Let each child take the mascot (and a book in which to write) home for a few days at a time.
While they are looking after the mascot, they should write a short story in the book outlining what the mascot has done during its stay with them. When the mascot returns to school, spend some time discussing what it has done and where it has been. A good way of asking children to use their descriptive writing skills is to ask them to invent a new animal.
The following activity is great fun, and usually produces great results, but must be used with caution.
Only try it with a class you are comfortable with, and who you think will cope with the situation.
Argue with them, saying that you have heard differently. Finally, say that as Paul is missing, we will have to make some missing person posters, explaining who Paul is (with a picture so others can identify him!
), where he was last seen and who to contact if he is found.
On the other hand amount of specialized courses, books or even specialized articles on writing is... You know by the character's present-day traits that they had an experience like this, so jump back in time and walk the younger, more innocent version of them along the hard road which made them who they are now. This is never going to get published to the general readership.
It is just some scrap lumber from which you will carve your primitive first attempt at art.
In the back of many books, there are often adverts for other stories.
Why not get the children to choose one of these adverts, and write a story based on the description of the story in the advert.