Stories Found in the Street

Pic: BC

Pic: BC


Take a seat

Found objects tell stories

A broken chair lying beside the road or propped against a wall has a history asking to be unravelled and laid out across the page.

How did it come to be here?

In what happier circumstances did this chair sit the right way up and inside someone’s home?

What was its moment of crisis, the disaster that has led to its upending?

Is this the end, or might this chair be redeemed?

Invite students to contribute

  • Ask your students to bring a found object (or photograph of one). You may wish to set parameters as to type, size etc.

  • Collect the objects in the centre of the classroom as a shared resource.

  • Select one object and create a group story as a model. Brainstorm ideas and have the class vote for the best one.

  • Allocate objects to students or small groups. (One way in is to create a timeline or chronology for the object.)

Find your form

This exercise can be used with a range of forms, including microfiction, epic poetry and dramatic monologue.

Pic: James Qualtrough via Unsplash

Pic: James Qualtrough via Unsplash



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Bernard Cohen