In today’s episode I teach one of my favorite beginning story writing techniques—giving students two paragraphs from a familiar story that they get to finish. (In this case, these came from Jump Start I (semester long book) and Write On, Mowgli (one month writing book).)

My students love this project! They can pick any two-paragraph-scene starter from several that I give them. Then they use pre-writing boxes to lay out what they want to happen in the scene/how they want to “finish the scene.”

Even though the story is familiar and each scene ends in a certain way in the original book or movie, the students get to end the scene in any way they want to.

So much fun! So much excitement! So much joy for this teacher!

There are many benefits to this approach:
1) Short amount of writing–two paragraphs given for them, and they add two paragraphs to finish that scene. (You can have older students do more scenes or more paragraphs for each scene as desired.)
2) Usually the story is familiar to them.
3) The setting, characters, obstacles, etc., are all given for them already in the first two paragraphs we give them.
I think you’ll hear the excitement in my voice as I explain this method—and I think you’ll love the ease of teaching story writing through this as well!