Round Robin Writing Exercises & Prompts

Instructor: Abigail Cook
Round robin writing is a fun way to get your students engaged and excited about writing their own stories. Let's review the basics of round robin writing and look at prompts you may use to get your class motivated.

Round Robin Writing

Round robin writing is a learning activity where students work together to create their own story. The purpose of this activity is to get students to work cooperatively, practice creativity, and work on writing skills in a fun and engaging way. The steps of round robin writing go like this:

1. Split the class into groups of three to five students.

2. Provide a writing prompt to be the topic of their story.

3. Have one student start the story by writing a sentence.

4. This student will then pass the paper to the student on their right.

5. This student reads the first sentence, and writes a sentence to describe what happens next.

6. The paper is passed around the circle to each student, who add their own sentences to contribute to the story.

7. The activity ends when time is up, or when the story is finished.


Depending on your classroom setup and your students' abilities, you may add variations to these steps. For example, if you prefer each student to be writing the whole time instead of waiting for the paper to come back to them, you may have each student start their own story. In this version of round robin, they would all write a beginning sentence on their own paper and pass it to the next student so there are several stories going at a time. This ensures that every time they pass their paper on, they get the next paper and keep writing. At the end of the activity, students would decide as a group which story to turn in or share with the class.

Another variation involves using a timer to indicate when to pass the story. This means that each student would write as much as they can of the story, and pass it along when they hear the timer. This allows students a little more time to be creative as they develop their ideas for what comes next in the story.

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