"Showtime at the Apollo"
I named this writing activity from the popular T.V. show contest in which aspirting singers and talent acts compete at the world famous Apollo in NY.
On the board put up a topic that you choose (ie. "OH NO....My House is on fire! I must grab my_________!"). The students are to start their first sentence using this line, and then complete writing the short story--usually about a page in length. They are to use 10 of that week's vocabulary words, or however many you decide to use. I usually give them about 25-30 minutes to write their stories. After the time is up, any students who want to participate in Apollo comes up and read his/her story in front of the class. After all participants have read their stories, all of them have to come and stand in front of the room. Then I play KiKi Shepard (the woman who puts her hand over each contestant's head while the audience claps for who they think was the best one. NO BOOING ALLOWED!) I play like I'm KiKi and the students in the audience clap for whoever they think had the best story. The person with the most claps win the competition. Usually I have a little prize for the winner (pencil, edible treat, sticker).
*Everyone must write a story whether they are participating or not. Sometimes I make everybody read.
*It is best to give the students a topic to write on.
*Most of the time the competition is based on who had the funniest story. The kids seem to enjoy that more.
*You can incorportate anything that you are learning at that time into the assignment. (ie. cirle all adjectives)
*You can vary the length (paragraph instead of a page)
*You can do it with poetry, myths, or any genre of literature
*Make the topics corny--have fun with it!