Tanya Miner’s sixth grade class settles in for a suspenseful story time as they begin their day at Wasatch Elementary. To celebrate the month of October and to practice their story writing skills, these students must craft a spooky tale with their group.

As a group, they each receive one writing prompt or “suspense starter.” Each person in the group uses the same prompt and has just two minutes to begin writing their story. At the end of the two minutes, they must stop where they are and pass their paper to the right. The next group member will then pick up where the other left off and continue building the plot. When the stories come full circle, it’s time to share with the rest of the class.

Some groups began with, “It was a stormy night…” and others with “It was the road to nowhere…” While each of the stories started differently, there was no shortage of suspense and laughter as the original author read what their own classmates added on to their tale.

As Miner explains, this fun activity is a great way to prepare her students to write their own suspense stories. In the coming days, her class will create stories making sure to develop main characters, define a problem, build suspense, solve the problem and lay out a timeline and setting. To help accomplish this task, the students will use their class set of Google Chromebooks.

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