Get your students up, moving, and improving writing! In this holiday writing activity, students scoot through eight stations where they employ simple strategies to improve a narrative text (“Alyssa the Elf” or “Alex the Elf”). Themed cards explain specific steps to success: varying sentence beginnings, varying sentence types, varying sentence lengths, choosing words for effect, using figurative language, using active verbs, adding details, and using transition words.
Created by master teacher Brenda Kovich
, this activity is classroom tested and kid approved.
• Directions for the teacher
• Narrative text (two versions)
• Eight cards (each with a proven strategy, suggestions, and examples)
• Themed stationery for writing final paragraph
• Self-check sheet for the student
• Rubric for the teacher
This holiday lesson may be used in multiple ways, but it was created to get students up and moving. Setting up stations, or a “scoot,” works best for me.
• Arrange editing stations around the room. You can use all eight or select the strategies your students need most.
• Provide one or more thesaurus, especially at the word choice and verbs stations.
• Give each student or group the narrative text.
• The number of improvements made at each station is up to you. Here’s where you might differentiate; for example, three changes for advanced writers and two for average.
• Put the students in groups. Assign each group to a station.
• Rotate groups through stations. (They’ll probably need five to ten minutes per station.)
Common Core State Standards for Writing W.3.5, W.4.5, W.5.5 – Editing Writing
Elf clip art was created by Educlips