Home Activity

Martha Speaks: Silly Story Builder

What's The Point

Authors use character, setting, and action to help tell a story. Get ready to experience just that as you and your child create silly stories by drawing story parts out of a bag.

Related Game

Story Maker app for iPhone – Choose characters, settings, and actions to create a pop-up fairy tale.

This Activity Will Help Your Child

  • Build vocabulary
  • Become familiar with essential parts of a story
  • Develop story sequencing skills

Book Suggestions

  • Mr. Putter & Tabby Write the Book
    by Cynthia Rylant
  • Rocket Writes a Story
    by Tad Hills


  • 4 Paper lunch bags
  • 20 3x5 Index cards
  • Pencil or Marker

How Do I Do It?

    Create Story Builder Bags
  1. Write Character, Setting, Action, and Wild Word on separate lunch bags.
  2. With your child, choose five characters, five settings and five actions to use in your stories. Be creative. Be silly. For example, a pet rabbit, the moon and surfing would be a good start!
  3. Write or draw a picture of these on individual index cards and put them in their appropriate bags.
  4. Help your child identify five new words to use as “wild words” in the stories. Look in a dictionary or walk around the house to get ideas for words. Write them down on index cards and place them in the Wild Word bag.

    Build Silly Stories
  1. Invite your child to draw one card from each bag.
  2. Create a silly story based on these cards.
  3. Encourage your child to include a beginning, middle and end.
  4. Take turns creating stories. Choose a favorite one and encourage your child to share it with a friend.

Take It Further

  1. Draw multiple cards to make the story more complex.
  2. Take turns telling a different silly story with the same cards.
  3. Choose a favorite silly story and write it down. Draw pictures to illustrate it.