Nancy's Books

Sunday, October 25, 2009

First Aid Kit for Short Story Writing/Alphabet Chart

This week I'm posting two writing activities, one for older students and another for the younger groups. Many of the writing activities I post can be altered to work for most age groups simply by altering the length or details of each piece. Sometimes, I will address activities geared solely toward the younger students.


First Aid Kit for Short Story Writing

Preventative treatment keeps our bodies healthier and the same practice applies to our writing. With a little planning, we can gain a better understanding of our stories before we put pencil to paper or fingers to keyboards. Our stories will reach tip-top shape with less revision. Work smarter, not harder, right?

Complete the following prescription to give your story a boost.

Who are the characters? How old are they? List each. [In a short story, use no more than four characters. Two or three will probably work better.]
How will your story begin?
How will your story end? [Figure out the ending before you start writing the story. The character that has the problem must solve the problem without help from adults. Spend more time on the beginning and ending than the middle of the story.]
Where will your story take place?
When will your story take place?
What will happen in your story? [If you’re writing a short story, write about one event. Start with a problem. Add three situations that keep the character from reaching the goal or solving the problem; then have the character solve the problem.]
Give the story a title.

After you write your story, read through it slowly. Look for ways to improve the writing so the reader can understand it. Let a friend read the story. If there is something the reader doesn’t understand, you may need to rewrite that part.

For Younger Students:

Young students love to move. Put those actions into a constructive mode in the form of a trip around the school or playground. Stop in different areas and instruct students to look for and identify people, places and things that are part of the school community. Give each student a clipboard with an Alphabet chart and a pencil to use during the outing. Students will draw or write observations, such as a flag. Write the letters f-l-a-g by the “f” on the alphabet chart or draw a flag. Encourage students to write words phonetically and not worry about correct spelling while on the trip. Students should try to find several items to represent various letters of the alphabet. Allow time for sharing when the group returns to the classroom.

Do you have a first-aid kit for writing? If so, pass it along. I’d love to hear from you.

Next week, I’m writing about visual images.

1 comment:

  1. Your prescription for writing here is potent and helpful. Adult short story authors can also benefit from these suggestions. Adding three roadblocks is a handy tool. Thanks Nancy!

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