Story Telephone: A Tale of 8th Graders Writing Whatever They Want

So my kiddos have been testing for the last two weeks. Because of this, the bell schedule has been all kinds of screwed up (I either have my kids for an hour and a half or twenty minutes… and they didn’t test in my class until today). Needless to say the kids are burnt out and I’m having issues planning anything consistent. So I decided to use the long class periods for actual work that came from a masterfully crafted lesson plan, and the short class periods for a fun game to help the kids unwind after being bombarded with tests.

The game I came up with is a spin on a theatre improve game. Basically each student has two minutes to start writing a story. After the two minutes they pass their story to another classmate, who continues writing the story. This process continues until I deem it necessary to stop. I have dubbed this game Story Telephone and it is very amusing to watch. If you don’t have the kids sit in a circle (which I didn’t) one student has to run to grab his paper form the back of the class after every round. Let me tell you that this game is pretty amusing to watch if not participate in. Because of the time constraints there were a lot of errors but, by the end of the day I had a very amusing selection of stories and I have received permission to publish one of my favorites. So here you go:

Once upon a time, there was a little girl. She was at home looking out the window. Then she saw little Timmy, who was riding a lizard…A BIG lizard. She was super impressed with him. She then left and followed the boy. When the boy stopped she stopped. They saw a crazy, big, amazing UNICORN… They all cried and the unicorn said “Hi”. The unicorn flew to MEXICO and died. Everybody in Mexico saw the magical UNICORN! And the people there went and ate at the Chinese restaurant and it had unicorn tacos. They all wanted more so they went on a search for unicorns, so they could have them for themselves. They went to different places and worlds and planets. Many years later they got hungry and ate at another Chinese restaurant. It wasn’t that good, but instead of a unicorn taco they had a monkey taco. But the monkey taco was cheese like the moon and wasn’t the moon but Mars… WHAT! Then he ate an apple from Apple Co. with Windows 10 but with iTunes. She said “I love this food!” The unicorns are doing well now.

Well there you go. A brief glimpse into the ridiculous mind of an eighth grader, when you let them write whatever they want.

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