Writing a short form is a deceptively challenging activity. It will help your pupils to develop skills in problem-solving, creativity, managing information and working with others.
Short forms are also excellent for motivating reluctant writers, who feel less intimidated by micro-formats. For example:
Summarising using Rhyming Couplets
You can use this activity as modelled or shared writing. Evaluation is built into the class or group discussion.
Encourage your pupils to think aloud here, making mistakes and coming up with improvements, to model the writing process. They will learn to take risks with language choices and to be discerning about what will work best for the chosen form.
As independent group composition, you could divide the key words up into groups and allow each group to devise rhyming couplets to retell a particular chapter/scene of the story, novel or play. Then put the sections together and allow the whole group to redraft/edit so that each rhyming couplet section fits together cohesively to summarise the main points.
This technique will work for any short forms. It can lead to independent production of similar or related forms of writing in the future. This helps pupils to make connections between different forms of writing and between writing and reading, whether story, novel, poem, drama or non-fiction.