Activity Format: Students will build a story in two steps. The first half of the story is created through text manipulation. The second half of the story is created through text completion (gapped text). You can create your own story themes, or use my ideas in the model below. (I was inspired by Stephen King’s Langoliers.)
Directions: Change all the underlined clauses to phrases. (This can be done as a class. Discuss variations.)
Mark and Sue Thompson wanted to get away from the cold winter, so they planned a trip to a sunny island. After they bought their tickets, they excitedly began to pack. One the day of their trip, they woke up early and took a taxi to the airport. They boarded the plane after they checked their bags. So far no problems! Their vacation was off to a good start. Was their luck going to last?
On board, Mark and Sue along with the rest of the passengers heard a bit of bad news. They were told that a storm was developing, so they knew to expect a bumpy ride. Very early into the flight, the plane began to shake. Mark and Sue had flown many times before, so they weren’t too worried. Even so, as the weather grew worse, they began to hold hands tightly because they knew that whatever happened they would be together.
At one point, the plane shook so hard, the lights in the cabin went out. When the lights came back on, Mark and Sue realized something very shocking had happened.
Model: Wanting to get away from the cold winter, Mark and Sue Thompson planned a trip to a sunny island…
Directions: Complete the text with your own ideas. (This can be done in pairs or as solo work. Allow time for students to work independently. Then ask students to share their completed stories with the class.)
Mark and Sue were completely alone on the plane! The passengers and the flight attendants were gone. After sitting in shocked silence for a moment, the couple began to __________________________. They checked everywhere. Having searched the restrooms, the first class section, and the cockpit, Mark and Sue ______________________. What would happen next?
By ___________________________, they managed to calm down and think. The plane was still flying by itself, so they stopped worrying about crashing. But feeling that the plane was slowly descending, Mark and Sue wondered ___________________________. They looked out the windows as they came out of the clouds. Flying low enough to see the land clearly, Mark and Sue were frightened to see ______________________ everywhere! Surely they must be dreaming, they thought.
After coming to a stop, the plane engines fell silent. The plane doors opened. Mark and Sue ________________________, knowing that there was little choice. With their hearts beating and eyes looking around in fear, the couple _______________________. They waited for something to happen. Soon, ____________________ came to greet them. Mark and Sue understood at that point that their island adventure was just beginning.