Friday, August 13, 2010


This is a fabulous writing activity.  Get a small recipe box with cards.  I had a wooden one that the lid lifted off.  The kids loved it.  Put one ingredient on each card.  You can separate the ingredients in groups like:
1.  WHO or WHAT - nouns - people, animals, things
2.  WHERE - the place
3.  DID WHAT - the action
4.  WHEN - time
5.  WHY - reason

or just bunch the cards in one group like I did.  This depends on what your expectations are for your age group.
a pirate, a white rabbit, a rocking chair, a pizza palace, a pocket, a robber, 7 blind mice, a telephone call, a balloon, a bow and arrow, red sports car, a lizard, an apple, a treasure, a gold earring, three peanuts, a pizza, a crayon, a whale, a bathtub, a pancake, a leaky pipe, a saxophone, a check for a million dollar, a glass of water, a snowstorm, a bathing suit, one tennis shoe, an airport, a dog, a basket of apples, one frog, two lollipops, one cold day, one dog a bowl of water, sunshine, a ghost, 1/2 a sandwich, a school gym, an elephant, a doorbell, the postman, two white mice, a bowl of cereal, a newspaper, a classroom, a frog, the principal, a pair of glasses, a letter, a star, one boy, one tree, a spaceship, cheese pizza, lightning, a paper cup with a hole...just some that were in my box.
There are several ways to approach this project.  First, shuffle the cards and have a student pick three for you.  Have another student read what the three items are.  Wait until the students finish laughing and talking-if they don't see the situation, make a big deal out of it.  Have the students give situations that involve two of the three items.  You make list these on a chart paper.  Then start writing the story on the board with the students' input.  This models what you expect from the project.
Shuffle the cards again and have students pick one at a time.  After everyone has one, then go through and have them pick the second card.  Continue until everyone has three cards.  If someone is stumped and wants to tell the three items and get ideas, they can, or trade in one card.  But, I would limit the trading-it might hinder the writing time.
When students are finished with the writing, the teacher can proof it.  I would proof according to your age group.  By third grade, some skills I expected: the story to flow, to have a beginning and an ending, capitals and periods where appropriate, spelling, and some description using adjectives.  When proofed the students can color.
Put on the website, in a class book for students to enjoy through out the year, and finally in the Journal/Memory Books.  The recipe box can be put in a center for a writing project.

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