During their lives, your students will probably write a gazillion emails. Would her father have been killed?
Alternatives include choosing categories of words that may be included on lists, such as five-letter words, items you could buy in a store, colors, adjectives, verbs, etc. Ask students to come up with slogans, flag, or fashion wear for the holiday.
Reasons to love this little lesson: challenges students to look at details in a photo. The games are fun! Reasons to love this little lesson: students love the quirkiness of this assignment!
After a while, have them stop and fold their paper then trade with another student. Extend the lesson into a full scene that involves the character. Instead of working with traditional exercises that focus on plot outlines, point of view, and setting, give your students some challenges that will force them to really use their imaginations—and maybe even fuel a little friendly competition.
Something to make them laugh? They can include as much description as possible.
A lot of student writers—especially younger students—are very shy about sharing their writing with their peers. Challenge students to write a backstory about the character.