Rotating Stories and Poems.
In order to explore the many exciting possibilities access to electronic mail and word processing offers children's creative writing a number of collaborative activities between schools were attempted throughout the project.The concept of the rotating story and poem provided pupils with opportunities to write for a real audience and to have fun in the process.
On one occasion the co-ordinating school composed the opening paragraph to a Hallowe'en story. This was sent by e-mail to the next school whereby pupils were invited to add another paragraph to the story. The story then rotated to the remaining schools until all schools had the opportunity to add to the story. Each school tracked the unfolding story and used it as a basis for discussion, reading, writing and comprehension development. It is necessary for all schools to meet time deadlines in order to maintain the children's interest.
Teachers' and pupils'comments indicated that the children thoroughly enjoyed the experience, ''The children loved being part of an inter-schools project. They were always asking if the next part had arrived. They felt it was far more interesting than anything from a school text'.
'My children are extremely difficult to motivate and they were highly motivated with this. They felt included and so was good for their self-esteem'
'We sat around in a circle and we built up the story sentence by sentence. They rejected 'stupid' childish far-fetched (their words) sentences or developments of the story and arrived at each "twist" in the story by discussion or consensus. They learnt the idea of "editing" and co-operating to produce the next paragraph.'
Here are two examples of rotating poems;
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