Years ago I came up with an idea for a writing prompt that I felt was pretty “schema neutral“- all kids would have experience enough to be able to write a story about this prompt. I call it “A Day As Your Shoes.” Several years ago Corbett Harrison, who among other things had the concept for and started the Writing Fix web site and still maintains it, put my prompt on the site. He made it an interactive prompt to mimic how I have students brainstorm their ideas. Since all students have experience with shoes (at least in this country) and going to school – they will all be able to bring schema for this story.
This year to add to the motivation and creativity I had the students make the covers for their stories by taking pictures of their shoes and using Fd’s Flickr Tools - Magazine Cover to design their bookcover. We took pictures with a digital camera and downloaded into iPhoto on their laptops. Each student designed several covers so they could build at least some expertise with the software before putting together their final product pictured below.