Students independently read their overcoming obstacle novel from the list distributed at the start of the unit. They should aim to finish at least one title by the end of the unit. Many will read multiple.
The object of today's lesson is to get everyone to participate in a write-around. There are many forms of write-arounds... and all are effective. The one we practice today will be on the creative side. However, I've also done written conversations. See this lesson as an example.
I post these Write Around Directions on the board. Students will be sitting in circles, in small groups. They'll add on to each others' climaxes, and pass them around the circle. Most important aspect, there is no talking. I will give them one minute, and then thirty second warnings. Try to maintain the original author's voice... this is a tricky aspect. Often kids have a hard time starting, but get more comfortable as they go. I haven't yet gone over falling action and resolution, but this write-around is a nice way to get them familiar with these two concepts. I tell them they're ending these stories with falling action and resolution, so find a natural end. I use the words before we define them formally; kids naturally understand "ending a story," without having to explicitly spell out definitions.
The level of focus is key. You want it silent and productive. Here is a student video:
Kids often ask for share time at the end. I span out the sharing of stories throughout the rest of the week.
We've passed the climax in"So B. It" By: Sarah Weeks, and we begin moving towards the falling action and conclusion. The book is really getting good! We are learning some of the answers to Heidi's long, sought-after questions. Kids listen intently.