Before students write a story, ask them to draw an illustrated map. Visualizing, creating, drawing, painting, coloring, and discussing a map stimulates the imagination in ways that words sometimes cannot.
It worked for Robert Louis Stevenson (1854-1894), who spent a rainy day with his son drawing this map, which inspired his masterpiece Treasure Island:
This marvelous text in Treasure Island came to Stevenson after he drew the map:
“The paper had been sealed in several places with a thimble…The doctor opened the seals with great care, and there fell out the map of an island…shaped…like a fat dragon standing up…three crosses of red ink…”Bulk of treasure here” (Stevenson, p.47).
Stevenson, R.L., (1911). Treasure Island. Illustrations by N.C. Wyeth. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. (Original work published 1883).
Source for map:
Source for text: OpenLibrary.org: https://archive.org/stream/treasureisland00stev#page/46/mode/2up