A Suprise Ending

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Choose a well-known children’s story or fable (such as “Jack and the Beanstalk,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” or “The Three Little Pigs,” just to name three possibilities), and rewrite it with a surprise twist or ending.
  • This is an informal assignment. Your story doesn’t need to be more than a page long.
  • Use one-inch margins and a 12-point font.

Tips for Success

  • Think about setting, mood, atmosphere, and suspense before you start writing. Will the details you give about the setting create a mood that will lead the reader to expect the kind of ending you have in mind? Or will you try to lead the reader in another direction altogether?
  • Keep in mind that the setting of many children’s stories can be vague (“Once upon a time in a land far away,” for example). You may have to rewrite to make your setting more specific.
  • If your ending is especially nasty, please avoid gory details. As “The Interlopers” proves, gruesome endings are more powerful if they’re left to the imagination!

Self-Assessment Checklist

Read each question and evaluate your short response. If the answer to the question is yes, check the box to the left. If the answer is no, go back and revise your work. Your teacher will use these same guiding questions to score your short response.

Quality of Ideas

Did I demonstrate an understanding of the assignment by:
  Basing my ending from an existing children’s story?
  Creating an ending that includes a twist or surprise?
Did I demonstrate the ability to think creatively by:
  Using my language or ideas in a creative way?
Did I demonstrate the ability to use correct narrative structure by:
  Making sure the climax does truly lead to the resolution?
  Resolving the story satisfactorily, even if it is a bit of a cliffhanger?
Did I demonstrate the ability to use literary devices by:
  Using figurative language to illuminate my character or dramatic irony to give the situation a twist or any other literary device useful to the telling of the story?
Did I demonstrate the ability to organize my writing by:
  Using transitions?
  Ordering ideas logically?

Form and Presentation

  Did I follow presentation requirements (12-point font, standard margins, length requirements)?
  Did I properly cite all quotations?


  Did I use a variety of sentence types (simple, compound, and complex)?
  Did I avoid run-on sentences and fragments?
  Did I check for spelling and grammar errors?
  Did I use an appropriate tone?

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