I gave them the option of either writing it in a purely expository form, step 1, clear the floor, etc., or, as I spoke with one student, E., we came up with the idea of having something go wrong as he was cleaning his room. Evidently, we have creative imaginations, since E. decided that we could have a monster mess up his room.
I asked him to close his eyes and took him into his bedroom in his imagination. As E. sat there, eyes closed, others were giggling, he said he heard giggling from his closet. I asked him to look in the closet and see what was in there. He said they were “monster people”, we had written stories the previous month on “monsters”.

On my bulletin board I have a poster on the “S words” and I used this to generate more ideas from him: sound, site, shape, surface.

E. described them; I was looking for adjectives and more descriptive words in their writings. They have “bubbles on their heads”, he said. I kept asking him questions about them, he said giggled and they were like humans only 20 cm tall. The other students were interjecting silly comments, I was afeared of losing them during the session. Nevertheless, I kept on!
I brought E. back to the room -from his closed eyes and his imagination, and he jotted down some quick words about his creature. We had to figure out what to call them, I wrote the two words on the board: monster people. We took off the /ster/, fiddled around with the word People” and decided he would call them “Monpopples.”

I sat and scribbled notes as E. dictated to me the story. I use a keyboard almost exclusively – I do not have good handwriting! I do mean they were scribbled jot notes. We then went down into the lab, and a day later he was able to take my scribbled notes and translate them into a story. I was amazed.
What was truly amazing is that the next day another student, T., an artist, not so much a writer so far, brought in a story with 8 paragraphs, which he had divided into chapters. Who knew?! He had used the general idea of the story writing exercise: a creature interfering with his cleaning his room, which was very well written and included cover art. He had listened to the process and formed the story in his mind as I worked with the other students It was the most amount of work I had ever gotten from this young artist. Beautifully printed on three sheets of paper, stapled, including cover art.
I promised T. I would take the drawing home and scan it for him, for his web page. I had to white out his last name, since OCDSB Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) policy states that we should not post the last names of students. I sat during my lunch break and typed out 5/8 of the story to get him started, the spelling wasn’t so much invented spelling as homonyms!

During his LA class he typed the rest of the story, I helped him spell check and we posted it to his web portfolio .

I find that getting them started on the typing really assists the slow typists. Quicker hunt& peck typists also do not mind typing a story for a peer, if it helps them get going. I have one student who does not write at all well, and we use peer typists on a regular basis. We brainstorm writing ideas, do pre-writing and put together the kernel of the story. Some prefer to write on the keyboard, some prefer to do a rough draft on paper. Whatever works for the student works for me!
I had a long day, but a good day. After handing our report cards, I went home greedy for my weekend!