In this activity, your students will work on creating mini narratives based on the words that are randomly generated.
Objective(s) of activity:
Learn about narrative structure by coming up with simple stories.
However, the narrative that you come up with must include a jumble of words that you randomly pick out from the dictionary.
Do an online search for a random word generator.
I found a decent one here which allows you to specify number of syllables, starting/ ending letters and so on. For this activity, you can just pick any 8 words without any of these criteria.
Pick out about 8 words from the dictionary or the random word generator.
If you are using a physical dictionary, you can flip to a random page and get an age-appropriate word from that page.
Using a random word generator online, I picked out the following 8 words.
As with the dictionary, you can select words that you think can be woven into a story more easily with a random word generator. But you do not want to make it too easy.
This is also a great opportunity for vocabulary building as you explain words that come up that your students are not familiar with.
The next step is to come up with a general narrative that must include all 8 words. You can allow different inflections for the chosen words.
Using the words above, this is the short narrative I came up with:
You can do this activity as a competition where groups of students race to come up with a narrative first.
The first group to come up with a narrative can be given 5 points whereas the other groups can be given 3 points.
You can then generate a new set of 8 words for the students to create a new narrative.
You can also award more points for more interesting or creative stories.
Notes for scaling up/ down difficulty:
The difficulty level for this activity can be increased or decreased by just increasing/ decreasing the number of words that have to be incorporated into the story.
Another way to make the activity more interesting is to fix the genres.
For example, in one round, you can require that the story be an adventure story. In another round, you can require a romantic angle.
I would love to hear some of the stories you guys came up with. Share in the comments below!