get kids writing with progressive story, teacher gift idea

Get Kids Writing with a Progressive Story

My son’s third grade class came up with the best idea for a teacher gift! A progressive story! Using Google Docs, each child wrote one or two paragraphs of a story about their teacher before passing it on. You needed to read the story before you could add your own, so it was also a nice way to get kids reading their peers’ writing! Genius!

The room mother who arranged this wonderful gift and I thought all the factoids the kids learned about their teacher all year were very funny.

John Lennon of Beatles poster

John Lennon has a prominent spot on the classroom door! I’m glad he figures into the progressive story!

  • Her parents never took her to Hershey Park so the rectified that in the story. They had great trip chocolate filled trip there.
  • Musical artists figure into their classroom talk. Apparently their teacher is fond of Justin Timberlake and the Beatles. Personal appearances, and concerts were lavished on their class in their story.
  • Private jet appears to be the way to go. None of these kids seemed to want to fly coach!

getting kids writing with progressive story

My son doesn’t write on his own. He might draw a little but his preferred way to entertain himself at home is parked in front of a screen either playing games or watching TV or videos on the computer.

At first, he had a slow start on his contribution to the story. A half hour of prompting and nagging yielded a single sentence: “Miss Donahue told us that we would be going to Disneyland in California and we will be getting a tour from Walt Disney. “

Apparently, he had written a paragraph, deemed it unworthy and deleted it. Oh the pressure of a progressive story! I insisted that he HAD TO FINISH NOW since we had the story for 3 days already and the other kids needed to write their paragraphs. Did I mention that there are only 7 days left of school?!

So he buckled down. The more he wrote, the more he got into it. He needed help with punctuation. “How do you do quotes Mom?” he asked.

And this is his final contribution:

A Progressive Story 

Miss Donahue told us that we would be going to Disneyland in California and we will be getting a tour from Walt Disney. We took a private jet there. Our first stop was Space Mountain and everyone loved it.Everyone was laughing and screaming and having fun. “And everyone knows there are many rides at Disneyland,”Walt Disney said, “so…let’s go to another ride! All the kids cheered and gave suggestions: “Indiana Jones,” “Star Tours,” “Space Blasters,” kids shouted out.

“Let’s let Miss Donahue decide,” said Walt Disney. “Um…,” said Miss Donahue, “George* you decide.” “Indiana Jones!” George* said. “Then let’s get going,” Walt Disney said. “Oh, we only have time for one more ride,” said Miss Donahue. “I don’t want your parents to get worried.”  “That’s okay!” everyone shouted. “You’re the best class ever!” said Miss Donahue. So we went to the Indiana Jones ride. We got to cut the line because of Walt Disney. About 1/4 through the girls were already screaming and the boys were like “awesome!”Half way though the girls were screaming for their lives and the boys were like “this is the coolest ride ever!”And after the ride the girls were gasping for their breath and the boys were talking about how extremely awesome the ride was. After we said “thank you” to Walt and took a swarm of helicopters back wondering what we would do tomorrow.

*name changed for privacy

I’m going to see if he will write a goofy, silly story back and forth with a friend this summer. I hope to get him writing more. It’s fun to read his creations and it would be nice to keep him off screens!

What about you? Can you get your kids to write for fun? Please share your ideas!

p.s. My next idea to try out … having my kids write postcards to anyone!

Follow PragmaticMom’s board Reading & Writing Fun on Pinterest.

get kids writing with progressive story, teacher gift idea

Follow PragmaticMom’s board Reading & Writing Fun on Pinterest.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Children enjoy writing so much more when they are given a picture or a prompt that they choose. It is amazing to see just how creative a child can be when not assigned a subject to write about.

    • Hi Barbara,
      I noticed with my son that he needs a little push to get started but then he’s off to the races on his own. He’s not used to writing for fun so he needs that push to get started. I want to try to get him writing more this summer as a fun activity so I’m be experimenting with ideas to get him going.
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Plimoth Plantation: Learning About the PilgrimsMy Profile

  2. Ann

    Love your son’s contribution, sounds like quite an adventure. My daughter likes to write for fun but my son is more like yours. I’m having them keep journals this summer. I am trying to get him excited by doing fun things that he can then write about. We’ll see how it goes 🙂
    Ann recently posted…Bird PlayMy Profile

  3. I imagine this was the best gift ever the teacher received. She will treasure those stories for years. Kudos to the mother who thought up the idea. I loved that she encouraged the kids to write and use their imaginations. I laughed at your son’s entry –Walt Disney taking them on a private tour — he would have smiled. Now there’s a PB in that Mia! What a great post!
    Patricia Tilton recently posted…Fly AwayMy Profile

  4. I wouldn’t turn down a private jet to Disney!

    This is a very fun writing idea! Emma loves to write; Johnny maybe not as much. Lily writes a lot of scribbles that only she can read, but given that they represent pretty complex plots I think she will enjoy writing!
    maryanne recently posted…Setting Monthly Goals: July 2014My Profile

  5. What a fun idea! I’m having my daughter write in a journal everyday – which she has, thankfully, embraced. I think she’s enjoying seeing the written-on pages getting thicker as the summer progresses. But I’m going to suggest to her friend’s mom, that they could perhaps do an email back and forth and create their own progressive story! Thanks for helping us switch things up a bit!
    Laura S. recently posted…PLAYING THE ACCORDION: Thoughts on Trying New ThingsMy Profile

  6. What a fabulous idea!
    My kids will love doing this and I can just imagine how proud the teacher must be of this story!
    katepickle recently posted…25 Alternatives to “Good Job”My Profile

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge