Story With Words on Top

Story With Words on Top lesson plan

Budding authors are drawn to this unusual format. Illustrate a story setting. Then use Crayola® Ultra-Clean Markers to write an original story!

  • 1.

    Gather students in their classroom reading area. Open a discussion about favorite places they have visited or want to visit. Create a list of student contributions on a classroom white board using Crayola Dry Erase Markers. As students peruse their list, ask which might be a fascinating setting for a story? A castle? Mars? The rainforest?

  • 2.

    Inform students that they will be illustrating stories that are not yet written. These stories are in their imaginations! Using Crayola Color Switchers Markers or Washable Markers students will draw their scenes on white paper. Encourage them to fill in all of the spaces because they will write their stories around the edges of the paper and even on top of their drawings! Include details that give hints about what happens in the story.

  • 3.

    If students are using Color Switchers Markers, have them flip the Color Switchers Marker and apply the special color switcher to write the unique stories around the edges of drawings. Fill inside areas if necessary. Watch how the new colors pop out right before your eyes as you write! If using Washable Markers, encourage students to switch colors at this point in the illustration's development.

  • 4.

    If additional room is needed, students may finish their writing on more paper. Embellish pages by flipping over the markers and using the special color switcher tips, or by selecting another Washable Marker color.

  • 5.

    Provide time in the school day for students to read their stories to classmates and share illustrations.


  • LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • LA: Read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, in the grade level text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
  • LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • LA: With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
  • VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.


  • Students work in teams of two or individually to create a setting for a short story. Switch illustrations with another classmate. Write a short story for the new illustration. Display the original story in the classroom.
  • Using the artistic technique reviewed in this lesson plan to illustrate a science or social studies project. Include pertinent information, such as labels, right on the illustration(s).
  • Invite a local artisan to visit with the class and demonstrate similar artistic techniques with the class. Prior to the visit, students write questions for the artist. After the meeting, students post learning to a class blog.