Three Wishes: Students Share Their Writing

8/20/2010 note: I’m moving this article from my website to my blog for archiving. This lesson/collaboration was written by a high school special education / remedial reading teacher. These videoconferences were an early example of powerful sharing of writing via videoconference. Student feedback to each other was excellent.

Three Wishes Videoconference Series: Students Share Their Writing

Niles, Michigan will be the host of the NBC Three Wishes TV Show in March 2006. Leading up to this event, teachers are incorporating the three wishes idea into their lesson plans.

Coordinating Teacher: Lynn Rouse

Online Registration: Please fill out the online form.

Event #1.

November 16. 11:30-12:30, EST. Three Wishes. Participating Schools:

  • Host: Niles High School
  • Olean, Western NY

Teacher Preparation

Students read Monkey’s Paw. They write at least one (up to three) wishes in the format for the show Three Wishes.

Each class should read the wishes to each other and vote on your top three wishes. Those students should then practice reading their wishes aloud so they can do so clearly over the videoconference.

Videoconference Format
During the videoconference Nov. 16, we’ll start with greetings from each school. Each class should introduce themselves with a bit of information about the school and a map of your location. Then we’ll rotate through each class sharing their 3 wishes. If there is time, we may hear more than those three wishes from
each school. At the end we’ll have time to allow the students to ask each other questions and give feedback on which wish moved them most.

Event #2

. December 15. 11:30-12:30, EST. It’s Your Birthday! Book Talk.
Background. Mpanga from Zambia, a student in Niles, hasn’t had her birthday celebrated and her wish was to celebrate her birthday.

Close your Eyes; Make a Wish by Mpange

One wish that I would want in my life right now would be just to have a birthday party. I have never had a birthday in my life. I would like to have one. I think why I have never had one is no one wanted to make me a cake or had the money to plan one. If my mom were not dead, she could have created a birthday party for me. This is the most important wish in my life right now. I would also wish to go back to Africa (Zambia) to see how things are going and tell the people whom I miss that I love them. I also want to buy souvenirs for people I love in America.

The host class is making birthday cake posters with their favorite book.Students will share their favorite book & why. The other classes will sing happy birthday to Mpange. The other classes are encouraged to have cake & punch.

Teacher Preparation: Have each student write about a favorite book and be prepared to convince others to read it. Students should be creative in making presentations, a la Reading Rainbow.

Videoconference Format: We’ll start off singing “Happy Birthday” and then we’ll take turns saying, “It’s your birthday” (slang for “it’s your turn”) as students come up and convince others to enjoy their favorite book.

Curriculum Connections: English, Reading

Event #3

. January 24 11:30-12:30 EST “Celebrate the Arts”

Participating Schools

  • Host: Niles High School, MI
  • United Communities’ Assistance Network, South Carolina
  • Mineola High School, TX
  • Holland Christian, MI

Teacher Preparation: Prepare a presentation about a local landmark that needs saved. Preferably the students should make wishes as to which places in their community should be refurbished and used to celebrate the arts (i.e. a warehouse made into an art gallery or an old school house used as a dance studio, etc.)

Presentations should include name & location with a map; background information on the town; history of the town; background information on the landmark and why it should be saved. Have students work in groups to do various parts of the presentation to get as many students involved as possible. Be creative with the presentation.

Videoconference Format: Students will introduce their communities to each other, and then they will present their landmark to be saved to the other schools, pretending as if the other schools are selection committees on the show Three Wishes. As Amy Grant’s crew always does something for the arts community, these researched projects can be submitted on the NBC website. Contact coordinating teacher Lynn Rouse, if you have questions.

Curriculum Connection: social studies, language arts (researching, writing, presenting)

Event #4

. February 14 11:30-12:30 EST “May Your Wish Come True” Teacher Preparation: Students will have to write essays about who their dream valentines would be. Teachers must remind students to choose people most people would know.

Videoconference Format: We’ll play some mood music and have a romantic theme. Students should have a way of showing a picture of their love interests. I’ll do a lead in about “love” being a theme of literature throughout the ages. Then the students will read their love letters to their unrequited loves. After each essay, students will respond to the writing, commenting on what they liked about the love letter.

Curriculum Connection: literature, speech, current events

Event #5

. March 17 (tentative) 9:00-10:00 EST “Luck of the Irish” Participating Schools

  • Host: Niles High School, MI
  • Brocton Central School, NY
  • Karachi High School, Pakistan
  • Andover High School, MI

Teacher Preparation: Students should research some part of St. Patrick’s Day to present to the rest of the classes. My class is doing Notre Dame lore. Each class should tell me what part of the day they are researching before the big day. By then, I hope to have a way to get Amy Grant with us. Cross your fingers.

Videoconference Format: I hope to have each school take a turn presenting and questioning.

Curriculum Connection: researching, presenting, history, folklore (Language Arts and Social Studies)

2 replies on “Three Wishes: Students Share Their Writing”

  1. A twist on this assignment would be for students to take the wishes of other students and write a story on how that wish lead to a disaster and the wishes did in the Monkey’s Paw.

    Also, there use to be a audio recording of the Monkey’s Paw that was very good. Don’t know if it is around still.

    Found one at

    Also, there is an online copy of the book at:

    Loved the story,


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.