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Teacher-Created Lesson Plan

Visualizing: Making a Movie to Summarize a Story

Students will listen to the teacher read aloud the short novel, Stone Fox, by John Reynolds Gardiner, and then work together to illustrate and summarize the key scenes from the book. This work will be turned into a VoiceThread or PhotoStory.
Michael F.
Media specialist/librarian
Northeast Elementary School
Cumberland, United States
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My Subjects English Language Arts, Math

Students will be able to...

Create written, illustrated, and oral summaries to scenes of the story.

Read aloud with fluency and expression their written summaries.

Collaborate with one or two other students to improve the written and oral summaries.

English Language Arts
Grades 2
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook: Play Movie Trailer

Play trailer and discuss the characters, story problem, and some interesting scenes that were depicted.

2 Direct Instruction: Storyboarding

Activity: Drawing

Introduce the story. Preview any vocabulary that might create confusion for students. Read aloud the first chapter, stopping at convenient points to check comprehension by asking students to describe what they are visualizing. At the end of the chapter 1, model by thinking aloud how to choose the key scenes of the story to use in the written and illustrated summary. Use a storyboard to sketch a cartoon-style drawing above each summary statement. Display the storyboard with a document camera as you complete the writing and thumbnail sketches.

3 Guided Practice: Storyboarding

Activity: Drawing

Read Chapter 2 after pre-teaching any difficult vocabulary and reminding students to work on visualization. Discuss the key scenes of the chapter. Choose pairs or trios of students to practice storyboarding, taking turns writing the summary and creating the thumbnail. Share summaries with other groups at the same table and discuss similarities and differences in key scene descriptions. Students will practice reading their summary sentences with fluency and expression.

4 Direct Instruction: Scanning Illustrations

Activity: Drawing

Read Chapters 3 and 4 after pre-teaching any difficult vocabulary and reminding students to work on visualization. Discuss the key scenes of the chapters. 

Demonstrate the use of the scanner to digitize artwork and save to a folder on the school server. Ask for student volunteers to create a full-size (8-1/2 "x 11") drawing of each key scene in chapters 1 and 2 while the rest of the class creates storyboard sketches for Chapters 3 and 4.

5 Guided Practice: Scanning Illustrations

Activity: Drawing

When students finish their full-size drawings, guide them in scanning and saving their illustrations to the school server. These students can then help to guide the rest of the class as each student completes an illustration for the story.

6 Direct Instruction: Creating a VoiceThread Project

Demonstrate the use of VoiceThread to create slide shows with voice narration. Demonstrate how to start a new project and load several illustrations from the folder on the school server. Demonstrate the use of the headseat to record the narration of each scene. Also demonstrate the process for reviewing the audio recording and deleting it if a do-over is necessary.

7 Guided Practice: VoiceThread

Students will work in pairs to listen to their partner's narration and give constructive feedback using the Praise-Question-Polish routine: the student reviewer will identify something the narrator does well first (Praise), then ask a question if something is unclear (Question), then offer specific advice for improving the narration (Polish). After getting feedback, each student will record their narration again to improve in fluency, expression, volume, and/or pronunciation.

8 Independent Practice

For the remainder of the project, students will work on visualizing, summarizing, and creating storyboards for each ensuing chapter. Students will volunteer to create full-size illustrations for each key scene, scanning their pictures and loading them to the class VoiceThread project as they are completed. Students will then add audio narration to their slide and save the project.

9 Wrap-Up

The class will view its VoiceThread project and celebrate its completion. Students will share their struggles and successes with visualization as a reading comprehension strategy. The teacher can suggest other ways in which VoiceThread can be used to share literacy experiences, including creative writing projects, book reviews, and "how-to" presentations. Students will likely have ideas of their own, which they should share and try during future library classes.