Resources for young story-creators!

Download a sample worksheet for using OBTUA to help create stories!


Download a sample DICE GAME to help create stories!


About OBTUA!

A story is an adventure or a journey. It starts someplace, goes someplace, and ends-up someplace else. Things change during a story.

Stories are more than “I had a dog.”

They are more like, “I had a dog, and she found a piece of wood that had writing on it, and when I picked it up I heard the stick say something to me, and then…”

As I create stories, I think about OBTUA!



Those are the important pieces of lots of stories, like: Once there was a boy who watched the sheep. But one day he got bored and decided to scare everyone by yelling that a wolf was coming. Then everyone ran to help and saw there was no wolf. Then the boy did it again the next day. Then he did it again the next day. Until one day a real wolf did come and no one came to help when the boy called because they thought he was just playing again. And the boy had to chase the wolf away all by himself.


You can use as many “Then” pieces as you want. Some stories have lots of them. Can you think of a favorite story in a book or movie and find the OBTUA pieces of that story?

You can download the page to help you try using UBTUA to create your own stories! If you create something you really like, I would love to see it!


About the Dice Game!

Most stories have many of the same pieces. There is usually a main character who is telling the story or who the story is about. That character usually begins some place, somewhere. Then the character might find something, or do something, or someone else does something to the character. Then the character does something to respond, and the story keeps on going.

You  might call this a story structure, or framework, or outline, but it is just the way a story idea can be built. If you think about some of your favorite stories, I’ll bet you can find a structure like this. Sometimes the character has other characters helping them, and sometimes there are other characters who are fighting against them. You can add as much as you want to the story, but it is usually best to start out with the simple “structure” to get your idea started.

This is a simple little game to help think of story ideas. The game uses dice, just one will do. You will throw the die four times. The first time you throw it, use that number to select the “WHO” in column one. Use the number of your second throw to select the “WHERE” in column two, and so on. After four throws, you will end up with something like…

A teacher…at the store…picked up a shiny rock….the lights went out…

Is that a story? Not yet, but it might be a good story idea…

Last night, my teacher went to the store to buy cookies for the party this morning. As she walked down the aisle, she saw something on the floor. It was shining. She looked closer and saw that it was a rock, a really shiny rock. She thought it might be something cool to show us during the party this morning so she picked it up. She was surprised that the rock felt warm. Very warm. She thought maybe she ought to just put it back down and leave it there, when the lights went out all over the store. There was a very strange humming sound. The lights came back on, but my teacher was gone. She had disappeared.

That’s better. Now I can think and write about where she went, and why? What was that rock, anyway? And who, or what, put it there? Were they after her, or just anyone who might pick-up the rock? Or were they just after the cookies?

You can download the page to help you try using the dice game to create your own stories! There is a sample already filled-out, and a blank copy that you can use to create your own characters and places and stuff. If you create something you really like, I would love to see it!

Have fun!