Treasure Hunt

Kids are writers

By Michelle Lynn Senters-

We are off to a LATE start today. Every Wednesday morning, I meet with my writer’s critique group. We read our stories to one another and offer honest feedback and suggestions. This group encourages me to continually improve my skills and hone my craft.  I highly encourage each of you to find a writer’s group. You can start a club at your house or meet with other young writers after school. Participating in a critique group will transform your writing and connect you to like-minded people. It’s a non-negotiable for me. BUT next week, I will post our prompt BEFORE my critique group! Since we started late today, the activity below might take you a few days to complete. Take your time. Remember that you can move through the program at your own pace.

Story inspiration is everywhere, but you must search for it in the hidden places. Today, we are going on a Story Treasure Hunt.


Step 1: Get a box large enough to hold several items, but small enough to carry. You will also need a notebook and pencil.

Step 2: Collect random objects.

  • Don’t just pick up the first items you see. Search for treasures. Look in closets and drawers. Look in the backyard, in the garage, and under the bed.
  • Choose a wide variety of items (10 – 15 objects) and put them in your box. Search for items that are: sentimental, unusual, familiar, fun, scary, etc.

Step 3: Study objects.

  • Place the objects on a table to study.
  • Hold each object in your hand. Notice the texture, shape, and function. Think about when you got it. Are there any memories associated with this object? How does it make you feel?
  • Record your thoughts and feelings on the paper.

Step 4: Choose an object to write about.

  • Choose one object that inspires you.
  • Ask yourself questions about the object. Where did it come from? Do I have memories with this object? Is it meaningful to me? What is this object useful for? Does my object look like a character? If it came to life, what would it want?
  • Brainstorm ideas for a story.
  • You can write a non-fiction piece about the object and your experiences with it. (favorite toy, family treasure, etc.)
  • You can write a fiction story. Perhaps your object is owned by the main character of the story. Perhaps the object IS the main character of the story.
  • Write your story.

Step 5: Share your story.

  • Copy and paste your story into the “Share Your Story” form below. Include your first name, age, location, and title of story. These stories will be published on the site.


I am inspired by my antique typewriter and am writing a story entitled, “The New-Fangled Writing Machine”. The story is about a young boy who dislikes writing in school. He finds an antique typewriter in his Grandfather’s attic and discovers he can write with it. The boy is so fascinated with this new machine that he writes and writes and writes. (Haha. I just noticed my cat in the background of this photo. Perhaps he should be in the story, too?)

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Michelle Lynn Senters is the Founder and Director of KIDS ARE WRITERS. She spends her days working as a Reading Interventionist and spends her evenings writing books for children and adults. You can learn more about Michelle HERE and at

IMPORTANT: Students, NEVER reveal personal information while commenting. NO last names or contact information. I will delete any comments that contain personal information or comments that are inappropriate or off-topic.

11 thoughts on “Treasure Hunt

  1. I will write about my dog Lil’bit, even though I can’t put her in a box, is that okay?

  2. This is a list of the stuff I have in my box: Frozen, the Lego Movie, my stuffed cat and my stuffed long eared fox, last but not least a hand made flower.

    Hope every one has a good day! 😉

  3. Hmm… Need to pick out objects, I do. (I’m a tad busy – my Mom is teaching a Star Wars Camp that starts next week (only for one week) and I’m helping her get ready. :) ).

  4. Kaylie, 13.

    An animé drawing of a girl
    A ceramic silver-blue unicorn missing its horn
    A green dragon made of clay
    A journal with a butterfly on the front
    The pink plastic shoe of my sister’s Barbie doll
    A music box with a ballerina on top
    A magnet shaped like a K
    A necklace with a gold dog on the end
    Three large books stacked in a pile
    A nice black fountain pen for signing things

  5. Thats some cool things! The fountain pen inspired me so is it ok if I don’t collect any objects of my own? I’m going to write about a girl named Emily who loves to donate to charity, but does not have any allowance left. Emily asks her mom if she can get more allowance and her mom says if she wants to do that she has to work harder at her chores, and get better grades in school. Emily agrees, and starts working harder in school and coming home from school sooner to make sure she has time for chores. Than suddenly, her friend Tasha says that she does not want to be friends with her any more because she had not been spending time with Tasha at all. Emily is faced with the problem of having to find a way to get Tasha back well still collecting money for charity.One day Emily finds a pen on the sidewalk.That, my friend, is where the adventure begins!

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