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The first time, I co-taught the lesson with one of our teachers and we had students divide into teams to elaborate my skeleton story: I arrived at the beach. I wanted to learn to ride a wave. I rode a wave right in to the beach! One team worked on description, one team worked on dialogue, one on action, and one on inner thought. On that day, I scribed their work on to the chart in between the three original sentences, using different colors to signify different elaboration strategies. Both of us thought the lesson went well and students were definitely using the various strategies during the workshop, but I thought that the scribing took longer than it should have.
When I taught the lesson a second time, I brought colored strips of paper. The teaching point is on the chart below, and I left room so that the classroom teacher can write more under each strategy if she wants to.
After showing them the chart and establishing the teaching point, we divided the students into teams and gave each team several strips of the same colored paper: red for action, blue for description, green for dialogue, and purple for inner thinking.
Once they wrote their strips, we taped them up into the appropriate places on the chart paper and watched the story get better and better. We added inner thinking last so that they could see how much depth thoughts add to stories.
|The three main sentences are: I arrived at the beach. I wanted to learn to ride a wave. I rode a wave in to the shore.|
During the workshop, most of the students were working hard to try out different strategies. At the very least, they were more aware of what they could work on. I can't wait to hear more about how they continue to use these strategies.