buttons, glitter, etc. Once your pages are complete, organize them in such a way that they tell a story. Tell your story to others. You are the storyteller while your pictures are the visual story.

Once Upon An Alphabet


“Once Upon An Alphabet: Short Stories for all the Letters”

Not your traditional ABC book, Once Upon An Alphabet, is original in its artwork and storytelling. Once upon a time there lived a string of letters that strung together form the alphabet. Each letter’s character works hard to form words, which then turn into stories. Oliver Jeffers’ use of humor, alliteration, facts, and storytelling creates adventure from A to Z.

This story promotes originality and imagination.

TITLE: Once Upon An Alphabet

AUTHOR: Oliver Jeffers

PHOTOS By: Oliver Jeffers

PUBLISHER: Philomel Books, 2014


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: originality, imagination


1) Using the first letter of your first name, invent a letter character. Write a story about your letter character.

2) Write an acrostic poem, using the letters in your name.

Asks “what if”

Nestles Books

New World Seeker

Knack for Imagining

Enthusiastically Creates

Lyrical Language and


Explorer of

Yet another library

To learn more about writing acrostic poems, visit:



To learn more about author/illustrator Oliver Jeffers, visit:


To journey through worlds created by Oliver Jeffers, visit Oliver Jeffers interactive website and click on a character:


Creative Thinking Prompt: Jelly Bean Surprise


Creative Thinking Prompt: Jelly Bean Surprise

Write the word ‘bean’ at the top of a piece of lined paper. Brainstorm 25 things related to ‘bean.’ Then think up five more.

bean stalk

jelly bean

lima bean

pinto bean

bean sprout

black bean

refried beans

string beans

green bean

bean bag chair

bean bag

Pick five or more from your list and write a story using the title, Jelly Bean Surprise. Your chosen items can be characters, part of the story problem, part of the solution, part of the setting, etc.

As you write, remember that stories have a beginning (character has a problem), middle (character attempts to solve problem), and end (character solves the problem). When you’re finished, share your story, if you’d like.

ee cummings: Poet and Creative Thinker


enormous SMALLNESS: A story of E.E. Cummings ”

Visually entertaining and poetically written, this book honors poet ee cummings and his writing spirit. Cummings so loved lowercase letters that he wrote his name as ee cummings. Nature inspired his passion for writing. A rule breaker of rhythm and rhyme as well as a new word inventor, ee cummings was a creative thinker.

This story promotes the creative traits of a creative person – taking risks, passionate, imaginative, different perspective, and the desire to be creative.

TITLE: enormous SMALLNESS: A story of E.E. Cummings

AUTHOR: Matthew Burgess


PUBLISHER: Enchanted Lion Books, 2015


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creative traits of a creative person – taking risks, passionate, imaginative, different perspective, desire to be creative


1) Author Matthew Burgess wrote that E.E. Cummings “drew many pictures from great circus of his imagination.” Cummings displayed many creative traits of a creative thinker. (see creative components) What creativity traits do you have? On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how important is your creativity to you? How do you express your creativity?

2) For his 15th birthday, E.E. Cummings received The Rhymester, a guide to writing poems, which became one of his prized possessions. What is one of your prized possessions and why?


To learn more about author Matthew Burgess, visit:


To learn more about illustrator Kris DiGiacomo, visit:


To learn more about E.E. Cummings, visit:



One Day, The End


One Day, The End: Short, Very Short, Shorter-than-Ever Stories ”

“One day I went school, I came home. The End.” What happened to the middle of the story?


Through out the book, the illustrations provide the short middle of each short story.

This story promotes storytelling and imagination.

TITLE: One Day, The End: Short, Very Short, Shorter-than-Ever Stories

AUTHOR: Rebecca Kai Dotlich


PUBLISHER: Boyds Mills Press, 2015


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: storytelling, imagination


1) Write the middle part of this story. “One day I made something. (insert middle) I gave it to my mom.”

2) Continue the Story. With a partner or a group, take turns telling a story. Each person tells a sentence to continue the story. Variations are each person says one word or pairs a noun and verb to tell the story.


To learn more about author Rebecca Kai Dotlich, visit:


To learn more about illustrator Fred Koehler, visit:


Creative Thinking Prompt: A World Inside A Tree

Creative Thinking Prompt: A World Inside A Tree


Draw a world that exists inside a tree. Imagine what that world would look like. What type of tree does your world exist in? Who lives there? What do they do? What do they look like? How do they co-exist with themselves and the tree? What would happen if they left the tree to explore? Sketch out this tree world. Name your world and its inhabitants.

Harold’s Circus

Harold's Circusbookcover

“Harold’s Circus”

Harold and his purple crayon are back with a new adventure – the circus. Come along as Harold performs circus acts from bravest lion tamer to trapeze artist to tightrope walker to human cannonball.


Oops! What will Harold draw to save himself as he tumbles through air?

This story promotes creativity, imagination, discovery and humor.

TITLE: Harold’s Circus

AUTHOR: Crockett Johnson

ILLUSTRATOR: Crockett Johnson

PUBLISHER: Harper Collins Publishers 1987, 1959


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creativity, imagination


1) What do you think would happen to the story if Harold used a color other than purple? Whey do you think Crockett Johnson chose to use a purple crayon?

2) If you were a circus performer, which act would you perform and why?

3) Spend some time researching different circus acts. What is it about these acts that draw an audience’s attention? Invent a new circus act.


To learn more about author/illustrator Crockett Johnson, visit:


Creative Thinking Prompt: Imagine A Story

Creative Thinking Prompt: Imagine A Story


Create a story that uses all seven of these words:








Think Deeper: Take a dictionary and open it to any page. Without looking, randomly place your finger on a word. Do this six times. Use the six words you found to write a short story.

Don’t Just Look, Read Those Pictures

Creative Thinking Prompt: Don’t Just Look, Read Those Pictures

heartOur minds can quickly assign meaning to images. A stop sign means stop. A heart means love. The letters of the alphabet are lines and curves assembled in specific patterns to create meaning. Even math uses symbols such as  ∞ , >,  ≠  to denote meaning.

When additional images are added to a single image, what happens? A picture.

Brainstorm what the purpose of a picture is.

When you brainstorm, write down all your ideas as they come to you. Do not analyze them. This is not the time for that because you want to think up the most original, creative idea you can. The more ideas you have, the more unusual your ideas become. Eventually, you run out of ideas. Don’t stop. Push yourself to think of at least five more ideas because at this point unique ideas originate.

How can a picture tell a story? Look at a wordless picture book.

What elements does a picture need in order to tell a story? Here are some to get started.

-Background: color use, frame or no frame, place, time

-Perspective: point of view of the character, is the character at the forefront or the back of the

-Personality: clothing, facial expression (eyes, tilt of head, mouth, ears), what is the character doing, age

What are some other elements that help tell the story of a picture?


“Shhh… Imaginations at work”

“Shhh… Imaginations at work”


The Whisper

In The Whisper, a little girl is given a magical storybook, but the words have fallen out of the book. No words = no story, thought the girl until she studies the pictures in the book and begins to wonder. Soon her imagination takes flight and she invents her own stories.

The Whisper marries the elements of a wordless picture book with a text picture book to create a story within stories. Beautiful illustrations capture readers’ imaginations, prompting readers to use their storytelling skills to continue the story author/illustrator Pamela Zagarenski began. This book promotes discovery, wonder, imagination, and visual intelligence.

TITLE: The Whisper

AUTHOR: Pamela Zagarenski

ILLUSTRATOR: Pamela Zagarenski

PUBLISHER: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: discovery, wonder, imagination, visual intelligence


1) In the story, the girl titles the pictures to begin her stories.

thewhisperpageWhat title might you give this picture? Write a story to accompany this picture, adding your own illustrations.

2) Learning how to read pictures is an important literacy skill. Pick up a picture book and flip to any page. If there are words on the page, don’t read them. Instead you are going to read the picture. To get started, ask these questions.

-What do you see?

-Who are the character(s) in this picture?

-What are the characters doing and why are they doing it?

-Are they friends?

-What is going to happen next?

-What would you title this picture?


To learn more about Pamela Zagarenski, visit: http://www.pzagarenski.com