When I do writing retreats, another writing exercise I deploy is an activity called INK BLOTS. I print off color ink blot images from Google (check the copyrights) and laminate. Number each of the cards with its own number.
Students sit in a formation that allows them to pass the laminated cards and write comfortably.
Start with students holding one card. Students write the number of the inkblot they are holding and then write a sentence or two description of what they see.
This activity is done silently. You do not want to tarnish or influence someone else’s interpretation.
At the end of the rotation, you can show a couple of the ink blots and have students share with partners or small groups their interpretation.
After sharing, students take one of their descriptions and write with those sentences as a beginning and then formulate a story.
This is an opportunity for the leader or teacher to write with the students. They are always interested in what your interpretations are as well!