Once Upon A Time In English Class

It's back-to-school season, and teachers and parents alike are scrambling for tools to build their kids' literacy and writing skills. Books like Daily Spark and Brain Quest are stockpiled for the coming days, but once you've used a page in those resources, it's been used for that year. Where are the educational resources with infinite re-use potential?
Once Upon A Time 3rd Edition is the answer! Not only is it a fun and flexible way to build vocabulary, comprehension, creativity, and narrative structure when it's played according to the game rules, it's also a great tool for writing prompts and classroom exercises. Here are four ways you can use Once Upon A Time 3rd Edition in a multi-child educational setting:
  • Deal each child 3-5 Story Cards, then put out a common Ending Card. All the stories will land in the same place, but they'll use different elements to get there.
  • Put out 3-5 Story Cards (perhaps one of each suit: Character, Thing, Place, Aspect, and Event), then give each child a different Ending Card. Kids will use the elements in different ways to arrive at their unique ending.
  • In small groups, deal 2 or 3 Story Cards to each child, and an Ending Card for each group. Kids add a sentence or two to the story as they play a card, taking turns around the circle, to build a collaborative story.
  • Give each child a Story Card, then name a part of speech (Noun, Adjective, Verb, etc.). Children with a card that fits that part of speech stand, and each one makes up a sentence that correctly uses their word or phrase in a sentence.
For a more developed guide to using Once Upon A Time 3rd Edition as a fiction-writing tool, be sure to check out the Once Upon A Time Writer's Handbook by Kelly Olmstead. And feel free to post your own ideas for how to use this creative card game for education!

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