This is a fun story that can be used with any fruit or vegetable that has visible seeds. It’s a prompt that can easily be written in the fall about an apple or pumpkin. For the sake of this lesson, I’m going to use watermelon.
NOTE: This lesson can address the following Common Core Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.3, RL.1.3, RL.1.7, RL.2.3, RL.3.3, RL.4.3, RL.5.3 As students learn to write the various components of a story, they will be better equipped to recognize and find the same components in stories that they are reading.
To get a full understanding on how I conduct each writing lesson you may want to read the Writing Prompts Introduction post. The lesson outlined below (and all other prompts posted) will make more sense and be easier to follow and use. Here’s the lined paper I use for Grades K-2 and Grades 2-7
Here’s the lesson!
- Tell the general storyline: “Today you’re going to write a fairy tale. In the fairy tale, there’s a legend about a magical watermelon seed. Greedy people try to get it. A poor humble family stumbles upon it and uses it for good.”
- Encourage your students to think about the following questions:
a. What does the legend say?
b. How do the greedy people behave?
c. How does the poor family get the seed?
d. What magical thing does the seed actually do?
e. How does the poor family respond?
3. Have the students brainstorm answers to the questions.
(If they can’t think of anything on their own, you can share some of the ideas below.)
a. The legend says that the seed will grow gold, grow golden watermelons, grow watermelons with golden seeds inside etc.
b. The greedy people fight over watermelons at the market, steal watermelons, smash watermelons, look continuously for the magical watermelon etc.
c. A watermelon rolls into their yard, they pick up a broken watermelon, one just so happens to grow behind their hut, they get the lucky watermelon, etc.
d. The seed produces golden stalks, golden watermelons, watermelons with seeds of gold, etc.
e. The poor family quietly leaves town and builds an orphanage (or something charitable). OR, they become wealthy and rule the town in a positive way. Or they secretly give golden seeds to specific people etc.
4. Give the students a 1-2 minutes to think about their story.
5. Show the 5 sections:
Setting and Legend
The Poor Family
The Seed is Found
The Good Fortune
Now to Write!
Guide the students through the following steps. They are free to use their own words. Remind them that ANYTHING can happen in their story as long as they follow the steps to keep their story organized. (There are sample sentences for your own guidance.)
- Introduce the setting. Name the town, state or region.
Long ago in the hills of Scotland, there was a town called Bluestone.
2. Describe the legend in detail.
There was a legend that said one day a watermelon would hold a magical seed. The seed would grow small golden watermelons. Those golden watermelons would have seeds that would grow more golden watermelons.
3. Describe how the greedy people behaved. Write out their actions, thoughts and conversations.
Every summer the townspeople would fight over watermelons at the market. They would push to get the biggest ones. “Hey! I was here first!” they often shouted. They would steal watermelons. They even dropped and smashed them on purpose to look inside.
4. Describe the poor family’s attitude by writing out their actions and words.
However, the Ainsley’s were different. They were a quiet, poor family. They were friendly and didn’t seem bothered by the legend. Each summer they went to the market and bought one watermelon. It was a treat that they all looked forward to.
5. Write out the events on how the family got the watermelon with the magical seed.
This year was no different. They took home their watermelon and enjoyed every bite. About a month later, they noticed something shiny in their trash pile. The father looked more closely. It was a small golden watermelon!
6. Tell what the family decided to do with their fortune.
The Ainsley’s didn’t announce their fortune. They decided to move to the other side of Scotland. They built a home where they could house, feed and take care of orphans happily ever after.
7. Conclude the story by mentioning the greedy people. Did their behavior change?
The people in Bluestone never knew about the Ainsley’s fortune and are still fighting over watermelons.
Once students finish they can complete their simple watermelon art accent.
Here’s the start to two different stories:
Games that we played following this lesson are:
The Penny Game (naming fruits and vegetables that have seeds)
How Many Words? (using the word watermelon)