Top O’ the Morning: Building Fiction Writers St. Patrick’s Style

St.Patrick’s Day! It doesn’t matter if you’re Irish, kinda Irish or not even close to Irish, this day is a festival everyone loves to be a part of. Probably the only day we pretend that we love corned beef and cabbage. 

Bringing St.Patrick’s day into my class of 5th graders is always a favourite for me. I love the literacy opportunities. The non-fiction text can be used to educate the children on the history of the patron saint of Ireland and the myths that surround the festival. Fiction can be used for wonderful writing prompts with all kinds of wee folks, from fairies and leprechauns to pixies and trolls. And of course, the quintessential Irish folk poems from Limerick! Love the humour with rhythm and rhyme. (Not to mention, I get to spell “properly” without my American students constantly reminding me of my British spelling  errors!)

Of course, this brings me to yet another of my literacy activity packets that I created for my kiddos. This Irish themed Build A Story packet is another hands on, engaging writing activity for fictional narrative work. 

It contains colorful cards of protagonists,

antagonists and settings. The children love selecting their characters and setting and then we spend several days focusing on characterization through visualizing. We drew the characters and the setting on cardstock and then cut them out. (these would later be used as a decorative illustration around the published final product) Once we had crystal clear images of our characters and setting, we then worked on describing them with words, thus creating a paragraph for each. I used paragraphs 2-5 of Mitch Alblom’s “Five People You Meet in Heaven”as a perfect model for describing character and setting.
The Build A Story packet can be found here in my Teachers Pay Teachers and Teachers Notebook stores.
I was amazed at how anxious the children were to actually begin their fictional narrative drafts. BUT, I kept the anticipation going for a wee bit longer. We reviewed the parts of a plot, created brilliant leads, spoke of the climax, resolution and then, finally, after 4 days……my 5th graders were released to write their much anticipated draft. They were amazing! Check out the finished stories from my young authors. 🙂

Have a fun, green-themed St. Patrick’s day! Enjoy!~ Susan

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