This idea, and many of the keys, came from a colleague of mine. Here’s how it worked: I got enough keys for all my students, and then made a tag for each key with a single, made-up line from a story.
I threw the keys in a jar, and each student got to pick out a key. The assignment was simple: tell a story that makes that line make sense.
The story lines:
* She gave me the key, then walked away, dragging the terrified child behind her.
* He looked behind him then whispered, “This key fits the third door.” He handed it to me then walked away, disappearing into the crowd.
* There on the rock, waves crashing around it, waited the key. The oars creaked as I rowed towards it.
* When the thunderstorm had finally passed, I saw a bit of metal by the road. It was a key.
* Why was there a key in the ice cream cone?
* I knew it was old, but which of these musty boxes, here in this spider’s nest of an attic, would the key fit?
* I hate this key and all the trouble it has caused.
* The key’s ridges were cutting my fingers, but I wouldn’t let go.
* The key fit locker #365 at the airport. What had they left me?
* He looked me in the eyes and whispered, “I got a key too, and it’s just like this one.”
* As the key sunk through the waves, I knew I’d be getting wet very soon.
* The key spun through the air. Four hands reached for it. Who would catch it?
* There was a 50/50 chance that this was the right key. I put it in the lock and hoped I’d picked the right one.
* A key was taped to the bottom of his top desk drawer. And there was a note.
* “It was an inside job! This key proves it!”
* She sighed and handed over the key, knowing that months of work had just been lost.
* She collapsed in the meadow, exhausted. She rolled to her side and something sharp poked her in the ribs… a key!
* Through the decades of dust, a clear set of footprints was visible. leading deeper into the tunnel. I held the key tight and followed the footprints.
* She shoved aside cartons of spoiled milk and packages of moldy cheese. There it was in the back of the fridge, just like he said: the key.
* When he woke that morning, he never imagined that he would have to deal with both magical keys and hungry zombies.
* The package, postmarked thirty years in the future, was tiny. She opened the box to find a key.
* He couldn’t disagree. When he held the key, he too felt like a numbing cold creep through his body. * They found the frozen corpse at the bottom of the cliffs, a single key still clutched tightly in his left hand.
* A carrier pigeon was pecking at the window, a single key tied to its foot.
* They found the key at the bottom of the well, just like the treasure map showed.
* Like a shiny promise, the key taunted me, sparkling inside the glass case.
* I could see the key in her hand. And she saw that I saw.
* How in the world had this key followed me from Iowa to Oregon?
* I’d had the key in my pocket since Tuesday, but I didn’t know it.
I still feel like some of those lines are pretty lame, but overall, the students seemed to like and some fantastic stories were created.