Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Silly Nilly

Laura Childers
Santa Rosa District Schools


Through teaching the short story elements, students develop their own creative stories with a life lesson and illustrate them by putting together pictures.


The student drafts and revises writing that: is focused, purposeful, and reflects insight into the writing situation; has an organizational pattern that provides for a logical progression of ideas; has effective use of transitional devices that contribute to a sense of completeness; has support that is substantial, specific, relevant, and concrete; demonstrates a commitment to and involvement with the subject; uses creative writing strategies as appropriate to the purpose of the paper; demonstrates a mature command of language with precision of expression; has varied sentence structure; and has few, if any, convention errors in mechanics, usage, punctuation, and spelling.

The student writes fluently for a variety of occasions, audiences, and purposes, making appropriate choices regarding style, tone, level of detail, and organization.


-Writing Utensil
-Glue sticks


1. Teacher should have previously taught the elements of a short story, such as plot line, theme, characterization, etc.
2. Create a model not only for the picture but also for the writing assignment for students, so they can understand the assignment. Make sure the model meets the criteria listed in the assessment box.
3. Locate as many magazines as you can of different types. These will be cut up.


1. Tell students they will be developing a short story based on pictures they cut and paste together to make a different picture.

2. Tell students that they are to find two or more different pictures or parts.

3. Show your sample of a combined picture so that students will have a better understanding. (For instance, my example is a dog on a moped and a sheep in a dress.)

4. Explain to the students that they are their own artists and that they are to paste the different parts together to make a completely different picture.

5. Tell students that on a separate sheet of paper, they are to write a story according to the elements of the plot line previously taught. Share the criteria (found in the assessment box) with students.

6. Tell students that the story has to have a life lesson, such as -Beauty is only skin deep,- -Don't judge a book by its cover,- or any other aphorism. Verbally quiz students to make sure that they understand what an aphorism is and how it must correspond with the story and the picture.

7. Share your story that you have written as a model.

8. Inform students that their stories will be read out loud.

9. Once completed, stories should be placed around the room.

10. At first, ask for volunteers to read their stories, and then have students guess which picture matches the story and life lesson.

11. Teacher assesses short stories. (See assessment.)


Stories should be assessed individually according to the following criteria:

-Picture accurately illustrates the story written.

-Story has an organizational method to the plot line
(introduction of characters, setting, rising action, climax, etc.).

-Story has a detailed conflict where the reader understands what the conflict is and how it affects all of the characters involved.

-Story has a resolution or reader realizes the life lesson.

-Story has a life lesson that is clear, and it makes sense.

-Story is focused and does not go off topic.

-Story has details of characters (actions, thoughts, dialogue).

For each component, a three-point span is given:
3-excellent, demonstrates mastery of this characteristic
2-needs improvement in that area
1-does not show an understanding of this component

If this is the first or even second time students have done this activity, provide extensive feedback for improvement and allow students to rewrite their stories before final assessment.


Allow students to orally share their stories in groups of four. The story that is deemed the -best- by the group can then be shared with the whole class.
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