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Roll Some Creative Writing Fun!

When it is writing time, do your kids complain that they can't think of anything to write about?  Let me solve this problem for you right now.  Roll-a-story!  This concept is simple but so much fun for the kids.


You need one single die to roll, plus a roll-a-story card that has the writing options on it.  (You can make your own cards or use one that I link to below.)  The card should have a column on the left that shows dice numbered 1-6. Each writer rolls a single die 3 times to determine their story elements.

The first roll selects the character.  The writer will find the picture of the die, showing the number that they rolled, on the card and look to the right of it to find their main character.  The second roll determines the setting and the third roll the story's conflict.  Three rolls of a die and 6 possibilities for each of the story elements equals 216 possible story combinations on just one roll-a-story card.  Your children or students will definitely want to roll and write stories more than one time! Trust me, you'll see.

Are you ready to roll?  Take a look at this FREE roll-a-story card & writing stationery found at Playdough to Plato. It is titled, "Roll a Silly Spooky Story."  Who says spooky stories can only be written around Halloween?  I say they are fun all year long.

Do you love the roll-a-story format but want to take it to the next level? The roll-a-story cards highlight 3 of the 5 elements of a short story (character, setting and conflict).  Teachers and homeschooling parents know that kids often have a tough time understanding the difference between the remaining two elements (plot and theme).

This next resource has it all covered for you.  An informative PowerPoint presentation breaks down all 5 elements of the short story with examples.  It also includes guided notes to keep kiddos engaged during the the PowerPoint as well as a planning sheet, 4 roll-a-story cards (that means 864 possible story combinations), and writing stationery. Whew!  This will get the job done while kiddos have fun.

Happy Writing!

How to Edit an Editable PDF

I recently created an editable PDF resource. 
I must say, it went quite smoothly. Yay!

My favorite proofreader (AKA my husband) was asking me some questions about how certain things would work for the users of the document such as, "What if they want to change the font?"  I said sure they can do that, no problem.  That got me thinking though, will people know how easy it is to make changes?

No worries! I'm stepping in to help with an easy overview for working with an editable PDF created by someone other than yourself.

 What program do I need to make edits?

You will need to use Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to open the editable PDF.  The good news is that it is a free program. You can download the most current version HERE.  Note to Mac users, the 'Preview' feature that opens by default is not the same as the Adobe Reader.

How does it work?

When an author creates an editable PDF, they are allowing you to change one or more portions of their document.  They get to decide what is editable.  It could be the whole document, certain sections or even just a signature box.

When you open the file in Acrobat Reader, you will see blue boxes wherever an editable field has been placed.  To make text changes, just click in the box and type your own content.  In the example shown below, starter text and suggestions were typed in by the document author (me!). That text can simply be deleted by the user once they are ready to type in their own words.

 In addition to typing your own words you might be able to change the text attributes.  If the author of the file has allowed it, you can access a Properties Bar to change things such as the font type, size, color, etc.  To access the Properties Bar, click in an editable text field.  Then, right click in an empty space on the menu bar above.  A box will pop-up.  As shown in the example below, you should select Show Properties Bar.

Once the Properties Bar is accessible, highlight the text that you would like to change.  Then click on the feature on the Properties Bar to apply it to that highlighted text.  Take a look at some attributes below that can be edited using the Properties Bar.

Easy-peasy, right!?  If you are curious about the document used in the examples, it is my Substitute Survival Guide Flipbook.


Happy Teaching!