Expanding a writing piece

This makes for a great activity to include in sub plans or a filler activity, and is a way for students to create their own embedded reading.

Begin with a short story without many details. I usually type up one of my student’s Free Writes and give them credit for it at the top of the paper (you should correct their errors while you type). I try to have copies of one such Free Write on hand at all times as a back-up plan or filler activity.

Give one copy to each student in the class with one of more of these directions (or a variation on one of them):

  1. Add at least one detail to every sentence of (student’s) story.
  2. After every three sentences, add one more sentence to make the story more descriptive or interesting.
  3. Add one adjective to every noun.
  4. Add two new words to each sentence.
  5. Add three sentences to the end of the story to make a new ending.
Have the students add their information to the original piece, then submit it. Before the next class (or the next class in which you want to work on it, anyway!), go through the expanded texts and choose at least one addition from each student’s piece to make a master copy. Share the new, expanded text with the class, personalizing and circling.
You can also use this activity to extend a story that you’ve told in class; give students the text and give them one of the directions to expand it as well!
Here are two readings that I’ve used before, and you are welcome to use them if you do not wish to type up your own. Remember, they were student-created (sometime in Spanish A last year)–it’s okay if they are a little goofy!!
El gato no tiene amigos
El gato tiene dieciséis años. El lobo tiene diecisiete años. El ratón tiene diez años. El ratón y el lobo van al parque. El gato está triste. El gato llora. El lobo y el ratón están feliz. El lobo y el ratón son amigos. El gato no tiene amigos. El gato quiere amigos. Pobre gato. El gato habla con el lobo y el ratón, pero el lobo y el ratón no quieren hablar.
El lobo y la vaca
Hay un chico. El chico no es una persona. El chico es un lobo. El lobo está enojado. El lobo está enojado porque su comida es mala. El lobo llora. De repente, una vaca pasa enfrente del lobo. El lobo mira la vaca. La vaca es muy rápida pero el lobo es más rápido. El lobo agarra la vaca y come la vaca. La vaca es deliciosa. El lobo no está enojado ahora; el lobo está contento.

4 comments

    • I love that idea!! I am definitely going to use that in the future. I like it because, as you said, it opens a HUGE door for expansion, and because it is a good opportunity to discuss the elements of literature, thereby reinforcing Language Arts standards. Thanks for sharing!

      Like

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