Submitted by: Sara Coutanche
This is a lesson I really enjoy - and so do the kids!
You will need to have plenty of thesauruses and dictionaries available for this writing activity.
1. Talk about the concept of 'Utopia'. Get the kids to share orally what their ideas of utopia would be.
2. Now, get them to write a paragraph about their concept of utopia. Give them enough time to write an interesting passage then get them to share with the class.
3. Now you tell them that they are to write a page (or whatever you think is a challenge) about their idea of utopia. However, there is a catch. They may not use any words that contain the letter 'e'. (Mini-discussions at this point can be about how 'e' is the most used letter in the English language; about how they will have to choose alternative words and about how they will have to re-write sentences)
4. Not only do they have to omit the letter 'e', but they have to write a story that doesn't sound strange. I gave them a further challenge... I pick a teacher in the school and tell them that I would get that teacher to come into class and read some of their stories. If the teacher could not guess what they were doing, they won a prize.
5. This activity becomes totally absorbing for the kids. Most want to take it home and work on it there. We share what we have written at various intervals to give others new ideas.
6. The final results can be put into a booklet and placed in the library. The kids love to read these stories!