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Publication Date

29 Sept 2020


7.04 MB




Outside the Box


…intelligently conceived and written to be a powerful tool for teachers and anyone interested in writing a great story. — Divine Zape

…a highly engaging read which offers interesting and accessible creative writing challenges for budding writers. One of the things that I was most impressed by was the author’s ability to make this accessible to a wide range of readers, whilst still maintaining a good level of challenge. — K.C. Finn

Outside the Box is a brilliant approach to teaching students how to be creative with sci-fi and fantasy Foluso Falaye

Get students engaged in reading and writing with story prompts that are a bit outside the box

35 new unfinished story prompts from award-winning author Taylor Sapp. This new collection in the style of 2019 ELTon finalist, Stories Without End, focuses on sci-fi/fantasy stories. What’s new in this collection is: 15 long, finished stories to accompany 15 of the story prompts. Use these as inspiration or have students read them as literature in their own right!

Help students explore interesting topics and relevant social issues though the lens of fiction.

  • A smartphone with an amazing new feature. What is it?
  • A sleep demon that punishes students who fall asleep in class
  • A world where everyone interacts through virtual reality, never actually leaving home
  • Bio-engineered babies have become the norm and this couple just won a free psychic baby!

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Outside the Box is the latest Stories Without End book, a collection of science-fiction and fantasy stories for students without endings, leaving students to write their own, drawing on their own creativity. Even the most reluctant writer will find themselves sucked in with this deceptively simple method of getting students to write!

Why science-fiction and fantasy? These genres allow us to grapple with topical and important issues but indirectly and imaginatively. Science fiction shows us places we may go, while fantasy shows us the places we wish we could! Readers grapple with ideas they may have never considered before. And the unfinished stories let them put their own endings on them, exploring worlds they had never dreamed of, while considering themes that touch our real life. This highly flexible, unfinished story model is perfect for teaching reading, creative writing, and discussion. It’s easy to use as a one-time treat or integrate into a larger creative writing unit. Taylor is already using these stories in his classroom to great success!

In addition to the short story prompts, Part II of the book includes unfinished stories paired with finished stories. Students can treat the longer finished stories as models for their own endings. Or use them as stories in their own right.

Features of the Book

  • 20 short unfinished science-fiction and fantasy stories for students.
  • 15 additional paired stories: 1 unfinished and 1 completed. The longer finished stories can be used as examples for student writing or as readings on their own.
  • Each story is supported with questions and vocabulary activities to introduce the story, discussion questions, and a variety of creative projects.
  • Longer stories include comprehension questions and writing questions that can be used as assessments or in class, as well as the vocabulary activity, discussion questions, and creative projects.
  • An appendix of 15 supplemental worksheets to extend the stories. Activities include writing a summary, rewriting the story, creating a fantasy world, and evaluating common sci-fi/fantasy genre elements in a story.

And as if that’s not enough, some of the stories even lack a beginning! They start in the midst of the action, so students can add a beginning and/or an end!

Engage students and get them reading and writing with these creative and innovative unfinished science-fiction and fantasy stories for students.

Download a sample with 3 stories here. 


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