Today at writing time, I told the students a story. "I went to my friends' camp. I went paddleboarding. It was fun."
We all agreed that it was a pretty boring story, so I told it again.
"One beautiful summer day, I went to my friends' camp on a pond in Maine. I could see the sparkling clear blue water of the lake and hear the call of loons across the water. . . ." The class liked the second version better. I then asked them to turn and talk with a friend, describing the setting of the story they are currently writing. A little later, I asked them to look to the beginnings of their own stories to see if they could add some details about the setting.