Writing and Scoot - what fun! | Mentoring in the Middle

Writing and Scoot - what fun!

Before school started, I found a fun activity from Yearn to Learn called Swap the Squiggle Writing; it looked like fun and it was free.  I wasn't sure where or when I would use it, but boy, am I glad I tried it out.

Here's what we did.  I gave them each a different squiggle drawing and gave them one minute to start drawing.  Then, when the timer went off, they had to move one seat to their right.  We continued that until five different hands had been on the drawing.  The kids had fun seeing how their drawings changed from what they'd started out with, and they were giggling and laughing when they got back to their pictures.
I don't know if I would have come up with an animal's nose for this picture, but I thought this one was great! Of course, another student added fighter planes up in the left-hand corner, so that changed the way this story would have to unfold.

I told the students that this was the book jacket to their new book.  Now, they had to write the first paragraph of the book, the one that would really grab me and make me want to keep reading.  Since we'd already spent some time talking about choosing books, and what makes books appealing to them, most of them knew exactly what I was looking for.

The activity was so much fun that I asked them if they wanted to keep writing.  Most of them did, so they're going to continue writing and create the first chapter of their book.  The ones who weren't as thrilled about how their pictures turned out will be able to write about other things.  Through this, I'm planning to teach more about the writing process, about keeping the same tense in writing, elaborating on details when needed, good sentence construction, and anything else I think they need to focus on.

I am really tickled about how this random "Oh, this looks like fun" activity turned out!  There's nothing like a creative writing piece to get kids going, and it's not every day that I hear kids giggling and laughing to themselves as they try to match their stories to their pictures.

Does my heart good!

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