Search form

About The Blogger

Erik Bean's picture
Erik Bean, Ed.D. has served as an English department chair, school dean, associate professor of arts and humanities, curriculum developer, online instructor, and has taught English composition, film...
Back to Blog

A Facebook Fictional Writing Caper Lesson Plan: Part II

Enjoy Part II of A Facebook Fictional Writing Caper Lesson Plan posted last month here on Education World. Now you can build a complete Facebook lesson plan that suits your class and grade level. 

Character Brainstorming (45 minutes)

Brainstorming, as you will explain to the class is the initial story building process. Continue the lesson with a discussion on the definitions of the protagonist, antagonist, flat, and round characters. You may want to examine any number of websites for quick definitions such as Then select class members who will represent the protagonist and antagonist.

Bear in mind that the selection does not refine these student roles to the writing necessary to develop the characters. They can practice godmodding another character during the story development process if you allow it. Their likeness will simply represent the role in pictures posted to your Facebook class group albums. The use of selected student characters helps build story development interest. Students like seeing themselves and classmates online. Set aside some time to take their photos in class with your smartphone camera. Be sure to disable to GPS setting within the camera options so the location will not be available in the photo properties even though your group will remain closed.

Create a new album for each category of character. Everyone should have his or her photo taken to feel completely connected to this story-building lesson. Later in our lesson plan, we will discuss how student Facebook like votes can sway the direction of the story as it unfolds. In the event of a tie where text dramatically affects the story outcome of the protagonist, antagonist, or round characters, the class will vote to determine the story destination.  

Assigning Student Characters (30 minutes)

You could select a number of methods to assign the characters. The hat or fish bowl method usually works well. On little pieces of papers, write up one for the protagonist, one for the antagonist, six for the round characters, 10 for the flat characters, and 7 for narrators. Have each student make a selection. Then build a list of their assigned roles. When students start contributing to the Almost Never Ending Story via the Facebook comment features they must first decide what role their contributing text represents? Are they posting as the protagonist, antagonist, round, or flat character? On the other hand, are they posting as the narrator to provide more story setting description and or character background information?

Revealing the Class Facebook Group (20 minutes)

Now that you have set up your class Facebook group, determined the story genre, discussed the setting, and assigned the student characters, you can reveal your Facebook group on your classroom computer via an LCD projector. Assuming students are currently active on Facebook, invite them to officially become a group member. Either students must have been a Facebook friend or you can invite them via an email address each must furnish. Once logged into your Facebook class group, the invite feature is found in the right column. Perhaps your school has an email account for each student? Enter the addresses and remind them to accept your invitation either immediately in class if they have computer, iPad, or tablet access or that evening at home. Alternatively, you can send a piece of paper around to obtain their email addresses.

Assigning Facebook Story Posts and Ground Rules (30 minutes)

Assigning the number of student Facebook posts and rules governing the creative freedom that are the basis of the lesson is a necessity. Use these recommended guidelines or make up your own:

  1. Students can post as the narrator or any single character they wish on a daily basis, but no fewer than two posts and no more than three per day allowed. Students should take time to comprehend the current story direction. They should critically consider how their prospective creative post would affect the setting and/or plot. Therefore, they should carefully think before they post.
  2. On a weekly basis, students must contribute one of all possible story roles: narrator, protagonist, antagonist, round, or flat character. They should be prepared to discuss the quality of their contributions in class during a weekly class story roundup.
  3. If contributing dialogue, direct quotes must surround all spoken words accompanied by a past tense verb or adverb, and clearly include the individual character speaking. For example, “This town is not big enough for the both us,” Jordon said seriously. < The order is up to the writer.
    For example, in a serious voice Jordon said, “This town is not big enough for the both us.”
  4. Story Influencer: Every student has a chance to not only influence the story via his or her post, but to vote on which posts make the characters and setting more believable or the plot more meaningful. In order for the voting to be meaningful and to avoid over voting clutter within the comments, students should be allowed to vote a maximum of three votes per day. Votes are used by students and by you as the publisher as a tool guiding the direction of the story. Bear in mind that many posts will contain no votes. Since Facebook does not use a thumbs down option, these absentee votes will need your publisher’s eye to keep or delete.
  5. The instructor reserves the right to remove any post at any time by simply clicking the hidden “x” in the upper right corner of the post itself. However, if you choose to do so be prepared to tell the class why in a publisher’s post as close to the offending post. Reasons for removing posts may include poor grammar, outrageous statements that do not follow logically, or story redundancies. Note that the comment feature in Facebook is flat, meaning no indentation is possible for dialogue or your directional posts. Your posts indicates only one purpose, you are providing story direction or feedback on story contributions.
  6. Briefly explain that their grade will be based on quality story contributions and that once posted students should not later remove them.

    Feel free to share your experience or variations. Education readers will want to know. Missed part 1? Go here.

    The preceding 2 part blog was a complete lesson plan excerpt from the new book Social Media Writing Lesson Plans for YouTube, facebook, NaNoWriMo, CreateSpace, Bonus Intro to Blogger by Erik Bean and Emily Waszak, published by Westphalia Press, imprint of the Policy Studies Organization, Washington, D.C. available at or via