The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg was one of my very favorite picture books when I first became a teacher. I immediately purchased a copy to use as a launch for both discussions and creative writing projects.
I was not alone in my interest. My students also found the drawings fascinating and were eager to use the illustrations as story starters.
Creative Writing with The Mysteries of Harris Burdick
I had all of my students choose one of the illustrations as the basis of a story. I photocopied the picture for each one so they could easily refer to it while writing.
They came up with some wonderfully creative stories! I honestly wish I had kept copies of a few of them.
I was so glad to see The Mysteries of Harris Burdick back in print and getting lots of activity in bookstores.
This is a wonderful book for older elementary students. It would also be fun for younger children to just discuss the illustrations and make up stories without writing them down.
Or, if younger children are really into it, daddy or mama could write the story the child dictates.