I use the book The Mysteries of Harris Burdick at the beginning of the year , as a writing prompt (click here to read more about how my lesson). My students pick a picture and then they use that to spark their writing idea. I recently came across the book, The Chronicles of Harris Burdick. In this book, 14 well known authors from Lemony Snicket to Linda Sue Park to Lois Lowry to Louis Sachar to Sherman Alexie to Steven King all have written their own short stories based on the picture.
I picked a few short stories to read to my students, before they wrote their own stores based on the pictures. I felt that it really let them see an example of good writing, and that every story can go in such a different direction that what you may originally think. It also has an interesting introduction about the pictures, and where they came from written by Lemony Snicket.
If you don’t have these books, they are a must for your classroom! They enhance writing, discussion and reading!!