This is one of my favorite activities to do in class. It can take anywhere from 1/2 hour to a full hour. First you read this great children’s book: Fortunately by Remy Charlip
Here is some of the text “Fortunately there was a parachute in the plane. Unfortunately there was a hole in the parachute. Fortunately there was a haystack on the ground.”
The WHOLE book is a series of plot complications and resolutions. This is a great book to show students the importance of conflict in a story. So I have the students get into pairs. One student is the fortunately and one student is the unfortunately and they just go back and forth creating conflict and trying creative ways to solve the conflict. It helps if before they start writing they agree on a character and an ultimate goal for that character. Then they can share their story with other groups or with the whole class. It’s very active and way way fun.
Personal Note: It was my wife’s idea to buy Remy Charlip’s book Sleepytime Rhyme and for me to read it to my son every night before he was born. Our son loved to be read to from day one. I hope this book and our evening ritual had something to do with it.
I actually used the Fortunately/Unfortunately idea for a weeklong #slowchatED discussion, it was awesome. Click on the link for the questions and the archive of the chat.