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The Story Window™ Writing Residency

The Story Window™ Writing Residency is a four-part, four-hour, intensive seminar designed to make the writing process an exciting experience for fourth grade students.

It fuses theatrical, visual and language arts to assist students in generating and building on their own story ideas.

During each session of the seminar, Mr. Espinosa will work with small groups (usually one or two classrooms) for approximately one hour each. Although the topic or focus of each lesson will vary, some of the key elements will remain the same.




Start With a Story
Chris uses humor and the excitement of storytelling to captivate the students and hook them into the writing process. His original tales are drawn from his own experiences, which helps to break down the boundaries between speaker and audience. Not only are Chris’ stories entertaining, but they later serve as a model for content development. In addition, his sense of humor and ability to connect with children relaxes their inhibitions and invites them to express themselves freely.

Use Tools That are Pretty Cool
ChrisEspinosaXYZ devised several tools for use as visual cues to spark creativity and promote student participation. The first of these is The Story Window™ graphic organizer. This implement is in the shape of an actual window and is comprised of individual windowpanes. It is used to generate and record student ideas during brainstorming activities as well as in story development. Another useful device is The Blocks™. These blocks teach students to enhance their stories by using who, what, where, when, and why as well as the five senses. Finally, Chris will use a variety of innovative props designed to stimulate the children and invite their participation in a particular exercise.

End With Encouragement

Chris provides instruction and support through each step of the writing process. At the end of each session, students have a completed idea for a story. Although the story idea is crafted in a group exercise, Chris encourages each student to take ownership of it and create a story all their own. Most of Chris’s work with the students is done orally, but he can tailor the sessions toward specific writing assignments at the direction of the classroom instructor.


ChrisEspinosaXYZ will consult with faculty to cooperatively design a curriculum that addresses the specific academic needs of the student body; however, content for a typical seminar might include the following:

Session 1 What’s the Big Idea!

An exercise on generating ideas for story prompts/story starters by using The Story Window™ graphic organizer.

Session 2 Va-Va-Verbs™ – Give Your Writing Some Va-Va-Voom!
An activity that illustrates how to rev up writing through the use of vivid verbs.

Session 3 Introductions – Hook Your Readers!
Demonstrates how to catch readers with a hook and reel them in for an exciting story.

Session 4 Conclusions – Write Dynamite Endings!
Students learn what makes for a fantastic finale.



Copyright 2002- , Chris Espinosa