by Lisa Bullard
I love seeking out oddball road food opportunities. In New Jersey: a Chinese-Italian buffet where the spaghetti and lo mein rubbed shoulders like long-lost cousins. In Nashville: a Swedish-Southern all-you-can-eat spread, with fried chicken and pickled herring vying for attention. In New York City: a Greek-Mexican café.
Many of the world’s diverse taste temptations are no longer exotic options to us. But I still admit to surprise and delight when I stumble over a place where the burritos are backed up by baklava.
Combining an oddball set of options can also prompt a writing road trip. I’ve shared the downloadable activity found here before, under another context. I offer it up to you again with the encouragement that even if you tried it then, it’s something you should use with your students on-and-off throughout the year. Each time you offer it to them, they’ll have a chance to work with a surprising remix of story ingredients.
Not only has the activity proven to be one of my most reliable writing prompts for a wide variety of ages, but you’ll also be reinforcing in your students a taste for the fundamental ingredients that any good story requires: character, setting, and conﬂict.
Besides, the whole thing is almost as much fun as egg rolls with marinara sauce.