Creative Writing – Twice Upon A Time Tales

Whenever possible I try to dovetail our reading and writing together into one cohesive lesson.  Of course, the obvious way to do this is simply to have kids write about what they’re reading.  Twice Upon A Time Tales are just a creative writing variation of this.


The basic concept – kids read a story and then write their own version of it.  (Hence the “Twice” in place of “Once Upon a Time”).  Start by brainstorming a list of simple story elements that could change.

Story Elements

  • main character
  • setting (this could be time/ place/ time period/ all of those)
  • several plot details
  • ending
  • role reversal of the bad guy/good guy
  • conflict
  • Same character on a new adventure

A Twist on the Tale

Next, let kids take one or two changes and run with them.  

  • How would Beauty and The Beast be different with a male/female role reversal?  (Handsome and the Beastess)  I know, I know. . . I made up the word Beastess, but it’s the best I could come up with for a feminine beast.
  • What if the wolf had really been the good guy in Little Red Riding Hood?
  • Could you tell the story of Winnie the Pooh using people instead of animals?
  • How would YOU end the story of the Little Match Girl?
  • Can you continue a Harry Potter tale?  Perhaps tell of an adventure Harry’s son has at Hogwarts?
  • What if Johnny Appleseed had lived in a castle in medieval times?
  • How would Goldilocks and the Three Giraffes go?
  • What would Ramona Quimby be doing on a vacation to Paris?

It doesn’t matter so much what changes you make, but make a change and then let your pencil go like crazy.


Creative Writing Need Not Be 100% Original

Hope you enjoy this creative writing lesson . . . it isn’t a new idea at all.  We’ve been telling many of the same stories over the millennia, often just putting our own new spin on to them.  Many classic story lines have been told time and time again.  There are countless versions of classics, fairy tales, folk tales, and myths.  Our stories have common threads, common themes, common protagonists, and common enemies.  Indeed, it isn’t a new idea, but you might just be amazed at the new ideas that come out of young imaginations writing Twice Upon A Time Tales.

More From Layers of Learning

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