Finish the Story

Lost in The Wild, Wild West

It was the summer, and my dad wanted to treat me to a vacation like never before.  He decided to take me on a trip to the wild, wild west.

We took a plane to Albuquerque, a big city in the state of New Mexico.  We reached Albuquerque in the late afternoon.  Uncle Paul, my dad’s friend, picked us up from the airport and drove us up to his ranch in Pecos. 

His wife Tina cooked us a delicious dinner and we got to know his sons Ryan and Kyle.  My dad and I spent the night in the guestroom listening to the crickets, owls, and coyotes.  Very early in the morning, uncle Paul woke us up to have breakfast.  “The day starts at dawn on my ranch” he said.  After breakfast, I went to help aunt Tina feed the chickens, while my dad went with uncle Paul to take the sheep out to graze.  I was impressed to see my dad and uncle Paul riding horses, they looked really cool.

In the afternoon, I asked uncle Paul if I could take a horse ride, and he said yes, as long as my dad went with me.  I wasn’t going to take a horse ride by myself anyway.  So, my dad and I put on our new cowboy hats, got on our horses, and headed slowly towards the mountains.  “Don’t be late for supper” uncle Paul cried “and keep to the trail so that you don’t get lost”.   “OK” my dad cried back.  After a while we could hardly see uncle Paul and his farm house.  It was so peaceful and quiet and the colors of the brown rocks, the deep green pine trees, and the late afternoon sun blended to create a majestic scene.  It looked like a beautiful woven blanket spread out upon the ground just for us.

Suddenly a little coyote jumped out in front of my horse and startled him. He was so startled, he took off running faster than I imagined he could.   I was holding on as hard as I could and my dad was trying to keep up with me.   My horse got off the trail and kept running, and only stopped once it reached the river.  It seems the water must have calmed him down a bit.  It was a beautiful spot and as frightened as I was just a few minutes earlier, I was happy that I got a chance to see such a place. 

My dad thought it was gorgeous too, but he said that we had to leave because the sun was setting and he did not want us to get lost.  We had left the trail and we did not have a compass. The last thing we wanted was to try to find our way home in the dark.  We turned around to start back but the trail was nowhere in sight.  The frightened horse had run so fast and so far that we had no idea where we were. By now the sun had almost dipped behind the horizon and we had to think fast, so we…


Topic of Lesson:

Exploring the use of characterization in children’s literature.

Finish the Story:

Objectives:

The students will be able to identify the main characters and the conflict or problem faced by the characters.

Materials:

Lost in The Wild, Wild West

Activities:

Introduction
(Introduce the story in an exciting manner.) Ask the students what they think happened.

Transition
Inform the students that today they will learn how they can write their own exciting stories, and that they will be able to finish a story.

Sequence of Activities

  1. Read the story starter to the students or have the students take parts and read.
  2. Ask the students what they thought made the story that you read exciting. Get the students’ feedback.
  3. Show how the storyteller introduced the characters and then presented the conflict or problem for the characters to overcome.
  4. Have the students write out the rest of the story. Explain that the story needs to present a unique problem or situation that needs to be resolved for the good of the character(s) involved.

Closure:

Allow the students time to compare their stories. You can allow your students to read out loud if time allows and they want to share their work. Review the importance of developing the problem facing the main character(s) in the story. Show the students how they brought a resolution to the plot.

Evaluation:

A quiz can be given that asks students to identify the main characters and the situations faced within the stories that they finished.

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