Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Circular Stories

Who: Elementary-aged writers

What: Write a circular story, using Laura Numeroff's If You Give... books as a model.


1. Read several If You Give... books. Since they all follow the same pattern of cause and effect, beginning and ending in the same place, it won't take long to get a feel for the structure of these books.

2. Brainstorm possible characters and adventures. Students can use an Interactive Circle Plot Diagram to plan the story or a simple sheet like this one. The planning phase is very important.

3. Chances are, the story won't work out perfectly during the planning stage, so revision will be essential for reworking the details.  Perfect. It's during revision that writing begins to flourish, so let the revision happen in earnest.

Student Example

If You Take a Cheetah to the Mall

If you take a cheetah to the mall, he'll want to buy some foamy shampoo. When you give him the shampoo, he'll want to take a shower. When he is finished, he'll dry himself off with a big towel. Then he'll roll himself up in the towel and walk around and bump into things. When he bumps into the walls and corners, he'll get cuts and bruises. Then he'll notice his fur is getting smelly and dirty. And, chances are, if his fur gets smelly and dirty, he'll want to go back to the mall and get some more shampoo.

4. If you want to tie grammar into this assignment, teach your students AAAWWUBBIS clauses. See this post for more information.

5. Make the finished story into an illustrated book.

Note: This post contains affiliate links.

1 comment:

  1. You have the most awesome ideas. I think I'm going to start assigning C lessons directly from your blog.


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