How to Use a Story that will Inspire Spring Writing

Happy spring  everyone!  Spring always reminds me of a fabulous writing activity my class enjoyed each year!  Using a great story that leads into the writing is one of my favorite ways to get the kids excited about writing, and that's exactly how this activity began. And they always loved it!  So now I want to share it with you. 

Use a Great Story to Inspire Fabulous Writing.

It was around this time every year that we read Missing: One Stuffed Rabbit by Maryann Cocca-Leffler. It was the perfect time for the story, of course, because it is about a bunny rabbit who goes missing! 

Coco the stuffed rabbit in Mrs. Robin's second grade class has a diary.  Every night Coco goes home with a student, and that student gets to write the events of the evening in Coco's voice.
When it's Janine's turn, she gets to keep Coco and his diary for the entire weekend.  As the caregiver

Click on the image to find this book at Amazon.
of Coco and his diary, she takes him everywhere with her.  But after a day at the mall, she realizes that the rabbit is lost and she's unable to find him.

She's so sad to report the missing toy to the class on Monday morning. The second graders remember that there was a toy drive at the mall and Coco may have wound up at the hospital children's ward.  Sure enough, they find him at the hospital with a wheelchair-bound girl, They agree that, even though they will miss him, Coco should remain with the girl. She needs him more than they do. Janine writes the last journal entry in Coco's diary about his new home and new name.

My students really enjoyed this story, especially the extension activities that followed.  We would finish the story on a Friday, and over the weekend, I would pick up a cute stuffed bunny at one of the thrift stores and a small 3-ring binder.

I created a binder cover and journal writing pages to fit in it.  Then I wrote the first diary entry in the rabbit's voice to introduce him when I read it to the class on Monday.

Use a Great Story to Inspire Fabulous Writing.

Use a great story to inspire fabulous writing

The kids got so excited when I introduced our new class pet!  We voted on the perfect name for the bunny and drew the name of the first student to take him home for the night.  Each night or weekend, a student took Fluffy (or whatever the given name) and his journal home to write about the events that transpired. Sometimes Fluffy got to go to a ballgame, a movie, out for pizza, or grandma's house. His life was good and full of adventure.  It was the student's job to write a diary entry in Fluffy's voice, or point of view, to read to the class the next day.
Use a great story to inspire fabulous writing.

Use a great story to inspire fabulous writing.

When Fluffy and his diary returned to school the next day with the student in charge, that student read the diary entry to the class.  Then he or she passed Fluffy and the diary on to the next student in charge.  The kids absolutely loved this!!  And so did Fluffy, of course! :)
Use a Great Story to Inspire Fabulous Writing.Use a Great Story to Inspire Fabulous Writing.

If this is an activity you would like to try with your class, I'm leaving you a free sample of my binder cover and journal writing pages.  There are two different color choices for the cover and two different line sizes for writing  All you have to do is click on the image to download and copy the pages you need.
Use a Great Story to Inspire Fabulous Writing.
Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for all you do for your students!

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  1. OMG! That's a cute, cute idea! Thank you Anita for sharing your writing activity! Love it :)
    Mrs. Nicolau
    Brinca Into Bilingual!

  2. Thanks Brinca and Christine! You're both very sweet! This activity has always been one of my favorite. So glad you like it! :)


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