Where Imagination Begins!



"For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams."

-Edgar Allen Poe



Team Writing

(Grades 4 and 5)


Teaching Objectives, Materials and Procedures




Part 1

Group Procedures


Each student works in a group of four and demonstrates social skills, as well as individual and group accountability by:

           Collaborating in creating a story ending

           Listening to one and other

           Taking turns

           Sharing information

           Resolving conflicts


Part 2

Reading and Writing



  Each student will:

        Read "Peril from the Sky."

        Develop a concluding paragraph for the story in collaboration with other  

         team members.

         Write one describing, detailed sentence, which advances the story 

          towards the agreed upon ending.

         Integrate the sentence with the preceding material.





Assessment will be based on demonstrating group skills.

Group Assessment will also be based on writing a detailed sentence and logically integrating it into the  paragraph.




      Overhead transparency of "Peril from the Sky" and associated 


       Paper and pencils for each student.

       A copy of "Peril from the Sky", and Ground Rules for Group Work



Before starting the lesson, the teacher will conduct a minilesson on group behavior and stress the importance of:




To begin, the teacher explains that the excerpt, "Peril from the Sky", will be read aloud  from the overhead.  The class will  follow along on their individual sheets. At the conclusion of the story the class will form groups of four and devise their own ending to the story.




"Peril from the Sky"


Look Up!  Look Down!  Look Out! 











Between driving the car and eying the plane, Ben had his hands full. Al kept looking back at the descending aircraft. 

   "I think the pilot's in trouble," he said. "He's coming down right on top of us."

   They could see the airplane clearly now. They could even see the man in the cockpit. The machine was descending at incredible speed in a long glide. 

   Ben slammed down the accelerator. The car jumped forward, raising a cloud of dust. But the speed of the car was small compared with the speed of the plane. The distance between them shrunk and the plane was steadily nearing the ground.

   "Whoa! That fellow is going to land right on top of us!" shouted Al, in alarm.

   "Not if I can help it," answered Ben grimly.

   For a second the plane flew level. Its nose pointed up and it gained altitude. Al breathed a sigh of relief. Then the big machine dipped again. He could see the propeller blades flashing in the sun.

   The auto was traveling at ninety miles an hour. Ben did not dare raise his eyes from the road. He crouched over the wheel. 

   "Where is he now?' he snapped.

   "Right behind us! And he's coming down faster every second!"

   Powerful though the NASCAR was, the speed of the plane was much greater. It was barely a hundred feet from the ground now and its nose was pointing down at a sharp angle. In a few more seconds there would be a crash, and from the angle of the flight, it seemed almost certain that the heavy plane would crash directly on the speeding auto.

   The car roared ahead, the noise of its engine drowned in the loud throbbing of the airplane's motor. The plane came closer and closer, diving at incredible speed. 

   "We're done for!" groaned Al.

   Unless a miracle intervened, the plane would crash directly on top of the boy's car.

-L. McFarland




It's not just a good idea

It's the law !




Team Writing

An interactive exercise


All for one, one for all


 The students now work as a team (of four) to develop their own ending for the story by:



Blending Endings


Think, Talk, Write!


The students take turns writing the agreed upon ending.

1. The first student writes an imaginative, detailed sentence - one that advances the story towards the consensus ending.

2. The paper is then passed to the second student, who adds another describing sentence. 

3. The third member of the group writes the next sentence.

4. Before the concluding sentence is written, the children discuss different ways of framing the sentence. They consider the following options:


When a consensus decision has been reached on the framework, the fourth student writes the sentence. Their story is now complete.


Dare to Share


Each group shares its results with the rest of the class.


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