A Writing Adventure
Did you ever read Choose Your Own Adventure stories when you were a kid?
They were small paperbacks with titles like You Are a Shark, Ghost Hunter, and Underground Kingdom. The reader reads the first chapter, and at the end of the chapter, they get to make a choice. The choice affects the outcome of the story. As readers move through the book, they keep making choices and eventually reach an ending. Then, if the reader starts over and makes difference choices, the story has different twists and endings.
I loved reading these stories when I was young, and I have created a writing exercise for my students inspired by these books. I ask them to come up with a character and a setting, and I set them loose to create a story for this character. Once they come to a part where they could write an obvious choice for the character, they write two scenarios, and tell the reader which page to turn to (eg. "You decide to drink the water and eat the fish. Turn to page 3.). Then they write two choices at the end of those two scenarios. And so on, until several endings are written.
My students always write a rough draft. Then we edit and revise the story together. Next I type up the story and print it, formatted with page numbers so the student can cut the pages into smaller ones that can be stapled together into a book.
The photo above shows the cover for a Choose Your Own Adventure story one of my fourth-grade students finished recently. I loved his title!
This would be a fun summer project, or a good activity for students to do during school breaks when they claim they are bored and have nothing to do. Or, if you have a writer in the house, you can suggest this style of writing to them and let them run with it.