Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Scrambled Stories II

Leslie Dobbs

Description

Students use different parts of other students' story outlines to write very unique short stories. This activity allows the students to use their imaginations as they try to put together a story using only the information they are given.

Objectives

The student uses an appropriate organizational pattern having a beginning, middle, end and transitional devices.

The student demonstrates a commitment to and an involvement with the subject that engages the reader.

The student uses an effective organizational pattern and substantial support to achieve a sense of completeness or wholeness (for example, considering audience, sequencing events, choosing effective words; using specific details to clarify meaning).

The student creates a graphic organizer that represents the complex elements of a plot in a literary text.

Materials

--Colored or lined paper (enough for each student to have one sheet)
--Copies of short story graphic organizer (enough so each student has one copy)
--Short story assessment tool

Preparations

1. Review elements of short stories with students.
2. Gather materials listed above.
3. Write examples of story development questions on board or overhead.

Procedures

Day 1
1. Review story elements: character development, setting, and plot. Discuss with the students what the reader will want to know about the setting, the characters, and the plot. Write some questions on the board that the writer should answer in the development of his or her story. The following are some examples you may discuss:
a) Character Development: What does this character look like? How old is this character? What does this character like to do? What are the strengths and weaknesses of this character? What dislikes or pet peeves does this character have? How does this character treat others?
b) Setting: Where does the story take place? In a small town or a large city? In what country? Does it take place on this planet or another world? When does the story take place? In what year(s)? What are some events going on during this time?
c) Plot Development: What is the conflict in the story? What are the events leading up to the climax? What is the climax of the story? How is the conflict solved? What happens after the conflict is solved?

2. Tell the students that they will be writing some very interesting and probably very unique stories. Give them a preview of the assignment: They each will write a graphic organizer for a story and then use that information to describe on special pieces of paper the setting, each character, and the plot of the story. The catch is that the students will write each part of the story outline on a different student's paper. In the end, each student will use his or her original paper and the information from several other students to write a new story outline and a very unique short story!

3. Pass out graphic organizer for writing a short story (associated file.)

4. Instruct students to prepare an outline for a short story idea using the graphic organizer. As the students finish, remind them to review their work and continue to think about and develop their story ideas.

5. When students finish their graphic organizers, pass out colored paper. Have the students write their names at the top, right-hand corner of the papers. Then have the students fold the papers in half, then in half again (so that the paper is divided into four equal parts). You may want to practice this yourself before having the students try it!

6. Instruct students to describe the setting from their story outlines, using the top portion of their papers. Ask that they do not write beyond the first folded mark on their paper. Tell the students they will have approximately five minutes to complete this part of the activity. Ask the students to be as specific as possible and write as much information as they can in the five minutes they will have. Direct students to the questions about setting that you have written on the board.

7. After five minutes, have the students fold their setting information back so that it is folded to the back of the paper and not seen when looking at the front side of the paper. Then have each student pass his or her paper to another student. You may have your students pass their papers back or forward, depending on which you prefer.

8. Instruct the students to now describe one character from their story outline on the current top portion of the paper. Ask the students not to look at the information already written and not to write beyond the first folded mark on their paper. Tell the students they will have five minutes to complete this part of the activity. Again, ask the students to be as specific as possible and write as much information as they can in the five minutes they will have (see the questions about character development on the board).

9. After five minutes, have the students fold their character information back so that it is folded to the back of the paper and not seen when looking at the front side of the paper. The students should now have their papers folded in half. Then have each student pass his or her paper to another student, using the same method you used before.

10. Instruct the students to describe the second character from the story outline on the current top portion of the paper. Ask the students not to look at the information already written and not to write beyond the first folded mark on their paper. Tell the students they will have five minutes to complete this part of the activity. Again, ask the students to be as specific as possible and write as much information as they can in the five minutes they will have (see the questions about character development on the board).

11. After five minutes, have the students fold their character information back so that it is folded to the back of the paper and not seen when looking at the front side of the paper. The students should now have only a quarter of their papers showing. Then have each student pass his or her paper to another student, using the same method you used before.

12. Instruct the students to describe the plot from their story outline on the last (and only visible) portion of the paper. Ask the students not to look at the information already written. Tell the students they will have five minutes to complete this last part of the activity. Again, ask the students to be as specific as possible and write as much information as they can in the five minutes they will have (see the questions about plot development on the board).

13. After five minutes, ask the students to open their papers and pass the papers forward. Collect all the papers.

14. Review the story elements you discussed today. Tell the students that tomorrow you will pass back the papers to the original writers who will then turn the information on their papers into stories!
Day 2
1. Review yesterday's activities with the students. Review the story elements and pass back the papers to the original writers (their names should be at the top of each paper).

2. Pass out another graphic organizer for writing a short story to each student.

3. Instruct the students to prepare a story outline using the graphic organizer and the information given on the papers returned. The students will probably be very excited when they get to read the information for their new story outlines. They may also be worried about how to make the different information fit together in one story. Instruct the students to use only the information they have been given and to have some fun with the story! Also take a moment and discuss your criteria for the stories. Remind students about editing and encourage them to peer review the stories as well as to proof read their own. Use the short story assessment to help (associated file.) Remind the students that they will need to follow the guidelines for writing a short story, even though their stories may be unusually creative.

4. You may wish to allow students to finish this story for homework or you may give them two or three days to work on the story. How long the students have to finish stories will depend on how long their stories need to be.

Assessments

The students will write short stories that will be assessed using the assessment tool attached.

Extensions

This lesson takes a different approach to story writing. The students will have to use different parts of other students' story outlines to write a very unique short story. This activity allows the students to use their imaginations as they try to put together the information they are given and write a true short story.
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