Writing: Sentences & Paragraphs
Round Robin: Writing as a Team
Snack: Something round will go with
today's activity. Toast a split whole-wheat bagel and spread cream cheese,
peanut butter and jelly, or whatever your favorite bagel topping is. Enjoy a
glass of chocolate milk to go with.
2 or more students divided into teams,
ideally with an equal number, 3-5 students, in each
Print out the prompts, below,
and paste one prompt
at the top of a piece of lined paper
for each team
Scissors | Scotch tape
For example, if you are going to have three teams of five students,
then you will need to print out three copies of the prompts
so that each team can start with a copy of each prompt
Pencil for each student
Stopwatch or watch with second-hand
The whole idea of a paragraph is to advance the reader
toward your conclusion. Every sentence, and every paragraph, should share that
Writing is kind of like a football team: every "play"
that a football team makes is intended to advance that team toward the end zone
and a score.
With writing, every sentence, and every paragraph, should
work together, like a team of words. That's how you can "carry the ball" over
the goal line - bring the reader to the conclusion and main point of your story
So let's form teams of at least two students - three to
five is better. We're going to have some "round robin" team writing fun.
A "round robin" is a type of game or tournament in which
everybody plays everybody else. In the case of "round robin writing," everyone
on that team will collaborate on writing one paragraph.
You will be given a blank piece of paper with a "prompt,"
or opening sentence. Everyone on the team can read it, as well as all of the
sentences that everybody on your team adds. You can brainstorm how your story
is going to go, but let each student write his or her sentence just the way he
or she wishes, so that everybody has fun.
on your team will have two minutes to add a sentence. If time is called when
you are in the middle of your sentence, you still have to lay down your pencil.
Your teammate can finish your sentence and then start a new one. If time runs
out on the last sentence, then you know that whoever had the last turn took too
long to wrap things up! Better luck next time.
there isn't an adult to act as timekeeper, somebody on one of the teams should
keep and call time every 2 minutes.
you have two people on your team, each of you should take three turns. So
besides the prompt, you should end up with six more sentences for your story or
you have three people on your team, give everybody two turns, so that you still
end up with six additional sentences for your story.
you have four or more people on your team, give everybody just one turn. Don't
worry: there are several prompts to choose from, so you will all have enough
turns to enjoy the round robin.
students can watch as teammates write their sentences, but don't bug them.
get started: give each team a prompt, make sure everyone has a pencil, and then
start time. Each team will get the first 2 minutes to brainstorm their story.
Then call "Time" and the next 2-minute session will start. The first writer on
your team must add the next sentence during that time. Keep going until
everyone on your team has added a sentence.
you are done, have someone from your team read aloud your story to the other
teams, and give compliments on the word choices and descriptive details that
the various teams used.
ROUND ROBIN PROMPTS
Print out one copy for each team of students. Cut out
the prompt and tape it onto the top of a piece of lined paper. The students
will add more sentences with pencil as they do their round robin activity, to
complete a paragraph.
No wonder no one ever
went down into the basement.
The last thing the old
woman said before she died was really, really strange.
One day our teacher
came to school with pink and purple feathers covering his head.
I finally found out
why I kept receiving mail addressed to "Phineas Q. Hogbottom."
The funniest thing
turned out to be in that Burger King sack.