Writing Activities for the Geronimo Stilton Book Series
- Grades: 3–5
Use these activities to help your students become more confident and effective writers.
1. Create an Idea Web
Invite students to expand upon their Geronimo Stilton readings by "webbing out" their thoughts. Distribute the Idea Web worksheet (PDF). Tell students that the large circles stand for main ideas and that the smaller circles link away from them because they stand for thoughts that support those main ideas. Then ask students to write inside the largest circle a theme, a main idea, or a character's personality trait from a Geronimo Stilton book. Within the smaller circles, have them write down examples from the book that illustrate that idea. Explain that a web is formed when one idea leads to another in this manner. Conclude the lesson by asking students to write a paragraph based on what they webbed.
2. Adjectives All Around
Whether he's crying "slimy Swiss balls!" or promising a "whisker-licking-good adventure," Geronimo knows how to get attention with colorful descriptions. Most good journalists do this as well, and you can help your students practice the same skill with a simple exercise. Ask them to pick a place they've visited in the past and jot down all the memories they have of that time. It could be a summer vacation, a visit to a relative's house, a class field trip, or a special memory of a person or place that they would like to write about. Ask students to spend 15 minutes jotting down all the images, words and memories that come to mind when they think of this person or place. Then tell them to write a few paragraphs that describe what they've seen. Encourage them to use descriptive words and specific details about the sights, sounds, and smells of the location so that readers can vividly picture it in their mind.
3. Role-Playing in Author Interviews
Help students examine Geronimo Stilton books from different perspectives. Ask them to conduct an interview where one person plays the part of Geronimo, the author, while the other acts as a reporter. They can prepare for their interview by discussing what motivates Geronimo as a writer and how they can relate to him personally. Tell them that examining writers in this manner on a one-on-one level shows that authors have strengths and weaknesses just like everyone else and that their writing can also be questioned like that of anyone else. Encourage students to use these insights when formulating questions, and answers during their interview. Be sure the reporter in each pair is writing down notes. Then have students switch roles.
4. Picture It
Though each Geronimo Stilton book is filled with colorful words and illustrations, they don't tell the whole story. That's because students are often engaged in some visualizing of their own while they read. Provide them with markers and a blank sheet of paper so they can make sketches based on what they've seen in their mind's eye. These images may include literal representations of objects and characters or symbols of related concepts and emotions. Then have students write a few paragraphs about their drawings. Why did they draw their pictures the way they did? What do these drawings mean? How did drawing help them better understand the Geronimo Stilton text? Encourage volunteers to share their art and writing with the class and have a discussion based on their work.
5. Summing It All Up
Reporters must have good listening and summarizing skills when gathering information from sources and condensing it into a final article. Explain to students that this means using their judgment to identify key ideas in sources and then noting them in their own words. Read aloud two or three consecutive chapters from a Geronimo Stilton book (preferably from the beginning or middle of the story so that you won't reveal any surprise endings). To shorten this activity, you may wish to read a brief but cohesive excerpt that includes an interview or conversation between two characters instead. Tell students to listen carefully and take notes that will help them remember key events and characters from the passage. Then have them write a paragraph that summarizes what they learned.
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