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Story Starter: Pass the Bag

本文作者: Sarah Sahr
期号:279  阅读数:416
Creative writing is one of the best ways to get to know your students. Once students are comfortable enough in English to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), a wealth of teaching and learning opens up. The lesson plan here might present a new writing procedure that takes your students beyond the basics.


Students will be able to construct a story using story starters,vocabulary, and inspiration from other students.


Students will create word lists describing various household items.Students will write a complete paragraph.


Intermediate Adults or Secondary Students

Teacher Materials:

Brown paper bags, notebook paper

Student Materials:

One household item, recording devices (optional)

Lesson Preparation

Student preparation: Ask each student to bring a household item from home. It is important that students bring something they would be able to create a story around, so it should have some personal meaning. It is also important that students keep their household item secret.

Teacher preparation: Prepare enough brown paper bags for each student in class. A piece of notebook paper with these categories listed at the top should be stapled to each paper bag:


1. 1. 1. 1.

2. 2. 2. 2.

3. 3. 3. 3.

Introduction (10 minutes)

As students enter the classroom, give each person a brown paper bag with the paper attached to it. Once seated, students should draw a symbol on the bag to identify it as their own—but they should not write their names.

Next, do a quick review of parts of speech, especially nouns,verbs, adjectives, and prepositions.

Brainstorming (20–25 minutes)

Step 1: Once students have recalled the various parts of speech, have them place their household items into their brown paper bags and fold the top. It is best if student did this without other students seeing the items. Have students put their bagged items on a table.

Step 2: Each student should now take someone else’s brown bag back to his or her desk. Once all students have a bag, allow them to open it, look at the item and write as many words on the notebook paper as they can under each category.

Step 3: Once everyone has had time to write some words down, the bag should be passed to another student. Students should refuse their own bag. The next students should look into the bag and write down any additional words on the notebook paper they can think of, making sure the words are under the proper categories.

Step 4: Students need to find their original bag and take it back to their desk. Once everyone is seated again, have students remove the item and detach the notebook paper from the bag.

Preparing to Write & Writing (15 minutes)

Take a few moments to remind students of what makes a good paragraph: 4–7 sentences, topic sentences, supporting details, conclusion, etc. Using the household item and the lists of words as inspiration, students are to write a paragraph about their household item. Make sure to let students know what your main focus in marking will be (e.g., vocabulary use, subject-verb agreement, paragraph mechanics). Remind students often during the lesson of the main focus.

Editing (10 minutes)

One of the best editing tools is to have students read their writing out loud. Here are two great options to do this:

1. Pair students up and have them read their paragraphs aloud to each other. As one student reads, the other student can take notes on any errors and share his or her findings after the reading.

2. For students who like to keep their writing private, a digital recorder can be used. A student should record his or her own readings and listen back. On the play back, the student would take note of any errors that need to be fixed.

Closing (5 minutes)

In marking the papers, there are several areas to consider for assessment: individual writing styles, proper use of words, grammar, continuity and tone of the paragraph, mechanics, etc.
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