Writing 25 word stories [Handout]

If you’ve been reading the Radical for the last few days, you know that I spent last weekend in Philadelphia at the Educon conference.

That means I’m intellectually spent and WAY behind in almost all of my part time work right now.  Constant conversations and really, really cool interactions with some of the brightest people on earth will do that to you.  As a result, I haven’t got a ton of time to write today.

What I’ll do instead is share a handout with you that I created recently for the language arts teacher on my team to use with our kids.

It’s designed to walk students through the process of writing a really good 25 word story.  You can download it here:

Word Doc: Download Handout_CanYOUWritea25WordStory

Adobe PDF: Download Handout_CanYOUWritea25WordStory

So what’s a 25 word story — and more importantly, why would you want your kids to write them?

Well, a 25 word story is exactly what it sounds like:  A 25 word story.  It’s a writing style that I first discovered by following Kevin Hogdson — a really remarkable sixth grade language arts teacher — in Twitter.

Kevin was regularly writing these incredible stories contained in a single tweet that had a clear beginning, middle and ending.  They were emotional.  They were funny.  They were provocative and they were cool.  And while there doesn’t seem to be a ton of people writing them anymore, a little community grew up around the short stories being shared with the #25wordstory hashtag.

Here’s a sample one of my students wrote this week:

25 Word Story
From a language arts perspective, 25 word stories are GREAT activities for middle school kids.  Not only are they perfect for filling the short chunks of time that you might have at the end of a more traditional lesson, they force students to think more carefully about word choice.

Like I tell my kids, when you only have 25 words, EVERY one is remarkably important.

Finally, I love 25 word stories because they can be shared in text messages — the primary form of communication for my students.  That means they can quickly send their stories to a bunch of friends and/or their parents for feedback.

Instant audience is never a bad thing when you’re trying to encourage writing.

Hope this sounds like something you’re interested in exploring.  I’d love your feedback on how my handout works with your kids!

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