Why did we use the 7- sentence story structure?

Our creative story writing project workshops took place in June and July at Canalside, thanks to children, parents, staff and volunteers that took part. We very much enjoyed reading the imaginative stories written by the children.

To help the children write such creative pieces we used a special 7- sentence story structure, specially designed for young children to understand and develop the elements needed to make a well written story. This useful tool was made by a specialist in creating educational materials, Dee Broughton, whose website can be found here.

Broughton explains the importance of children using this story structure to first develop the plot of their story and to think about characters involved, the incident and the ending. It allows them to start writing their story independently with the use of the structure to aid them and gives the children creative freedom in a well organised way.

This is a popular resource used by teachers as a ‘scaffolding’ technique. Used to ‘prop’ the children up academically, and can be taken away when they can confidently complete the task with no aid.

This is Broughton’s structure that we gave to the children to use as a story starter; the use of the sentence starters helps to give the children an idea of which order the events of the story should go in:

Once upon a time____.   How the story will start- settings, characters etc


And every day____.   Everything is ordinary/in a state of normalcy


Until one day____.   Something suddenly changes from the norm


And because of that____.   Character attempts to solve problem but makes problem worse


And because of that____.   Character attempts to solve problem again


Until finally____.   Character successfully solves problem


And ever since____.   Story ends with a state of normalcy but a with a new setting as a result of the story


This structure helped many of the children complete the task of writing a story plan successfully and in the designated time. We are posting a selection of some of these story plans to show how effective this resource was and to encourage children to keep using it. We hope the children keep practising creativity and imaginative story writing outside the classroom.



Author: ttlcic

Talk Together London is a social enterprise with charitable objectives registered as a ‘community interest company’ or 'CIC', creating and sharing resources and delivering lifelong learning services since 2006.

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