This PowerPoint leads students through the thinking process a writer uses to create an interesting and complete narrative. Use the Student Writing Generator as a questionnaire for students to fill in after viewing the PP. I got some amazing results with this routine. Kids like to write about animals because they act like alter-egos and can make mistakes and have adventures that kids may be too self-conscious to do.
Follow up with an art project called Winter Birch Trees (on Pintrest). I created three different bear stencils so students could paint their brown bear peeking out from behind a Birch tree. The lesson in overlapping is a difficult skill. That is.. do you want your bear in front of the tree or behind the tree?