Do you use literacy centers within your classroom?
As someone who uses The Daily 5 as my “structure and routine” for small group reading, I am always looking for fun and fresh ways to liven up our Work on Writing time! Today, I’d love to share a sweet little writing center that turned into a BIG hit in my room!
In my classroom, the students who choose to go to Work on Writing can write about whatever they would like. They can choose to write a letter to mom and dad, write about their day in their journals, start a new story, work on an old story, etc. They definitely stay BUSY! However…let’s face it. I teach six and seven year olds. Sometimes, they try and try and try…but they wind up in struggle-city figuring out what to write about. I always like to have some kind of writing “center” or pre-determined option available to my first grade writers. In this way, they can choose to write their own piece, or, they can choose to complete the writing center activity.
I don’t care what they decide – as long as they are WRITING!
Nevertheless, it’s not a surprise to me that most of my kids LOVE choosing the writing activity that I put into our Writing Basket. I swap out this writing activity every 2-3 weeks, depending on how much the kids are eating it up!
Last month, I introduced a writing center that I called:
Let’s just say we are going on Week FOUR with this writing center because it is a HIT!
Here’s how it works:
I placed two buckets on our bookshelf. One bucket contains cards with various “settings.” The other bucket contains a variety of “character” cards. The students pick out a Setting card and a Character card. It’s up to them if they want to sift through the buckets to find cards they like, or draw the cards without looking first. 🙂 They LOVE the mystery of not knowing which cards they will pull.
Each “setting” card fits together with a “character” card, creating a storyline for the children to write about! They think it’s SUPER funny when their setting and characters do not “match!” I have lots of kids who try to come up with the funniest and most random combinations they can, while I have other students who will sift through the buckets to find that “perfect match.” (Think: Princess & Castle, Mermaid & Ocean, etc.) Below is a picture of some funny combinations and cards my kids chose to write about:
The kids take their cards back to their seats, grab a piece of story paper, and get started on their new writing creation! They illustrate the setting and character and write a story to match the scene. So.Much.Fun!!
The BEST part of this writing center?
There are SO many combinations of story scenes the kids can create, so once they finish one story, they pull two new cards out of the buckets and begin again! 🙂
Fun + Engagement + Creativity =
This writing center also includes a graphic organizer that the students can use to plan or map out their story before they start. This is also a nice graphic organizer that can be used anytime you work on narrative writing with your students. The setting and character cards also come in both color and black & white.
We like to use story paper in my classroom, but the pack also comes with differentiated organizers, writing templates, and differentiated writing paper. In this way, you can pick and choose which level of writing paper best meets your students needs as a classroom, small group, or individually!
I know your students will love this writing center as much as mine do. 🙂
Thanks for letting me share it with you today!
You can check out my Story Puzzles Writing Center in my TpT store by clicking HERE or on the picture below: