“Improv”ing a Good Story - Developed by the Red Line EdTech Gurus PLN
Ask your students a hypothetical question such as, “What if the shoe didn’t fit Cinderella?” or “What if Goldilocks didn’t run into the 3 bears?”. In a popcorn-style format, have students throw out potential plot lines.
Students will respond to teachers questions verbally and, perhaps, even with actions or movements - improv style.
2 Direct Instruction
Introduce the concept of the plot triangle so students understand how to create a triangle ( rising action, climax, falling action, and conclusion) for their story.. Divide students into 4 collaborative groups which will discuss and decide collaboratively what their group will contribute to the development of the story that they will be writing in class.
Each of the 4 small collaborative groups will have to generate and submit one choice for each of the following story elements: theme, setting, number of characters, conflict and plot.
Working with your collaborative group, discuss and decide on your group’s best ideas for the story elements to be used in our class story. When all groups have submitted their ideas for each of the story elements (theme, setting, number of characters, conflict and plot), each student will then use their plicker card to vote on which option he/she would like best to construct the story that the whole class will work on constructing.
The choices with the most votes will be the elements the entire class will use for their narrative.
3 Guided Practice
Teacher needs to go to www.plickers.com and sign up for an account (This will give teacher access to creating questions and printing out Plicker cards for student use). Plicker cards need to be printed, assigned to students, and distributed. The Plicker cards will be used by the students to vote on their choices of story elements..( You may choose to laminate them and assign numbers to students; the Plicker cards can then be used again and again for multiple purposes)
During the small groups’ discussions, create options for each story element to be used for poll with students who will share their choice via Plickers.(on web or with Plickers app)
Teacher will use their iPad or phone (Android or iPhone) to scan student response cards .(Students will be voting on the element choices contributed by each small group).
Use Plickers( app or web) and a projector (interactive whiteboard, Apple TV, reflector app, etc…) to display student responses - will show how class has voted on the elements of the story. If a projector is not available, teacher should write the results of the poll on the board so that students will know which option they will use for their writing assignment.
When your group has come to a consensus on your contribution to each of the story elements, inform your teacher so that he/she can input that information into the interactive poll.
When all groups have contributed to the various polls, use your individual Plicker card to vote on your favorite selection for each of the story elements. The results and “winner” for each story element will be displayed for you so that you can utilize that information for your writing project.
4 Independent Practice
Working in your collaborative groups, create an original story using the new elements that were selected from the poll.
Each collaborative group member should contribute to writing their group’s story using the story elements selected. Students may add pictures or artwork to their story to enhance their finished project.
Publish the stories to a blog (Edublog, Kidblog) or class LMS page.
Read and comment on another groups’ writing assignment. How is their story different than yours? How is their story the same? What was your favorite part of their story?
Key Standards Supported
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in general and their functions in particular sentences.
Form and use regular and irregular plural nouns.
Use abstract nouns (e.g., childhood).
Form and use regular and irregular verbs.
Form and use the simple (e.g., I walked; I walk; I will walk) verb tenses.
Ensure subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement.*
Form and use comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.
Use coordinating and subordinating conjunctions.
Produce simple, compound, and complex sentences.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Capitalize appropriate words in titles.
Use commas in addresses.
Form and use possessives.
Use conventional spelling for high-frequency and other studied words and for adding suffixes to base words (e.g., sitting, smiled, cries, happiness).
Use spelling patterns and generalizations (e.g., word families, position-based spellings, syllable patterns, ending rules, meaningful word parts) in writing words.
Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings.
Use commas and quotation marks in dialogue.
Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
Choose words and phrases for effect.*
Recognize and observe differences between the conventions of spoken and written standard English.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning word and phrases based on grade 3 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
Determine the meaning of the new word formed when a known affix is added to a known word (e.g., agreeable/disagreeable, comfortable/uncomfortable, care/careless, heat/preheat).
Use a known root word as a clue to the meaning of an unknown word with the same root (e.g., company, companion).
Use glossaries or beginning dictionaries, both print and digital, to determine or clarify the precise meaning of key words and phrases.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
Distinguish the literal and nonliteral meanings of words and phrases in context (e.g., take steps).
Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., describe people who are friendly or helpful).
Distinguish shades of meaning among related words that describe states of mind or degrees of certainty (e.g., knew, believed, suspected, heard, wondered).
Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate conversational, general academic, and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal spatial and temporal relationships (e.g., After dinner that night we went looking for them).
With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
With guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others.
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.
(Begins in grade 4)
Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.
Introduce the topic or text they are writing about, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure that lists reasons.
Provide reasons that support the opinion.
Use linking words and phrases (e.g., because, therefore, since, for example) to connect opinion and reasons.
Provide a concluding statement or section.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
Introduce a topic and group related information together; include illustrations when useful to aiding comprehension.
Develop the topic with facts, definitions, and details.
Use linking words and phrases (e.g., also, another, and, more, but) to connect ideas within categories of information.
Provide a concluding statement or section.
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
Establish a situation and introduce a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
Use dialogue and descriptions of actions, thoughts, and feelings to develop experiences and events or show the response of characters to situations.
Use temporal words and phrases to signal event order.
Provide a sense of closure.