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Teachers.Net Lesson Plans

#32. Chessboard Novel

Reading/Writing, level: Senior
Posted by William Gathergood (gathergood.1@osu.edu).
Gathergood/Reynoldsburg High School, US
Materials Required: Chess set, paper and pens
Activity Time: 2 months
Concepts Taught: English Creative Writing

This is for students who are independant creative writers who want to work on their own but need structure to stay on task. Have them write 32 character sketches for the pieces on a chess board. Then have other students play a chess game, one move per day. The author must write a short story for each move. Once the game is over, the author then weaves the short stories into novel. Of course, the setting is determined in advance, so the stories may take place in one large institution, or in a town, or between two countries, or two planets. I have had students write novels which varied in length from 40 pages to 380 pages.