After reading aloud How To Catch a Leprechaun, the class brainstormed types of traps that they could set to hopefully catch a leprechaun. Next, students wrote a beginning for their story. Beginnings put the main character into the setting and give a hint about what the story will be about. Notice, in my modeled piece, that I did not mention anything about my trap or catching a leprechaun. I didn’t even use the word leprechaun but instead gave clues. This helps to engage the reader and hook them into reading on.
We ended the class period by writing an extended ending. This is what happens AFTER the story is over. Students had to decide if they were going to capture and release the leprechaun, or if the leprechaun would escape their trap. Once that was decided, they wrote their extended endings. These include a hope, wish, thought, or memory of the main character. My example is a little bit of all of them put together! THE KEY TO AN EXTENDED ENDING: This is NOT when you tell if you capture the leprechaun, but what happens after!
Students wrote the middle or main event of their story. This consisted of 4-5 events that either lead to the capture or escape of the leprechaun. These events should include a description of the trap, setting the trap, the leprechaun coming, a few things he does, and then his capture or escape. The capture/escape falls at the end of the main event of the story, not in the extended ending. We used Red Flag Words to help transition us through the main event and to add a little suspense and sentence variety. And don’t forget to add the word referents for your leprechaun!
WHY WHY WHY…
Notice that my students wrote their story beginning and ending before they wrote the main event or middle of the story. By having students write the extended ending first, it helped them to stay focused on what the end result was going to be. This, in turn, eliminated rambling and kept them on their story plan.
Our campus has Chromebooks for each student, so we made our final copy in a google slide. Each day, to start us off, I pull one of the samples up on my Smartboard, and we share it and play the There, Their, and They’re Review Game. SO MUCH FUN!