Teenagers are often fond of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books, so why not create one in class? This can be a fun, exciting adventure for either an English or a Creative Writing class, and it will ultimately teach your students about proper writing techniques.
Obviously, you are looking to improve your students’ writing abilities. Sometimes this just isn’t possible by writing essays and research papers, and your students need something creative and challenging to teach them the basics of writing. This can be used as an in-class assignment or even as a non-conformist final exam.
Students need to have plenty of paper, a pen and lots of great ideas. This can also be done in the computer lab, though you will have to reserve the lab for several days in order to complete the project, and that might not be possible. Students should be divided into groups of three, four or five.
The students should understand the basics of the writing process. They should have been educated in grammar, spelling, sentence structure, formatting and continuity. This assignment works best with 10th, 11th and 12th graders.
Length of Project:
One or two weeks, depending on the number of students in the group and whether they must work in class or at home.
Each of the groups of students will either be assigned a topic, or will choose one of their own. They are to write a 10-30 page short story that allows the reader to choose the path that they want to take. For example, after the reader reaches page two, they can decide whether they want to open the door to the castle or to go around back and see if there is another entrance.
The story should have at least four different points in which the reader can choose an alternate route. The story should have a beginning, middle and ending, and should be at least somewhat mysterious.
You can create whatever rules you like – sometimes I like to gear the project toward a particular unit – but the basics are always the same.
Each group of students must turn in their type-written story as well as a colorful title page. The story should be double-spaced and the pages should be numbered for swift navigation.
The students should have learned how to come up with an idea and transform that idea into a cohesive short story. You might want to post the students’ work on the school’s website, or host a reading of the stories for other students at the school.
Instead of a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure story, you might want to have them write a cooperative story, in which one student writes three pages, then passes it on to another student. This exercise should promote teamwork and creativity.