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Place your students in groups of 5. Give each student in the group one of the 5 major starting points to write individually:
1. a character (give him/her a name)
2. an action
3. a place or location
4. a time of day or night (and the weather)
5. a descriptive word describing a person (a character)
Now have the group work together to combine the list into one sentence. They must also include one or more adjectives and one or more adverbs. They may change any of the 5 elements to fit a good storyline, but they can't eliminate any.
Students then write a short (3 pp.) story explaining how the character got into the situation and how it was resolved.
Write each starter on a separate slip of paper so that students can't see each other's target word until they start to write the starter sentence together.
On a long piece of paper, the first student writes a follow-up sentence to the story, then passes the paper on to the next student.
Students may also each write a sentence to follow-up to the starter, and then choose the best one. They then continue writing 5 more sentences, etc.
Have students read 10 Ways to Jump-Start Your Plot. Each group decides which type of continuation will best fit their starter.
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