Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Two Stories, One Pattern

Who: Writers in the elementary years

What: After analyzing the parts of a story in two similar picture books, students write their own story with the same pattern.

1. If necessary, review the parts of a story, specifically character, setting, problem (or conflict), and plot. (These are not complicated stories, so the discussion can be brief and basic.)

2. Give students a story map.

3. Read The Enormous Carrot by Vladimir Vagin and discuss with students each of the blocks in column 1. Students fill in the boxes as thoroughly as possible. (Think of this as a note-taking or prewriting exercise. Complete sentences are not necessary.) 

For the "Anything else?" block, take time to appreciate anything unique the authors did in telling their stories (e.g. alliteration, repetition, smallest to biggest or biggest to smallest, etc.).

4. Read Berlioz, the Bear by Jan Brett and fill in the second column. 

5. Notice with your students that, while these stories have differences, they are fundamentally the same. What are the differences? What are the similarities? Are your students aware of other authors who have used the same pattern to tell their stories?

6. Now it's time for students to brainstorm a story of their own. Invite them to begin mapping their story in the third column.

7. Write, revise, and edit the story, preparing it to share with others.

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