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The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
Story Starter Twisterz

221 King Street, #343
San Francisco, CA 94107

Like most homeschool moms, I try to have my children write creatively on a regular basis. Many times the kids will be sitting and sitting trying to think of something to write about. At times, they have even come to me asking for an idea of what to write. In some of these instances, I have been equally challenged to come up with the beginning to an interesting story line.

Story Starter Twisterz is our new ally when we just can't get those creative juices flowing. We have used it in a couple of different ways in our home. For our younger children, we have sat on the floor and "passed the story." Each individual had the opportunity to spin the four rings on the Twisterz and read what came up. No matter what lined up, it always seemed to make sense. It may have been silly, but it made sense. There was never an instance where we can up with something that just didn't work, like "the rock blew its nose." Our children in the upper elementary grades then took the story we passed around and put it down on paper. They were encouraged to change it as they saw fit; it did not have to be word for word. Both our upper elementary and younger junior high students have used the Twisterz by selecting one sentence and then challenging themselves to write a full story with this story opener.

The Story Starter Twisterz is made of durable hard plastic material. The edges of the four rings on it have scalloped edges so that they lock into each other to hold the story line in place. The rings have a colored background with white text on them. This layout really helps make the words easy to read. As a mom of boys, I must warn that the Story Starter Twisterz should be stored in a "school only" space, as every boy's imagination will easily transform this hard plastic tube into a sword or weapon. Used in this manner, it could cause more tears than the original writing assignment would have evoked.

We have enjoyed having this supplemental teaching tool in our home. Our little inventors have even begun trying to construct the Story Starter Twisterz 2 out of a paper towel roll, but they are challenged in coming up with a replacement for the rings that spin around the original design.

Product review by Dawn Oaks, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August 2011

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