A Chapter Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix
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Counting Up or
Down Stories

using a number-inspired frame to explore original story details


Student Writer Instructions:

In the novel Wringer, Jerry Spinelli's main character receives "the treatment" in chapter 5: nine knuckle punches administered to his bare arm as a celebration of his ninth birthday.  Did you notice how the world slows down during "the treatment," and we count aloud one-to-nine as each punch is received?

Between the punches, Spinelli writes wonderful details that help slow the moment down further.  Could you tell a story where someone is counting out loud and include interesting details between the counting?

First, come up with an idea for a story where people might count up or count down either aloud or in their heads.  Your teacher might help you get a classroom brainstorm going.  Or the first button below has ideas for stories where people might count up or count down. 

Once you have an idea that you like, write an introduction to a story that leads up to someone counting out loud.  When you get to the counting, slow the world down by including lots of details and thoughts between the counting.  Make those details interesting...maybe even emotional.

The second button below is a writer's challenge...for those who dare!  Pressing the second button will give you choices of moods or emotions you might try to establish for one or all of your characters in the story.

Your goal here as a writer:  Practice interesting details while you write an original story that has a definite beginning, middle, and end.

Interactive Choices for Writing:

If you're struggling to start, click the buttons below for some ideas that might inspire you to launch your piece of writing.

 


Ideas for titles for a counting up or down story:

    
(It's okay to come up with your own TITLE or IDEA for this activity, if you think of a better one.)

Could you story try to make your reader feel this mood:

       
(It's okay to come up with your own MOOD for this activity, if you think of a better one.)  .


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