Inspired by the popular world of Minecraft, our 3rd-5th grade writers at Chabot Elementary in Oakland "mined" for stories earlier this year!

Students worked from prompts to create their own story in a world of their choice, choosing 1 of 3 dimensions
Hanisuhs was an ice dragon. She was born in a place called Orsavya. Suddenly a drought came and all the water and snow evaporated. She decided to find a new home, so she got into a boat at midnight and set sail. The next day was hard. There was a leak in the boat and it kept overflowing with water. When evening came a crash of lightening struck, barely missing the boat. When she looked up she saw a dark figure hovering in the clouds. It was a lightning dragon! Lightning dragons are the enemies of ice, water and snow dragons. A snarl pushed its way onto the lightning dragon's face as he swooped down onto the boat. When he was face to face with Hanisuhs, he hissed, "Goodbye!" Lightning flashed toward her but she dodged it. The lightening hit the boat and smoke bulged into the air, leaving a massive hole. More water flooded into the boat. After a few moments the water was up to her haunches...

Students explored "point of view" in worlds of their own creation using descriptive writing
The Point of View
Once there was a robber sneaking quietly around the city. He came to a bank and climbed onto the roof where he found a trap door. He jumped through the trap door and when he landed inside the bank, he saw stacks of money. "Bonus!" he thought to himself. He looked up and saw a sign that read "All this money is 7.6.97 billion dollars!" It took him five minutes to gather all the money into his bags. He bought famous cars and was never caught.

Here are two stories-in-progress from an exercise on building a story arc through narrative writing
Minecraft Adventure
One day I was walking and saw a village. Every inch of the village was dark blue and was surrounded by crops that were as black as a chalkboard. There were about 50 houses full of MPC's. I was really hungry so I stole some food from the black crops. The food tasted like hamburgers. As I went on exploring, I found a lime green enderman. All I had on me for a weapon was a wooden sword. I hit the enderman with the sword. It flashed purple and then disappeared. Behind where the enderman was standing was a strange red and purple portal. I jumped through it... 

The Bandit
One day a helicopter crashed into an unknown place. It was all forest and far ahead there was a village full of people, The bandit (who was flying the helicopter) decided he wanted to spend his life there. Sadly though, he was kicked out. Nobody trusted him because he set loose 3,000,000,000 zombie pigmen. He lived in a shack about 7,000 feet away from the village and snuck back every night to steal supplies.  

Students built characters using narrative writing techniques
The Story of Zooy Dooy
Madness. Fear. Destruction. Zooy ran from the forsaken battle (Elkite vs. Sanartrol). Senartro was losing hopelessly and her planet was slowly dying. Zooy ran as fast as she could until she ran completely off of her planet and ended up in deep space. Behind her, the planet (with her entire family on it) exploded into bits. Zooy is now the last Murflow-- tiny little Zooy Dooy with her ragged purple fur...

Felix is 17. He is son the of Posiden. He can heal a cut just by touching it to water. His last name is Wood. He decided he wanted to go to training camp, so he took ten days to build a chariot. His best friend is named Jack. He has a scar across his left eye from a mountain lion. He really likes crystals and rocks. His favorite food is pork, and he loves to play hockey. 

Students were given a prompt ("a monster is coming at your character") & wrote stories from a 1st person perspective
The Forest on Mars
I am in an unknown forest on Mars. My name is George. I can see rust colored rocks. There's a huge, legless alien coming right for me! I jump into a nearby lake to escape, and KABOOM! it explodes because its full of bombs and grenades! Now I am left hiding in a big hole in the ground... 

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