Month: March 2016

Pranks Galore! The Week's COW April Fools' Day Writing Challenge

Everyone loves April Fools’ Day! (Don’t they?) Well, writers certainly do, as there’s nothing funnier than writing about a wild prank. (Isn’t there?) In honour of April Fools’ Day, here’s a COW Writing Challenge to get those creative ideas flowing.

Instead of writing from the point of view of the prankster, students are challenged to write from the point of view of the person who got pranked. (Prankster versus Prankee?)

The written prompt for this writing challenge is:  The week leading up to April 1st was the worst week of my life! It began on Monday, when…

Students are then challenged to write about a series of pranks in which they were the victim.  Of course, the story could take a twist.  Does the prankee turn into the prankster?

To make things even more interesting, along with this prompt, students will be continually inspired by an April Fools’ bonus word list.

We hope our writers will fool their audience with some prankish twists and turns in their writing!

What’s Behind the Door? This Week's COW Writing Challenge

One day, you hear a knock at your door.  Before opening the door, you look through the peep hole in the door.  This is what you see . . .

Pig at Door


For this week’s COW Writing Challenge, the students are asked to tell us what will happen next.  There are all kinds of possibilities.  Before writing, students can explore the possibilities by thinking over the following questions:

1.  What happens if you open the door?

2.  If you decide not to open the door, you know this pig will not go away easily.  (A role reversal of the Three Little Pigs?)

3.  Is it you that is answering the door, or is it another creature or character?  Maybe a wolf?

4.  Does the creature you see through the peep hole turn out to be something unexpected?  Could it actually be a door-knocking puppeteer?

Challenge the students to write a story which has all sorts of unexpected twists and turns in the plot.  Even looking through the peep hole in a front door, things are never what they appear at first glance!

Lucky Leprechaun Wishes This Week's COW Writing Challenge

I’ve never seen a green COW, but that doesn’t mean COWs don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!  This week’s COW Writing Challenge is full of leprechauns, rainbows, pots of gold, and other magical mysteries from the Emerald Isle.

The prompt for this writing challenge is:  A leprechaun granted me three wishes.  My first wish was . . .

But the celebration of everything Irish doesn’t stop there.  As students write, they will encounter bonus words that will make them green with . . . well, not envy.  More like green with delight!


Archenemies! This Week's COW Writing Challenge

Point of View


This week’s COW Writing Challenge is a this visual prompt, plus the written prompt, “There it is!  My archenemy, the . . .”

We are asking students to imagine they are the cat . . . or are they the toy?  They are to tell what happens from one of these points of view.  Possibly, they could write two stories– one from each point of view.

This writing challenge provides students with an opportunity to explore an important element of writing in the first person.  Choosing to have one of their characters narrate the story leads to the following questions regarding Point of View:

Which character is best able to tell the story?

How would the story be different if it was told by a different character?

How reliable is the narrator of your story?  Does she or he see things objectively, or do they see things subjectively, with their strong opinions influencing the telling of the story?

A great activity is to have students write the same story twice– each told from a different character’s point of view.  This can be particularly powerful when the two characters are archenemies.  Great examples of literature that use point of view effectively include:

The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg

Origami Yoda Series by Tom Angleberger

The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman

Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers

From my point of view, this can be a really interesting writing activity!



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