This activity is great for Back-to-School and throughout the year to practice all aspects of narrative writing. It’s high-interest/low-pressure and produces some of the most entertaining stories you’ll see all year. If your students have a tendency to say, “I don’t know what to write,” this activity will help them overcome writer’s block by setting them up with randomly chosen narrative elements (characters, setting, events/conflicts/adventures).
It is Common Core aligned with grades 4 - 8, but I've done this activity with 2nd graders several times, and they loved it, too. The basic premise is similar to improv comedy. To be absolutely clear, this is an activity to practice writing skills and does not include formal "how-to" writing lessons. Plot diagram and summary lessons will be available in my store later this fall. To receive notifications, follow me by clicking the star above.
How to use the activity:
- In groups, partners, or individually.
(For Back-to-School, I found it was a great first-week activity to get students
acclimated to working in groups while dusting the cobwebs off those writing
- Sub plans
- To varying degrees of rigor, multiple times a year
(Depending on the options you choose, you could this activity could be completed in as little as 1-2 days up to two weeks or more if students film their stories. Typically, I chose versions that lasted a week or less, but focused on different areas each time: collaboration/presentation; plot & summary; peer revising; storytelling with PowerPoint, etc. When time and technology allowed, I would have students film their stories, which took 2-3 weeks.)
What you’re getting:
- Directions for two versions of the activity: Original and Extended for
- Center Cards (see product images for an example)
- Peer Narrative Feedback Form
- Narrative Writing Checklists for self and peer revising: Student copy versions + explanation included.
Three examples are included for beginning, mid, and pro levels. (Student versions are in PDF and in Word so you can easily modify.)
- Plot Diagram Template:
(Please note: There is no lesson included for teaching how to complete plot diagrams, but one will be coming in 2015. Follow my store to receive notification.)
- Plot Diagram Peer Rubric:
Student copy versions + explanation included. Student versions are in PDF and in Word so you can easily modify.
- Summary Peer Rubric:
Student copy versions + explanation included. Student versions are in PDF and in Word so you can easily modify. (Please note: There is no lesson included for teaching summary writing, but one will be coming in September 2014. Follow my store to receive notification.)
- Storyboard Template
If you like this activity, you might also be interested in:
Persuasive Writing: How-to Lessons on Process
Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing Prompts
Plot Diagrams, Summary, and Writing Activities
Expository/Informative/Explanatory Writing Unit
Essay Writing Lessons Bundle