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100 Words - No More, No Less

Submitted by: Margaret Byrne
From: Portland OR
Date Submitted: March 3, 2003

Recently I have been working on having 4th and 5th grade students write Science Fiction stories. I have requested 100 words, no more and no less. The stories have to have a beginning, middle and end. They are based on recognizable fables, fairytales and myths. We read samples of the genre and then each student selected a recognizable story and then placed it in the future, in space or in a laboratory. They added science fiction characters such as aliens, robots or scientists and then wrote their stories. The assignment has worked well to get the reluctant writers writing and to make all of the kids aware of the importance of concise yet descriptive sentences. After doing several of these assignments I have had the children choose their favorite to make into a final finished piece. At this point some of them were begging for more words to make their stories really good. I allowed more than a 100 as long as there was no repetition and that the additional words were really necessary!


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