Collaborative Writing

janetverddorn's picture
Content Area(s):  
Grade Level(s):  
Oregon Common Core State Standards: 
Lesson Plan Details
1 hour

Students will practice writing collaboratively using Scholastic's Story Starter to generate a creative story starter.


The teacher will need:

*laptop with internet access


The students will need:

*laptop with internet access (1 for every pair of students)


Preparation for the teacher will include:

*time to become familiar with the tools in Scholastic's Story Starter

*prepare a handy link to the website (I put one on my classroom blog)


Steps for this lesson:

*review collaborative writing etiquette with class

*pair students to work on laptops

*demonstrate program on teacher laptop (type in first name, spin to get story starter, click next, pick format, show tools)

*allow children to practice using the spin tool that sets up the basic story elements

*spin to set stories for today allowing one section to be changed if desired by writers

*have pairs choose format for story

*allow at least 30 minutes for students to create original short stories

*print stories to share (or allow time for walk-around sharing)


This lesson can be assessed by teacher observation during the collaborative process. The stories can also be printed for further assessment (depending on specific writing skills being emphasized in the classroom) by the teacher.

Oregon Educational Technology Standards
Creativity and Innovation: 
1B. Create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
Communication and Collaboration: 
2A. Interact and collaborate with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
Digital Citizenship: 
5B. Model and practice a positive attitude toward using digital technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.
Career Related Learning Standards
CR4B. Demonstrate skills that improve team effectiveness (e.g., negotiation, compromise, consensus building, conflict management, shared decision making and goal-setting).
John Craft's picture

I wonder if there is a way for students to share out their stories digitally.

jennyharris's picture

I would like to see a list of ideas for the review collaborative writing etiquette with class.  Another step you might include would be to make sure kids understand the different genres that will be presented in the Scholastic site.  The Scholastic site gives some interesting story ideas.

jamiegaskill's picture

This is a brand new program that I am really looking forward to trying. Technology wise, this would be great for a partner podcast, or digital story telling activity. An idea of crosscurricular ideas might be to assign an art project that you could take pictures of, download to iphoto and use in their podcast. 

JoAnn Frazier's picture

I wonder if you can get a good quality short story in 30 minutes.  I love the idea and am very interested in trying this. 

janemarshall's picture

This looks like fun. I can see several follow-up lessons for this that could include editing, expanding, etc. before publishing. Is there a way to incorporate pictures? If not, I suppose students could rewrite their stories in a different format and have even more fun.

Sarah Prudhomme's picture

I don't know if I love the actual story starter prompts on the website, although it would be a fun way to get them excited to have some choice in their writing.  It might be a good way to prepare them for the state writing test, where they don't have much choice in their writing.