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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Writing Flash Fiction



So, flash fiction is all the rage out there on the Internets! Everyone is doing it... just ask Google!

What is flash fiction? Well, it doesn't really have an exact definition... just ask Wikipedia! But, basically, it's a super short story.

My students in summer learning spent almost a week writing flash fiction. To say they were obsessed, is an absolute understatement!

On the first day, I started by introducing my idea of what flash fiction is:



We looked at several example pieces and analyzed them. We determined that flash fiction contains all the elements of a regular story: a character/characters, a setting, and a conflict with some type of resolution. We also found that the writers focus more on vivid verbs rather than adjectives to tell their story. Finally, we saw that most flash fiction is void of boring words, such as "very" and "really."

The next day, I had the students rotate around to "genre stations" where they were to write a piece of flash fiction that represented that genre (I did provide a picture at each station for inspiration, but students were not required to write about the picture if they had their own ideas!). The students had FIVE minutes (at first I gave them seven minutes, but this was too long!) to write at each station. The stations were horror, realistic fiction, science fiction, and fantasy.



At the end of each station, I ask students to share within their group. To save time, I didn't let them share their whole piece. Instead, I asked them to share just a small part of their story. On the first rotation, they were to share their favorite sentence. On the next rotation, they were to share their opening sentences. On the third rotation, they were to share their last sentence. And on the last rotation, they shared their favorite sentence again. After students were finished all four rotations+sharing, I asked them to tell me what they learned about each other as writers. It was interesting to hear what they said!

On the third day, I had students revise their favorite piece from the four they wrote the day before. The best part about these flash fiction stories was that the students didn't moan and groan when I asked them to revise their work. Since their pieces were so short, rewriting, and rewriting them again, was pretty simple!


Have you tried writing flash fiction with your students? I'd love to hear how it went!! If you haven't tried it yet, but are interested in giving it a whirl, I do have this freebie in my store:


Happy Teaching!!

9 comments:

  1. Can you tell me what stories you read first as examples? Thank you!

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    1. Hi Colleen! If you download the FREEBIE on TpT (the link is above) there are four examples that I share with the students so they get the idea. Thanks for reading!!

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  2. Thank you for sharing this! Can't wait to try it with my students!

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  3. Do you have a copy of the guidelines that you hand to the students? I downloaded your freebie but didn't see it!

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    1. Hi Alicia! I will have to check with my co-teacher. She made those as a modification for some of the struggling students. If she still has a copy, I'll post it! I know it was just reminding them to include a setting, characters, and conflict, as well as a recommendation to watch spelling and to avoid words like "very" and "really" since they will make the writing too long!

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  4. Love this! I was wondering if you could format the examples so that all four are on one page? I have students that have transition struggles between multiple papers and do much better when it is "condensed" per say :)

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  5. Did you use a rubric for scoring their stories? I always struggle with how to assess creative pieces. Thank you for sharing your process - I love it!

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  6. This is such a great lesson. I love the writing stations, and I think it's smart to include the pictures for students who have a difficult time getting started. Thank you for including so much information, letting us see your process, and of course for including the freebies on TpT!

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  7. where are the pictures and student directions discussed in this example? I have downloaded the freebie (thanks) and do not see it.

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