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 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 they rectified that in the story. They had a great 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.
- The private jet appears to be the way to go. None of these kids seemed to want to fly coach!
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!” Halfway through 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!
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p.s. Related posts:
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I Appreciate You: 5th Grade Student Gift Idea
I Appreciate You: 5th Grade Student Gift Ideas
Tutors and Teachers Gifts (Day 5), 12 Days of Shopping
12 Days of Shopping: Teacher/Tutor Gifts (Day 5) GIVEAWAY
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.
12 thoughts on “Get Kids Writing with a Progressive Story”
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.
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.
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 🙂
I am going to get 3 journals for my kids; what a great idea! We’ve never done that but I would love for all three to sketch and write a little this summer (or whatever moves them via the blank pages!).
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!
The kids had many famous guests featured in their progressive story! I think their teacher will love it too; she loves reading and writing and had them working hard on that all year! 🙂
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!
Me too! I can’t wait to read Lily’s stories! You will have to share a few when she converts her scribbles to words or video her reading her scribbles!! Your kids are all so creative; you do such a great job encouraging that!
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!
That is such a great idea Laura S! I love the idea of a back and forth email progressive story! I am going to try journals with my kids this summer!
What a fabulous idea!
My kids will love doing this and I can just imagine how proud the teacher must be of this story!
I think the kids had a lot of fun writing their stories too! I think their teacher will love it!