Time needed: 15 – 20 min
Why? To let students work independent at a topic is supporting their research abilities and phantasy. As well to give them the task to write a story about a topic is supporting their self-responsible learning strategy and for most of the students really love to write their own experience about something.
When? You can do it in class in the beginning of one topic to find out what they know already, or you can also do it after a duration to control what they absorbed already. For the support of self-responsible learning strategies you can give those more complex stories as homework.
How? Give the students a topic and let them simple self-responsible write a story, this could be a real story which they experienced in their life, like: – topic: senses: that a student is writing about a zoo visit, and smelled different animals, knocked at windows and the animals react and so on, or that a boy cut the cat’s whiskers and how the cat react. (of course with strict advise to not do that and explanation why! Its just always happen, so better we explain it, why this is hurting a cat.) That would be a real life experience. Of course you also can give more complex stories, that they have to involve background, or you simple tell them to create a story. How the moons smells, how are the noises there, how feels the sand there, and how taste astronauts food.
Any risks? In class its just very time consuming, you have to calculate this, but its a good time filler for quick students to write such stories and later use it to read it to everyone, very enjoying. For everyone in class you can use that in the end of a school year when your syllabus is fulfilled and you want to offer some special work.