Last week I asked my novice students to finish a story I had printed out for them. Since challenging and sparking the imagination of students isn’t really on the teachers’ list I figured I would give it a go and see what they come up with. I was sure that with this kind of story they would be able to create the craziest and funniest endings. Here is the story and the task:
NOT A NORMAL ZOO DAY
It all started on a nice sunny day last April. All the kids in school were excited to be going to the zoo, but I was especially excited. I love animals and picnics, and going to the zoo is having both at the same time.
At the zoo, we got to see different animals in their cages and some of them were getting fed by their guards. Each of us had a favorite animal, and mine was the Elephant.
It was all going well, until Sam decided to mess around with the lock on the monkeys’ cage and then..
Finish the story
Continue this story with your own ideas.
It was their homework to finish the story and the next day we had class I asked each one of them to read out loud their story. I was very surprised as most of them had only 1-2 sentences and the longest ending was 4 sentences. Also the level of creativity was quite meager as the only thing that happened was that
a) the monkeys stayed in the cage or
b) they ate some bananas and ran to the jungle or
c) they freed the other animals and THEN ran to the jungle.
I said “COME ON, that can’t be all the ideas that you have, there must have been more happening after the cage door opened!”
I pushed and pushed and pushed them with questions like “and what happened then” and I also gave them a hint that they should think of the movie Madagascar which I had given to one of the novices for his Birthday. In the end of our 60 minute class we had a story up on the board that made me giggle and happy as it was so much more creative than boring monkeys not getting their ass out of the cage.
- after the cage opened the monkeys freed the other animals
- a giraffe, a zebra, a penguin, a seal, a lion, a tiger and some monkeys robbed a bank and bought a car and helicopter with the money
- they flew to NEw York with the helicopter
- then they went to the White House to visit Obama (I forgot to mention to them that the White House is NOT in NY)
- they put a gun to Obama’s head and told him that he needed to make sure that all zoos in the world will be closed
- Obama called the presidens of all countries and told them that they need to close their zoos because the animals are not happy in captivity and should be able to live their life in freedom.
- When Obama called the Lao president the Lao president told him he would only close the zoo if he got some money to compensate for the loss of ticket sales
- the American president was ok with it and the animals left.
- Some of them went into the jungle, some into the desert and some to the South Pole.
- Onc a year they all meet again.
Now THAT is good story, isn’t it?