Write a Mystery

Here’s a fun way to keep your kids’ writing skills fresh over the summer, even during the months away from school. To set up, I went through a magazine and clipped intriguing images in three categories: people (characters), places (setting), and objects.

I arranged the piles for Travis, and his task was to select one image from each category. He chose a baby as his character, a forest for the setting, and a motorcycle as the random object to come into play. Now his task was to write a mystery story involving all three.

I was thrilled when he immediately went racing for paper and said, “I know what I’m going to write!”

Admittedly his story was short, as he’s still building his story-writing stamina. Older kids can run with this idea and write a whole mystery chapter book! Simply have them add images and prompts from the magazine pile any time their creativity falters until they’ve finished a full-length mystery.

Meanwhile, I was so proud of Travis for his one-page short story and he was proud, too.


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