Hello, Teaching Friends!
Do you remember these little cuties? Or maybe in your house, you're still tripping over them and listening to the ka-thumpity sound they make when they get sucked up in your vacuum.
Try putting a box of these little guys in your writing center. Have your students reach in (no peeking!) and pull out two or three and write a story using them as the main characters.
The more variety in your character box, the more variety you'll see in the writing! Throw in a few animals like this zebra, and maybe even a few vehicles. If you don't have your own, you can get them for a song at garage sales, or you probably have parents who'd be willing to donate a few. Less ka-thumpitys in their vacuum cleaners is a good selling point on that, you know. ;)