Gathering Artifacts as Potential Writing Ideas


I have recently been showing young writers how we can create a potential topic list by gathering artifacts, treasures, mementoes , curios and then photographing them. It’s a topic list using images, rather than words, but it works in exactly the same way, -providing a stimulus for thinking around writing.

I shared this idea teachers and students at Rowville Primary School and one teacher I work with has taken the idea and really extended it with her class.

Kate Chinner teaches Grade 4 and she challenged her students to go home and gather personal artifacts from around the house and photograph or draw them. Those students without acess to a camera, were able to bring their artifacts to school if they wished. Kate then gathered all the student examples and displayed them in her classroom. A wall of wonder has been created.

The talk and conversation around the display arouses much inquiry and curiosity from students. Who owns that? What is that? Tell me about that…

Gathering such items together in a class display means that students have so much to share, to borrow from, and compare. What a rich gathering of potential writing ideas has been generated here.  I love it!

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