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Creative Writing: Collaborative Story Writing (elementary)

Last changed: 05/29/2019 10:03am
3 , 4 , 5 Theatre Visual Art
Visual Art English
Both Grade Level and Arts/PE Program Alignment
1 60 min
1 60 min
In-School Workshop
All year
$10 0
$200 0
no Phone , In-Person , Email
All copies and hand-outs, visual images, all other materials
pen/pencil and writing paper
Regular classroom with desks (or floor space) where students can write and work together in small groups
1. I can interpret a visual image of a pair of shoes by imagining style, location, age of owner, and as a result think creatively to create a complex character with external and internal traits. 2. I can work collaboratively with other students to create a short story and understand narrative structure to create beginning, middle, and end. 3. I can write a short story based on my imagined character and think from someone else's point of view
(Example of time frame for 60 minute class. Can be adapted as needed) In To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch says to Scout, “You never really understand a person, until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
In this one-day workshop, students will create fictional characters from the ground up, literally from an image of a pair of shoes. They will use these characters in creating a short story of their own while working collaboratively in groups of three.
Sample time:
8-8:10: Introduce The Great CT Caper, a serialized mystery book published by CT Humanities Center for the Book, and written and illustrated by twelve Connecticut authors (including the teaching artist) and twelve artists. Discussion of exquisite corpse style of collaborative writing follows.
8:10-8:15: Students move into groups of three and teaching artist displays various images of shoes collected from magazines. Discusses quote from To Kill a Mockingbird and explains we will be developing our main character for our collaborative stories from the image of a pair of shoes.
8:15-30: Each group chooses one image to bring back to their table. Together the students will work to complete a worksheet answering questions about their imagined character's external and internal characteristics, such as what is their biggest secret, worst fear, favorite food, typical day, dream...
8:30-8:35: Groups may share their main characters with the class. A brief discussion of narrative structure follows including elements of what makes the beginning, middle, and end of a story. Next, each student will have 7 minutes to write the beginnings of their story.
8:35-8:42: Each student writes the beginning of their story based on the line “It was going to be a big day for X.” After the allotted time, the students pass their paper to the person next to them.
8:43-8:50: Each student then reads their new beginning and writes the middle of the new story passed to them based on the line "But as X discovered, there was a major problem"
8:51-8:58: Each student writes the end of the third story passed to them from the line "X knew what he/she had to do"
8:58: Pass papers back to original writer of the beginning and have a chance to read full stories. Each group will have three completed stories based on their main character. The teaching artist will circle around the room assisting the students while writing.
Final recap, students may share their experiences and surprise at how their stories ended up and reflect on the collaborative writing experience.

Grade 3

Grade 3: Writing Standards: Text Types and Purposes #3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences
Grade 3: Visual Arts: Anchor Standard 7: Perceive and analyze artistic work. Determine messages communicated by an image.

Grade 4

Grade 4: Writing Standards: Text Types and Purposes #3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
Grade 4: Visual Arts: Anchor Standard 7: Perceive and analyze artistic work. Analyze components in visual imagery that convey messages.

Grade 5

Grade 5: Writing Standards: Text Types and Purposes #3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences (a-e).
Grade 5: Visual Arts: Anchor Standard 7: Perceive and analyze artistic work.Identify and analyze cultural associations suggested by visual imagery.