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Finish Me Stories

Description 

In this prediction activity students will use information from a partially written story as the foundation for the continuation of the story. Students will complete the story by first planning out a sequence of events based on the original story and then using that plan to write the middle and end of the story. The purpose of this activity is to help students understand sequencing of events and character development across time.

Author 

Catherine Ullman-Shade

Learning Strategies 

  • Connecting
  • Inferring
  • Predicting
Skills 
Writing with Fiction Elements

Lesson Plan Stages 

  • Investigation
  • Synthesis

Preparation 

  • Select a story that is either already partially written or use a full story and shorten it.
  • Decide on a desired length of the story students will write. This will often depend on the age/skill level of your particular students.
  • Write a list of sample statements that students could use to make predictions.
  • Create a handout with guidelines for giving feedback.
  • Create a final rubric that you and students will use to evaluate the story.
Activity Steps 
  1. Introduce the Finish Me Stories activity.

    Describe the activity as a fun chance for students to make predictions and write their own ending to a story.

  2. Conduct mini-lesson on making predictions.

    Conduct a mini-lesson on predictions. This is a good opportunity to distinguish between inferences and predictions. Share some sample statements with students and ask them to make predictions based on those statements. You can have fun with these statements if they are relevant and interesting to students.

  3. Students read partial story.

    Explain to students that you will read the beginning of a story together and then they will use that story as their basis for making predictions and writing the middle and ending ofthe story.

  4. Students analyze partial story.

    Students will analyze the partial story.Students can mark up the text bycircling the main characters, underlining events, and writing themes in the margins. Students will use this information later to help make predictions and develop the story arc.

  5. Conduct mini-lesson on arc of a story.

    Conduct a mini-lesson that details for students the concept of a story arc. Remind students that there is a beginning, middle, and end to a story. Also review ways that characters develop over the course of a story.

  6. Students create a story arc.

    Students already have the beginning element of the story arc. Ask them to make predictions for the middle and end of the story. This can be done with a graphic organizer you or the students create. This is where students make predictions in a sequential order. “Character A will do this, and then this,and at the end will be like this.”

  7. Students write draft of their story.

    Students will use their prediction story arcs as a guide to write the rest of the story.

  8. Obtain peer feedback.

    Students will pair up to give and receive feedback on the draft of their story using the rubric. It may be necessary to review your protocols for giving and receiving feedback and reviewing the rubric.

  9. Students write their final draft.

    Students will use peer feedback and their own revisions to write the final draftof their story.

  10. Students self-assess their story.

    Students will assess themselves using a rubric. (You can find many rubrics for short stories by searching online). Remind students that they must explain their ratings using evidence from the written piece.

  11. Showcase stories.

    You have a lot of different options for how you may share or display the students’ stories. One option is to make an online class book that begins withthe partial story and readers canexplore all of the different possible endings that students wrote.

  12. Reflect.

    Student will reflect independently on the process. Questions could include: · How did the partial story influence the writing of your own story? · How did you usepredictions in your story? · How did your story change after the peer feedback or self-assessment? · What did you learn about the writing process from this activity?

Downloadable Resources 
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