Alternative Endings Teacher Resources
Find Alternative Endings educational ideas and activities
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Third graders write a formal letter to an author. In this expansive writing lesson, 3rd graders write a formal letter to an author suggesting an alternate ending for a story the author has written. This lesson requires students to know how to write a formal letter, as well as requiring them to be able to analyze a story.
Second graders re-write a story. In this alternate endings lesson, 2nd graders read Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse, by Leo Lionni, stopping to discuss the events and predict what will happen next. Students work in groups to come up with a different ending to the story and then share their endings with the class.
Students complete a variety of activities related to story of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" as written by James Marshall. They retell the story using flannel board pieces, discuss alternative endings for the story, and create illustrations for their new ending. Students also sort items by size and cook and eat porridge.
Fourth graders write an alternate ending to a story. In this fiction lesson, 4th graders listen to the story Truffle's Christmas by Anna Currey. They stop before the ending and write their own paragraph ending to the story.
Upper elementary learners use their imagination and the writing process to compose short stories with correct grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. To incorporate technology, they use PowerPoint to create a presentation of their stories. In addition, they have the opportunity to create an alternate ending to their classmates' stories.
The students recall events from Dr. Seuss' story The Lorax and make connections to environmental issues affecting their lives. They are expected to reflect on the facts of the story and respond verbally stating the inferences they made in order to devise alternative endings or possible solutions. Students make judgments and begin to observe positive actions that will preserve the condition of the earth.
Third graders write endings to a story that has already been written. They offer alternative endings in their version. The lesson includes a rubric that is to be given to the students in order that they know the requirements.
What if . . .? Is the view of the empty street in front of the White’s house the only possible ending to “The Monkey’s Paw”? The narrator of this short video models for viewers how to use brainstorming to generate possible alternative conclusions to W. W. Jacobs’ short story that remain true to his warning that we should not tempt fate, or we will suffer the consequences. Part one of a five-part series focusing on narrative writing and using “The Monkey’s Paw” as an anchor text, this video could be used alone, but should follow a close reading of the story.
Creating an alternative ending to a narrative is the focus of a five-part series of videos that use W. W. Jacobs’ short story “The Monkey’s Paw” to model the process. This video, the third in the series, shows viewers how to use an outline and meaningful language to draft the previously planned conclusion. The video would work best shown with the others after a close reading of the tale.
Find out about the books your pupils are reading, and toss in some creative writing to increase engagement. Young readers note the title, author, and illustrator of their book before composing a brief alternate ending. There is also space for other notes.
- Provide sentence frames to support younger learners or those who need more assistance with writing
- Since the task of coming up with a new ending might be more difficult for some, encourage conversation about their books before getting to the writing task
The second in a series of three lessons that examine how different writers explore the issues of individual freedoms and tolerance in America uses The Crucible as the anchor text. The focus here is what Miller has to say about the causes and results of intolerance. Through a series of carefully scripted activities, groups view multiple interpretations of scenes, compare the characters to their historical counterparts, and respond to text-based questions. To conclude the study, individuals craft an alternate ending to the play.
New! What If?
For many children around the world, food scarcity is a painful reality of daily life. Help young scholars understand the seriousness of this global issue with with a reading of the book The Good Garden. After discussing food security and completing a related worksheet, students conclude the lesson by writing and illustrating alternate endings to the story. Addressing a number of topics in social studies, science, math, and language arts, this cross-curricular lesson can really make for a rich learning experience in the upper elementary and middle school grade levels.
Learners with special needs and learning disabilities explore writing by becoming story editors. The class reads a story together after hearing it once through first. Then, they each examine the pictures from the story and work on paraphrasing its contents. They then become editors tasked with creating a new ending for the story, this can be done with an assistive device or through dictation.
Fifth grade reader/writers create an alternate ending to an episode in Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach in which our protagonist "loses" the chance to magically solve all his problems. Prompts students not only to write creatively and fluently, but to think critically by exploring possible outcomes. Link to the lively Roald Dahl official website. Rubric link is defunct.
In this reading worksheet, students choose a novel and write about what genre it belongs to. Students also write an introduction to a sequel or an alternative ending for the book.
Altering the ending of a famous fairy tale is a really fun way for kids to experience creative writing. The lesson plan here has them do just that! Learners listen to the famous fairy tale, "The Twelve Brothers," and change the ending of the tale any way they want. Pupils share their endings with each other, then illustrate the ending. Even with a class of 25 pupils, you'll be amazed at how each child will come up with a different way for the fairy tale to end.
First graders identify the beginning, middle, and ending of a story and describe the plot, setting, and the characters. As a class they read a picture story and identify the beginning, middle, and end. Students then draw a picture of an alternate ending to the story.
Investigate the life of Mahatma Gandhi by researching non-violent lifestyles. Learners define the word ahimsa and discuss the personal characteristics that made Gandhi a peaceful warrior. They also create a poster about the story "The Little Red Hen" as an example of a story with a moral. This is a multi-grade lesson because it can be adapted to so many different stories and examples. Character analysis and comparisons between texts are made.
Analyze and interpret a literary work your class has read during the course. After reading a variety of literary works, middle schoolers alter the ending of a selection by creating an alternate ending. They generate five comprehension questions related to their alternate ending and interpretation of the story. The lesson focuses on literary elements such as plot and theme. A student example is included.
Fourth graders identify social, moral, or cultural issues in stories such as problems faced by characters. They discuss how characters deal with the problems and locate evidence as it appears in the text. They write 3 paragraphs or chapters to collect, order, and build ideas.