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Write a Round-Robin Story



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  • Arts & Humanities
    Language Arts, Literature


3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Brief Description

Students learn about the elements of a story (introduction, plot, climax, resolution, denouement). In groups of five, one student writes an introduction and passes it to the next person, who writes the plot and passes it to the next person, who writes the climax and so it goes!


Students will

  • learn about the elements that make up a story (introduction, plot, climax, resolution, denouement);
  • write one section of a pass-around story that builds as each person adds to it;
  • write a story that includes the five elements.


plot, climax, story, resolution, denouement, writing, round robin, character

Materials Needed

  • writing materials

Lesson Plan

Write the following list on a board or chart:

  • Introduction
  • Plot
  • Climax
  • Resolution
  • Denouement

Use the context of a story to explain to students the meaning of each of the above terms. Write students' ideas on chart paper. Some possible ideas include the following:

  • Introduction: Characters are introduced, setting is established, plot might be set up.
  • Plot: Events start to happen, trouble begins to brew, a situation is exposed.
  • Climax: The real excitement occurs, the reader is left hanging.
  • Resolution: Things begin to settle down, many loose ends are tied up.
  • Denouement: Events are wrapped up, final fate of characters is established.


In order to solidify students' understanding of the main parts of a story, talk about a story the students have read together in class; identify the different parts of that story.

Arrange students into groups of five. Provide one student in each group with a sheet of writing paper and explain to students how the activity will work. Then begin the activity. When you say "Start," the first person in the group has ten minutes (or another set time period) to write a good introduction to a story. Set an oven timer to sound at the end of ten minutes. When the timer goes off, the person who has been writing passes the story to his or her right. That person has ten minutes to read the introduction and to write a plot section that builds on the introduction. Set the timer so it will sound at the end of ten minutes. When the timer goes off, the student who worked on the plot passes the paper to the next person, who will write the climax. Continue until the last person in the group has completed the denouement to the story.

Additional notes about this lesson:

  • Before beginning the writing activity, share an example of a round-robin story.
  • During the round-robin writing activity, students in each group might work on a single story. If that is the case, be sure the other students in the group have an assignment to work on as the story is making its way among the group members.
  • All five students could write an introduction. When the timer goes off, all students pass their papers to the right. In that way, each student has experience writing an introduction, a plot, a climax, a resolution, and a denouement. At the end of the period, each student can take back the story she or he started and edit that story for publication or sharing.


Close the lesson by reviewing what students learned about writing a story, what elements make a good story, which part of the story seemed easiest and most difficult to write, how many of the parts overlap in longer stories as multiple plots unfold, and so on.


Students write their own stories, making sure they include each of the five elements (introduction, plot, climax, resolution, and denouement) discussed in the lesson. They correctly label each section of their stories.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards


See additional writing lessons in Make the "Write" Impression.

Return to the More "Write" Stuff lesson plan.


Originally published 02/28/2005
Links last updated 06/30/2005