Keyboarding Activity: Stop the Music

This game will help students enhance their ability to compose at the keyboard.

Divide students into equal rows of four or five. Each student is to compose a short story beginning with the same sentence dictated by the teacher. Some starting sentence ideas are--

Students should have their computer set for double-spacing and understand that since they are composing, format is not important. Proper spelling and grammar are, however, so allow backspace for correction. At the same time the teacher gives the signal to begin, music on a tape or CD should be turned on. At the teacher's discretion, the music will be stopped. When the music stops, each student should move from his/her machine to the machine next to him/her (on the same row). When the music starts again, students should continue the stories. This process continues for as long as the teacher desires, but is suggested that a minimum of two minutes be given for composing. Before the last time, the teacher should warn the students that this will be the last time and they must effectively terminate the story that is on their computers before the music stops again. The winning team is the one, which, in the teacher's opinion, submits the most entertaining and interesting story. It is recommended that the winning story either be posted on the bulletin board or be read to the class by the teacher.

This game may be made more stimulating by requiring a different type of story each time. Possibilities include ghost stories, mystery stories, stories with surprise endings, children's fairy tales, stories with a moral, science fiction, fantasy, and poetry. Most students have a marvelous imagination; with a little encouragement they may create something that will surprise you. You may also wish to have students give the story an appropriate title.