How To Write An Imaginary Field Trip

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  1. Decide where you want to go. This is called the destination. Keep it simple -- one or maybe two locations. It can be to a real or imaginary place. If you choose a real place, you should know a lot about the place you are going. If you create your own, prepare to use your imaginations to come up with interesting descriptions. Groups should probably use an imaginary location unless you have recently studied or visited a specific place. I recommend spending a few minutes brainstorming at least 5 possibilities before deciding which one to write about. Combining ideas sometimes works well.

  2. Try to include all 5 senses, each one at least once in the description and as fully as possible. The more sensory description you include, the higher the quality of images your audience will have, so be very descriptive. You could check off the senses as you write about each one. One way to plan to include these is to write at least two sensory descriptions for each sense that match the location of the field trip. Here is an example:

    Senses for Egyptian Journey

    • sight - The Sphinx, pyramids of Giza, lots of sand, sunset
    • sound - winds blowing over sand dunes, the Sphinx growling(?)
    • smell - hot and acrid smell, your sweat from the heat, ancient oils and spices(?)
    • taste - fine sand in your mouth from the wind, the water from your pouch, sand when you attempt to drink from the pond that's a mirage
    • touch - sand on the ground, the rough limestone of the Sphinx which suddenly feels like fur for just a moment

  3. Create one or more parts in the story for the listeners to fill in with their own imaginations. You give the general guidelines, but the listener can have anything happen in this part or see something specific. For instance, "Inside the Sphinx is a hidden room with a large unusual invention in the middle. Watch how it works and pay attention to what it looks like." This imagination part could be a fantastic creature with a message for you, a room you enter where something amazing happens, a symbol you see, or almost anything. This part is necessary for the follow-up lesson after the story, so please add something in the story that will help the audience remember this part specifically - such as to take a picture with their mental camera or write about it in their mental notebooks.

  4. Answer these questions first to help you plan your trip :

    1. Where are you going on your Imaginary Field Trip?
    2. What part have you left for the listeners to fill in with their own imagination?
    3. What questions about this part they had to imagine on their own should the listener be able to answer after going on your trip? For instance - "Tell what the magic power of the flower is and how it works."

  5. Now it's time to write the story. Remember to keep the following things in mind.

    • Write in second person -- "You are." (Not first person - "I am," or third person - "She is." Everything happens to YOU (whoever hears or reads it).

    • Use present tense. It is happening NOW - not future, not past. Example: "You are walking down a path." Keep the entire piece in present tense -- happening NOW as you read it.

    • Keep it all positive -- nothing scary, or really awful should happen in it. If you want to add suspense, you can have something that appears scary at first happen and then in the very next sentence have it turn out ok. For instance, "You stumble on a root and fall into a hole and land on a gigantic bouncy marshmallow.

    • 2-3 handwritten pages (or approximately 1-1/2 typed pages) is a good length to probably get all the details.

    • Title your story with a clue where you are going.

  6. Read your story out loud and edit for content, grammar and spelling. If possible have a friend, adult, or teacher assist you with this part. Check that you followed all the directions.

  7. Find a willing audience to take on your imaginary field trip. Enjoy!
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