This exercise uses an object as a prompt to begin writing about life experience and memories. Physical objects often help take us back to a particular time or place. They can also be integral to the stories we tell.
Icebreaker: Time Capsule
Ask students to write a list of items they would put in a time capsule for people (or themselves) in the future to find. What do the objects say about this moment in history? How might they feel, looking back on these items from a future where everything is different?
Exercise: When I was Young
Have students think about an object that reminds them of when they were young. It could be an ornament on the shelf, a present they were given, an item of clothing, a painting or picture on the wall.
What was it? Ask them to describe it in detail. Who does it remind them of? Is there a story related to the object? Try to bring the piece to life. Remind them to use their senses, and to be specific.
Feedback: ask students if anyone would like to read aloud. Are there any phrases in the pieces which stand out as particularly evocative? Why might that be? Ask students to consider this when editing their own pieces.
This exercise was provided by First Story Writer-in-Residence Anthony Cropper.