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You can use these cooperative group activities in your classroom whether you have just started using this technique or your groups are already established. You can even use the writing activity to teach story elements.
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Story Time Fun
In this activity, students will work in their groups to write stories. Give each student a sheet of blank copy paper or notebook paper. It is best to use colored pencils for this activity. Every student in each group will need a different colored pencil so that you can tell who wrote what.
Explain that each student will start a story. You will give everyone five minutes to start their stories. When the timer goes off, explain that everyone will pass their stories one person to the right. Give students a couple of minutes to read what was written. Then, set the timer for another five minutes. During this time, students will continue the story. Students will pass the stories again one person to the right. Repeat the procedure again. Give students time to read and then continue the story. Continue repeating the process until every student in the group has had an opportunity to write. It is up to you if you would like to give the original author a chance to finish up the story, or if you want to let the last person in the group do it.
Be sure to remind students when they are the last one to write so that they can end the story. It is up to you if you want to give a story starter such as, “Once upon a time” or use the picture activity below as a subject for the stories.
After everyone has written, allow students to read all of their group stories. Then have students discuss if the stories turned out differently than expected. Also, have students discuss how they had to work together to finish the stories. Allow students to share their stories with the class.
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Picture Time Fun
Before you do this activity, you will need to create squiggle art pictures. Each student will need one, but you can create one squiggle art design for each person in the group instead of creating a different design for every student in the class. Simply make copies so that everyone has a squiggle art picture. To make the squiggle art pictures, take a black marker and place some sort of shape or line in the center of the page.
Give every student a squiggle art picture and a colored pencil. Again, every student in each group needs a different colored pencil so that you can tell who contributed what. Explain that each student will start a picture. Give everyone three minutes to start their pictures. When the timer goes off, explain that everyone will pass their pictures one person to the right. Then, set the timer for another three minutes. During this time, students will continue the picture. Continue repeating the process until every student in the group has had an opportunity to add to the picture.
This activity can be used in conjunction with the writing activity above or on its own. If you want to use it in conjunction with the writing activity, have students draw the pictures first. Then, pass the pictures along with the stories so that students can write a story about the picture.
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Read more about cooperative groups right here at Bright Hub!