Kids Listen Activity Podcast, Episode 33:
This Week in the Multiverse Presents Ginormous
In this episode, listen to the first part of the story Ginormous, a tall tale about a boy who discovers that he has inherited the powers of the American tall-tale legend Paul Bunyan, the famed lumberjack. Listen to the episode here.
After the episode, do the activity - a guided lesson in creating Story Scavenger signs, a way to make Choose Your Own Adventure-type stories you can post around your neighborhood! Details below.
How to Make Story Scavenger Signs to Post around Your Neighborhood
Feel free to download my Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style signs at sgwilson.net/activities. Post them around your neighborhood and fill in the blanks with the locations of each sign to get your neighbors reading as they move around!
Or, even better: MAKE YOUR OWN! It’s easy, just keep these tips in mind:
Use second person. If you’re not familiar, second person is when you write with “You” instead of “I” or “he” or “she” or “they”. “You wake up in a cave in your underwear with no memory about who you are and a full-size bear is licking your face.” It’s a good way to immerse the reader in the story.
Another way to maintain that sense of immersion is to not go into too much detail about the point-of-view character. This is the opposite of regular story writing, where you want readers to know all sorts of things about your POV characer. But in this case, the Point of View character is the reader, so you don’t want distract them with reminders that they’re someone else in the story.
Another thing to keep in mind is to keep it concise. People reading the signs will want to get a move-on.
Part of being concise is knowing how to plan where to end each section. There are at least two different ways to set up the choices different types of choices: The dramatic cliffhanger choices where you have to choose how to tackle some sort of danger or the not-as-dramatic, not-so-much-of-a-cliffhanger choice that’s more about moving the story along. It’s trickier than it looks. You want to make both types of choices interesting to the reader.
At the same time, you also want to weigh complexity versus holding your reader’s attention. Give them too many interesting choices and the reader – or in this case, the walker – might feel overwhelmed.