December 31, 2013

Story Starter Challenge

Win a Free Print of this image as well as critical thinking graphic organizers!

Simply watch the short video and answer the questions below, it’s that easy.

The first person to answer all three questions correctly will win an 11×17 color print and all of my corresponding graphic organizers.  My last winner was in Australia, so who knows!

Hint: When playing the video, use full screen mode to see all of the details…

A strong wind travels through the valley, blowing leaves across the sky.  As they begin their journey, the power of nature continues to turn.  Where is the energy of life coming from? Will nature and industry collide? The Volunteers Story Starter image gives your students much to ponder.


The Volunteers Story Starter writing prompt

 The winner will receive:

  • The Volunteers 11×17 print
  • The Volunteers Critical Thinking Questions, Grades 4-6 (PDF)
  • The Volunteers Critical Thinking Questions, Grades 7-8 (PDF)
  • Express Yourself, Creating Mood in Your Story, graphic organizer
  • Share, Write, Draw Graphic Organizer
  • Symbolism Graphic Organizer



Answer these three questions in the comments section below for your chance to win this illustration:


1. There is a quote etched into the cog on the right side of the image.  What is the quote and who said it?

2. How does the number 1865 relate to the image?

3. Why is the image called The Volunteers?

The first person to answer all three questions correctly will win- try it!

Download my free eBook, "How to Use Art to Inspire Creative Writing". I hope it helps you the way it has helped my students.
I've compiled numerous tips and techniques to get the best creative writing from your students. Get them to think critically!
Your personal information will not be shared in any way and you can unsubscribe at any time.


  1. Our senses enable us to perceive only a minute portion of the outside world.
    nikola tesla

    regarding 1865 i will guess it relates to the image as it is one date given to teslas birth year though most sources say it is actually 9 years earlier – 1856, might want to check that, i think the 1856 is a touch of internet dyslexia that just sort of caught on.

    I believe the image is called the volunteers because they are the representations of the progress of energy, first seen by the cow as the volunteer of the conversion of her manual movement into energy by turning mechanical gears
    then through the volunteering of the “leaves” which i will guess to be electro static or electro magnetic energy in the air which the coils are using to produce and distribute energy. As was one of Teslas dreams of transmitting energy wirelessly over great distances in essence without a source, though it at least somewhat breaks the thermodynamic law of no free lunch. Alas jp morgan would NOT ‘volunteer’ any more of his money to this idea – so we still sit in 2014 and wonder.

  2. Wow Gary- you totally got it! Yes to the first two questions, and unfortunately there are discrepancies about his birth date. He is a fascinating person though and I wish ore people knew about his work.
    As for the name, plants who “grow without being seeded, planted, or cultivated by a person; springing up spontaneously,” are called volunteers. You’ll notice that the cities are also springing up through the ground.
    There are themes of energy, resources, progress and nature. Facebook me your address and I’ll mail you the image!

Submit a Comment