One of my favorite series of such objects to work with is the empty bottle, asking students to journal what "medicines" the bottles originally contained, and then expanding on the concept by writing about how or why those particular medicines might be necessary in their lives at this moment in time.
For my last class though, I had my journaling students study the collage, "Administering the Elixir" imagining not medicine, but messages in each of the bottles. (Cue Sting crooning, "Message in a Bottle ...") journaling which character wrote which message for which bottle. My own answers started off a little snarky, but then warmed up into some pretty good advice. My messages were:
Woodland Fairies with hands on their hips: "We told you so."
Bodyless Head: "Don't get so in your head that you lose your body."
Shaman: "Don't spill your Spirit."
Shadow Guy: "Don't settle for becoming just a shadow of your Greatest Self."
Alchemist Girl: "The perfect mix is out there. Find it. Make it so."
Afterward, I have students pick the message that spoke the loudest to them (either positively, or just as significantly, in a less positive way) and use that sentence as a writing prompt.
So, how about YOU?
What messages do YOU get from the various bottles?
Feel free to share below. :)