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Creative Coin Stories

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Summary

Students will participate in a round-robin writing activity started from a single writing prompt. Different coins will be worked into the story throughout. This is a great fast-paced activity and the moving from story to story adds excitement and creativity. The computers help to motivate and organize the lesson. Using coins adds fun and helps students learn about the different symbols and sayings on coins.

Coin Type(s)

  • Cent
  • Nickel
  • Dime
  • Quarter
  • Half dollar
  • Dollar

Coin Program(s)

  • Generic

Objectives

  • Students will practice writing from a prompt.
  • Students will practice using effective transitions to connect ideas.
  • Students will apply rules for grammatical and mechanical conventions to their writing.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts

Grades

  • Third grade
  • Fourth grade
  • Fifth grade
  • Sixth grade
  • Seventh grade
  • Eighth grade

Class Time

Sessions: One
Session Length: 45 minutes
Total Length: 0-45 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Individual work

Terms and Concepts

  • Cooperative writing
  • Creative writing
  • U.S. coins
  • Writing process

Materials

  • Timer
  • Computer lab
  • 1 paper lunch bag full of coins

Preparations

  • This lesson is best done in a computer lab, with one computer per student.
  • Have the bag of coins ready at the first workstation.
  1. Each computer should be open to a word processor with the same story starter on each computer. An example would be “It all started when I was walking home from school….” Explain to the students that they will add to the story when you tell them to start. They should write until the timer goes off, then save the file and move over one computer to pick up a different story on that computer. Tell them to start and set the timer.
  2. When the timer goes off (in 2 or 3 minutes), remind the students to SAVE what they've done and move over one computer. Have the student closest to the bag in the front of the room pull out a coin. Have him or her describe the coin to the class including any words or phrases on the coin, numbers, people and buildings or other symbols.
  3. Tell the students that, as they continue the story before them, they need to incorporate one element from that coin. Reset the timer and have them begin.
  4. Continue this pattern for several moves. Be sure to tell the students when it's the last move so they can end the story.

Differentiated Learning Options

If you do not have access to a computer lab, have your students use writing paper at their own desks. Instead of having your students move, you can have them pass their writing paper on to the person next to, across from, or behind them and pass the coin bag the same way.

Enrichments/Extensions

Have students each take one story and continue it through the writing process. They can edit it for spelling, capitalization, punctuation and grammar.

Use the stories to assess whether the class has met the lesson objectives.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.4 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Range of Writing
Standards:

  • W.4.10. Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.4 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes
Standards:

  • W.4.1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
    • Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
    • Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.
    • Link opinion and reasons using words and phrases (e.g., for instance, in order to, in addition).
    • Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.
  • W.4.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
    • Introduce a topic clearly and group related information in paragraphs and sections; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
    • Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
    • Link ideas within categories of information using words and phrases (e.g., another, for example, also, because).
    • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented.
  • W.4.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
    • Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
    • Use dialogue and description to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.
    • Use a variety of transitional words and phrases to manage the sequence of events.
    • Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.
    • Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.5 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes
Standards:

  • W.5.1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
    • Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
    • Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details.
    • Link opinion and reasons using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., consequently, specifically).
    • Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.
  • W.5.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
    • Introduce a topic clearly, provide a general observation and focus, and group related information logically; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
    • Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
    • Link ideas within and across categories of information using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., in contrast, especially).
    • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented.
  • W.5.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
    • Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
    • Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, description, and pacing, to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.
    • Use a variety of transitional words, phrases, and clauses to manage the sequence of events.
    • Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.
    • Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Knowledge to Language
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Use of Spoken, Written, and Visual Language
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Strategies to Writing
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

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