I've blogged before about how much my students LOVE making sticker stories (click here for that old post.) Another favorite writing activity when I taught first grade was to "stamp a story." I usually used this as a writing center or early finisher activity. This takes a little more bravery on your part. Let's be honest, ink is a pain. If you leave it open, it dries out. If kids get over excited, their is ink all over their hands, clothes and paper. Yikes. But let's get serious here. If it gets them writing, then I'm all for it!
The Easter Bunny brought stamps into our house. Thank you Amazon! These little stamps solve a lot of the problems with the big mess because there isn't a separate ink pad that can attract little fingers and smear all over. After Shawn made a few random pictures with stamps (by random I mean as many stamps on a page as he can fit,) I suggested we make a story with the stamps. First, I set the stamps up so we could see the picture. We talked about which stamps could be characters and which stamps could be part of the scenery. Then we brainstormed different ideas for stories with these characters. I asked simple questions like, Where are your characters? What are they doing?
Before he started stamping, we also talked about what the scene would look like. I told him this is going to be like a picture, similar to if he were to draw it. We started with the grass, then added in flowers and animals. Last, he added in the butterflies and dragonflies.
Finally, he was ready to do his writing:
Keep in mind he is a kindergartener. A first grade student may choose to add more detail to their story. (I would add a back page of lines for a first grader.) After writing this, he said he wanted his next one to be all about forest animals in spring. Informational writing... BOOM!
Here are my tips for the classroom when using this as a center:
Where do you find stamps? Amazon baby! Click on the picture to download the links to these stamps.
The top row are all little stamps. The benefits are that they are not as messy and you don't have to purchase a separate ink pad. The negative is that they run out of ink faster and you are stuck with the color they give you BUT you can always use an ink pad with these little stamps after they run out. The bottom row are bigger and you can choose the color based on the ink pad you choose. They are slightly more expensive, but not too bad. They are easy to use when creating a scene though. :)
To get started, download this template by clicking here or on the picture below.