More ideas for creating stories from your home and neighborhood.
Ask participants to begin with a place (such as the kitchen) and build a story around it using narrative and representative materials. Can you recreate the scene in your mind? What were the smells of your favorite foods? Who was in the room? What was the occasion or day? What was on counter tops? Was there anything special or traditional about the table setting or the menu? Do they have photos, mementos, menus, recipes that build the essence of their story based on what they heard, saw, smelled, tasted or touched? Holiday tables are often “eye candy.” Words paint pictures. Mementos give you the texture of the event.
Because…Stories often happen when one thing leads to another, that leads to something else, that leads to an unexpected conclusion. Write your story in sequence and tell what happened next. Sharing these stories with neighbors are also great ice breakers. For example, “Because we were all so involved in playing the game, we were not paying attention to … Because of that we did not notice … and because of that the turkey burned and…”
Point of view. Are you telling the story from your perspective? Have a little fun and think what the same story looked like from a child’s eye view or a neighbor or even a Sherlock Holmes character.
Memory prompts. Questions can’t help but trigger memories.
- What happened the day you moved in?
- Did the roof ever leak?
- What traditions did your neighbors celebrate that you enjoyed? A long time family friend and neighbor made her own ravioli for Christmas day. One year she made extra for our family and invited us for Christmas Eve dinner.
- Did your Thanksgiving turkey catch on fire in the oven? This happened in my family.
- What happened on the day you were born? The weights on our family cuckoo clock dropped low enough to hit a chair sitting beneath it and the clock stopped…the same minute I was born.
- What are your memories of eating ice cream as a child? I remember taking my daughter for ice cream as a child and there was more chocolate on her cheeks, chin and clothes than went into her mouth
- Of walking to the neighborhood library? As a child my neighborhood library was a block away and I was there when it opened. I checked out books when there were still index cards with name of borrower and the date stamp when due. Many of the books I checked out had the same girl’s name above mine. We met a year or more later when we attended the same school and remain lifelong friends.