National Tell a Story Day is celebrated on April 27th. This is a day for people to get together to tell all kinds of different stories. These stories can be about anything – a story from a book, a personal story, or even a made-up story. Many libraries throughout the United States participate in National Tell a Story Day with special story-telling times for children.
Invite your students to write a short story of their own to celebrate National Tell A Story Day. Before students begin their writing, discuss what makes a story exciting to hear or read. Share a personal example of a person/s you love to hear tell stories. Here are mine:
Two of my favorite story-tellers are my dear friend Kathleen and my aunt Mary Beth. I could listen to them tell stories for hours. Why? Because they both tell stories about topics of interest to me, they incorporate humor, and give just enough details for me to have a clear picture of the events, but not too much information for me to get bored. They also tell their stories at a good pace, with just enough animation and inflection.
WRITING A SHORT STORY LESSON PLAN
STEP 1: BRAINSTORM CHARACTERISTICS OF CAPTIVATING STORYTELLING
To begin this writing a short story lesson plan, give each student their Tell A Story Creative Writing Activity worksheets. Students will use these worksheets to brainstorm, outline, and write their short stories.
Once each student has received their worksheets, ask them to take a moment to think about a favorite story-teller in their life. Instruct them to briefly write down what they like about how this person tells stories in the first "My Inspiration" box on their brainstorming worksheet. They will use these characteristics to inspire their own writing!
STEP 2: CHOOSE A CREATIVE WRITING STORY TOPIC
Now, it's time to choose a story topic. Encourage your students to write about a true story from their own life because it is easiest to write about something they know really well. Students who are not comfortable writing about something in their own life can write a short story about a topic of choice, even if it isn’t true.
In the box titled "My Idea" on the Tell A Story Creative Writing Activity worksheet students will brainstorm what they are writing about.
STEP 3: WRITE THE FIRST DRAFT AND REVISE
After they complete their brainstorming worksheet, have students write the first draft of their story in the box titled, "Rough Draft". After writing their first draft, have students revise it.
If you don’t have “editing buddies” set up in your class, have students read their story aloud in a whisper as they edit. This helps students “hear” their written words and experience their story as others will hear it.
This is also a good time for students to reflect on their notes in the "My Inspiration" box. Does their story have the characteristics they wrote down?
STEP 4: FINAL COPY AND PRESENTATION
Once the revisions are finished and they write their final draft on on their "Final Copy" worksheet to be published. Then have students practice reading their story aloud to themselves. This is a great time to briefly go over public speaking and oration skills.
The final step of this writing a short story lesson plan (and the high point of National Tell a Story Day) is for students to tell their story to the class or a classmate.
Have students write short stories as part of your storytelling celebrations this April 27th! Download the Tell A Story Creative Writing Activity now.