Language Arts, Writing, Writing Process, Traits of Writing, Oral Language, Speaking
Grade 1- 4
Students work together to write stories. Each student uses creative thinking skills to compose the beginning, middle, or end of a story.
Ask students if they have ever made up stories with their friends with each of you taking a turn to add to the story. Tell them that it can be fun to add to a story that is written by a team of writers.
Here is how to do it with your whole class:
The Story Festival
- Distribute the Team Stories page of story starters to each student. Each student can take out a piece of paper. Students can use one of the story starters to begin their stories. Ask them if they can think of ways to make it interesting. Have students copy the story starter of their choice and then write another paragraph or two to continue the story. They should add a title at the top of their stories.
- When they have finished, have them look carefully to make sure other people will be able to read what you wrote.
- When time is up, have them stop and turn in their stories.
- After you have collected the stories, make copies of what students have written so far.
- Next, on a different day if time is limited, pass out the stories. Each student should have one that someone else wrote.
- Give them time to write the middle part of someone else's story. They should be sure to use the same characters that are in the beginning of the story and decide how it will continue.
- 7.Have them make sure your middle can be read by others and turn it in. Make copies of the new, longer stories.
- Finally, it will be time to write the endings to the stories. Pass out the stories again. Be sure that they get stories that were written by other students.
- Now students have the tough job of writing an ending to stories that they did not start. They should be sure to use the same characters and write an ending that makes sense.
- Collect all of the stories. The entire class can have a story festival, sharing the team stories.
State the title of the first story to be read. The author of that story's beginning will come up to read the whole story. When students hear the titles they wrote, they will go to the front of the class to read the team's story. They may be surprised at what happened to their stories. When students finish reading the whole story, they may wish to tell the class how they thought the story would go and what surprised them about the middle and ending.
When everyone is finished, discuss the stories. Did anyone have trouble continuing a story? Why? Did any story come out just as expected? What were you thinking or feeling as you were writing your story parts? Which was the most fun: the beginning, the middle, or the ending? Which was the easiest to write?
Create report folders with about 10 pages each. Each student can write a story start on the first page and add his or her name to the bottom of the page. Put the folder in a box or on a shelf with story folders for the entire class. When students have some free time, they can take out another folder, add a page to whatever story had been started, and add their name to the bottom of that page. Tell them not to write their pages one after another; but to be sure to allow someone else a turn in between. They can write in as many books as they like. If they wish to, they can add illustrations to the page. Tell them not to forget to read the stories too.
For Younger Students
Have the class, or a team of students, sit in a circle. Allot a time period, and pick a number so that students can try to guess the number. The student who comes closest gets to begin. The first student starts the story by introducing the characters and the setting, begins to tell some of the action, and then stops. The student to his or her left takes up where the first student left off and stops to allow the next student to continue, and so on. Continue as many times around the circle as time allows. (If you use a timer, let students see how much time is left, and it may motivate them to start tying together loose ends to create a conclusion.)
- Team Stories activity sheet