Talking What?

 In Bare Book, Grades 1 - 5

Students write a story using inanimate objects as characters.

Level: Grades 2-5
Originated by: Treetop Publishing


Think of the story, “The Brave Little Toaster” by Thomas Disch, Disney’s animated movie, “Beauty and the Beast” and Pixar’s “Cars”. They all had characters that were not human, but very interesting and fun. What are some objects around us that would make interesting characters?


  • Try not to have too many characters – four or five should be sufficient for a story.
  • Make the characters sound real by giving them suitable names that you can relate, such as Slim, (the mop), Telly (the phone), Chilly (the refrigerator), etc.
  • Try to give the characters personality in the things they do; being clumsy, happy, grumpy, tidy, talkative, etc.
  • Decide if your characters will wear clothes or no clothes and only hats or other accessories?
  • Will your characters have genders, or what kind of personifications will you use?
  • How about mixing character types – not all indoor or all outdoor items, not all appliances or tools, etc.
  • Where will your story take place?
  • Will you lead your characters outside of their natural environment?
  • How will your characters relate to humans?
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