Writing Ice Cream "Small Moments" Stories

For one last writing assignment for the year, we wrote ice cream stories. We have ONE week left, so I needed something really great to get their attention. We've written several personal narratives this year, but for this one, I wanted them to take this big topic and zoom in to make it a small moment. This is of course Lucy Calkins-inspired.  :)

I started by writing a boring version of an ice cream story. It was basically just listing events like this: 

I went to the ice cream store on Saturday. I went with my son. We got chocolate. It was good. We had fun. 

I asked the kids if they enjoyed my story, then went into reasons why it wasn't very interesting. We decided that we would rewrite the story together to make it more interesting. 

First, we brainstormed some sensory words that could be used in an ice cream story. Then I modeled the small moments concept during a shared writing. I was leading the story with an experience I had getting ice cream, but as a class we worked on narrowing the topic and zooming in on small details. Together, we wrote a great "small moments" narrative! 

My students helped me add in interesting words and good transitions. They has some really cute ideas to make my story sound more interesting. I don't have a picture of the actual story, but one cute idea was: "The line was pouring out the door" in place of "There was a long line." Another student said, "I wondered if anyone would notice if I cut the line. I couldn't wait another second." SO cute! 

We reread the story together to practice the editing process as well. After going through the whole writing process together, the kids were ready to write their own ice cream narratives. After writing our stories, I set the timer for 5 minutes. For the entire 5 minutes, students have to reread their paper to edit. Even if they already edited, they all still have to take this 5 minutes for one more edit. Then we read our papers to a buddy. I encouraged them to ask each other questions about their stories. Finally, we read our stories to the class. 

I created this freebie for all of you to write ice cream stories with your class:

I also included three different rubrics for you to choose from, depending on what your focus will be when you're grading them.

Come on over to my blog to grab your copy!

(Yes, that's a new button! I had a blog makeover by Jena Snowden!)

As always, I'd love to hear what you think or what kind of small moments writing you've done in your classroom.

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