Are you fed up with children writing a brilliant beginning to a story and then totally losing it in the middle? To avoid lots of speech, quick endings or boys killing all their friends off because they don’t know what to do with them, try this to encourage children to think about the middle of their story and think about what they have already written.
Sit the children in groups of four or five and tell them the beginning of a story. Each child in each group must write the next part of the story, but you only give them 1 minute. After 1 minute, they stop (mid-sentence if necessary) and pass their writing to the child on their right. They then have to continue where the other writer left off but have 90 seconds, repeat and go up to about 3 or 4 minutes (the children have to have time to read what has gone before).
This seems to encourage the children to continue the story by considering past actions and tends to avoid those long lists of dialogue and no action or description.
On no account must they end the story – it is all middle!