Twistaplot
Story 

Project Summary
Students in two or more classrooms pass a story from class to class... each class adding the next plot section... to see what unpredictable story results. This activity has been enjoyed by students across town from one another, across the United States, and across the ocean. It is an excellent way to discuss the importance of continuity, character development, mood and setting in fictional writing. The first time this activity was tried in 1984, it took place between two junior highs in the same school district. The students at the two schools had always felt that they were rivals of one another, and they were very different. After participating in this project and producing a great story together, their opinions changed, and the students begged to be allowed to participate in more collaborative projects.

Suggested Grade Level and Audience
3rd through 12th

Estimated Time Required
1-6 weeks

Student Learning Objectives

  • To introduce the concepts of plot, setting, character development and continuity
  • To provide a creative writing experience
  • To practice writing, editing and revising
  • To reinforce word processing skills
  • To communicate with a distant audience
  • To engage in electronic transfer of information

Writing Prompt

Writing Situation
This projects lets you join your creative ideas with students in other places to write an original, unpredictable and spell binding story.

The first paragraph is written for you. Your task is to write the next section and pass it on to the next group.

The more participants that we have, the more twists the story might take.

As this story will be read by many others, PLEASE edit your spelling and punctuation.

Try to keep the story flowing. Make the events that you write about, fit in with what was written previously. If you introduce new characters... describe them to the readers. Remember, you need to give the reader as much information as possible.

In several weeks, we will announce that it is time to end the story. At that time, we will solicit endings... and the best one submitted will be chosen as the official ending.

TEACHER HINT: The Twistaplot experience works best when you guide students in a discussion of how the story should proceed. Conduct a brain storming session and help students state their original suggestions in a way that will make sense to the next reader.

Directions for Writing
Here is the starter paragraph

One day the students of Jefferson Junior High were sitting in the computer learning center, when all of a sudden they heard a strange whirring sound coming from behind them. The teacher stopped giving instructions and the entire class turned and stared at the computers. No one had turned them on, yet they were buzzing and beeping and all the monitors were lit up. Suddenly across one of the screens a message popped up which said...TURN ME ON...TURN ME ON! What kind of joke is this? thought the teacher. So, she went over and turned the power on, and what happened next was really amazing! The computers...

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