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Add and Pass Activity: Google Docs Collaboration

Check out this small group creative writing and collaboration activity!

My family has many road trip traditions such as “I spy with my little eyes” or “I hear with my little ears”, trying to get the trucker to honk his horn, playing 3D mental tic tac toe (see Tic Tac Toe post), and “Add and Pass” story telling. In this post, let’s turn the classic “Add and Pass” story telling into a small group creative writing activity!

Add and Pass Story Activity

The game begins when someone starts a story with an interesting sentence – preferably a sentence with a cliff hanger. The next person adds a sentence, and the next add a little more and so on. Now let’s make this a digital version of Add and Pass with a blank document. The image might be a spooky house, a historical figure, a scene from a story or anything that you want! Share the document with a group of students. Number the students off. Student #1 writes the first sentence. Student #2 begins where the first student left off – continuing the story but adding his/her own spin.

Teacher Hints: This activity works well with small groups (4-6 students) but can be done with larger groups. Note: It will take time for the document to be passed from student to student if the group consists of too many students! 

If desired, you (the teacher) can provide a story prompt or the first sentence. Be sure to encourage students to use descriptive words – this is a great time to talk about adjectives and replace boring verbs with more engaging verbs. Provide an example:

“The baby bird fell out of the nest.”

“With a startled squawk, the baby bird tumbled from her nest.”

Want to make it a cliff hanger? “With a startled squawk, the baby bird tumbled from her nest. Falling beak over talons, the dizzy little hawk landed on . . . “

Need ideas? There are numerous writing prompts available on the Internet; here is one: 100 Student writing prompts.


Modification 1: Is your student working on listening skills and gleaning information from image descriptions? Add an image to the top of the document. Be sure to include a detailed image description! If your student is working on exploring and gleaning information from a tactile graphic, include a tactile graphic image.

Modification 2: Provide a list of words that the student can choose from. Each student must use one (or more?) words from the list in their sentence/story. The word list might be spelling words, vocabulary words, or simply fun verbs to support creative story writing!

Modification 3: Require students to write multiple sentences or a short paragraph instead of one sentence.

Modification 4: If your student is working on Google Slides skills, create and share a slide deck with one slide for each person. Remember, the students must complete their slide in the correct order according to their number or the story will not make sense!

Itinerant TVIs: Do you have students in different schools? This digital activity can be done anywhere, any time – including with students in different classes or different schools. Connect your students with this digital writing activity!


By Diane Brauner

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