This is our fourth divergent thinking session. In this session, we are using a story starter and randomly drawn words to create a group story. This is very challenging, as students must listen very closely to their peers and concentrate on developing the story using words that may not easily fit. It requires students to “think on their feet"; elaborating and crafting vocabulary to make the story flow.
This is a story that a group of 3rdgraders from Camden Station created with me. The words that the students had to craft into the story are in italics.
Words (drawn at random)
Mrs. Jones: growl, bowl, bag
Riley: frog, car, tunnel
Tommy: pony, twitch, wave
Maggie: zookeeper, dust, cave
Elle: bumpy, glasses, fly,
Kaela: cloud, mushroom, pocket
Allison: airplane, watch, giggle
Matthew: balloon, snowball, star
Prompt : One day while exploring in my attic, I found a funny-looking cabinet. The doors were stuck shut as though it hadn’t been opened in many years. When I gave the handle a really hard yank...
the doors flew open and I heard a scary growl. The growling noise started to fade away and I realized that it was just my dad leaving in his car. I was so scared to be alone that my ears twitched. I was twitching so much that dust flew around. My glasses fell onto the floor. I picked them up and put them in my pocket. Just then I heard an evil giggle coming from the cabinet. I squeezed myself into the cabinet to investigate. There was a light from inside that looked like a star. I was terrified but I began to crawl toward the light. I just had to find out what the light was and what was making that evil giggle. I began to slide. When I stopped, it was bright. I was in a brilliant land of green, with lush plants and flowers. I saw a glistening, glass bowl sitting on a tree stump. When I looked inside the bowl,there was a small green frog. I looked up and saw a wave of frogs. In the middle of all of the frogs was a zookeeper. I heard the evil giggle and realized that it was the zookeeper. The zookeeper was there to catch the frogs and he was giggling because the fly that the frogs had been trying to catch was tickling him. The zookeeper jumped on a cloud and asked, “Why are you here?” I told him, “I got stuck here, where am I and why are there so many frogs?” I took my glasses out of my pocket to be able to watch the zookeeper. “You are in the Land of Frogs” he said. “There are so many frogs because it is the Land of Frogs.” With that he gave me a magical snowball with a lot of buttons on it. I was puzzled. “What is this for?” I asked. “I cannot tell you that” he responded, “But I promise you that you will need it. Here, take this bag and put it inside and the snowball will not melt.” Holding the snowball tightly, I rushed into a tunnel to get away from the frogs. I came across a pony in the tunnel. I got on the pony and rode to the end of the tunnel. The tunnel led to a cave. When we were riding through the cave a voice said, “I better be careful. The floor is bumpy. “ The pony had said it. He kept talking and talking so I found a mushroom growing on the wall and gave it to him to keep him quiet. Once the pony and I reached the end of the cave I saw dark figures surrounding me. They were dark phantoms and they wanted the snowball. I knew that I needed to use the snowball, and fast. I found a mark that said “fly” on one of the buttons on the snowball. I pressed it and the next thing I knew a giant airplane was carrying me. It took me to a cloud and I jumped out. The zookeeper was still there. I asked how to I could get out. He said that the only way out is up and that there was only one button that could do that. I pressed the balloon button and a hot air balloon appeared and took me back to the cabinet.
The ending was crafted together, as a group: All of the sudden I found myself crouched in the small, dark cabinet. I crawled out and into the attic. Through the window I could see my father’s car coming back. I wondered if I should tell him. I decided to keep my adventure a secret. After all, I might want to visit the cabinet again and I wasn’t sure that it wasn’t all just a dream. As I walked down the stairs I heard something dripping on the floor. I looked down and the snowball was melting through the bag. I saw a tiny frog jump away.