"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I have a story to tell.

Like bear, in Philip Stead's story, I have a story to tell.  It is about this great teaching experience I recently had, it was just one of those times when things come together really nicely without a lot of work.

Part the First

I was shifting out of a long unit with my second graders and wanted to spend a few weeks on picture books. I picked up Bear Has a Story To Tell, written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead

Don't know the book? Watch the book trailer:

Phillip Stead has created a story at once unique and universal, the reader can empathize with the bear with a story to tell and no one to listen.  Erin Stead’s illustrations perfectly capture the gentleness and warmth of this beautiful story.
The Steads’ spare writing and illustration styles engage readers while also leaving room for each child to grow the story and make it his or her own.  (Those familiar with A Sick Day for Amos McGee will know the talent of this husband and wife team.)

This book was an ideal choice for many reasons: the current classroom science unit is animal habitats; the storytelling message aligns with my lesson plan about story seeds; and, the scene outside my library looks just like bear’s forest setting. To reflect on the story, I  asked the students to plant a story seed for a story they had to tell.  

When the teacher came to pick up the students, we talked about the lesson (I try to do this each week). It turned out that the story seeds I had the students plant coincided with the small moments stories the students were practicing writing in their classroom. 

Part the Second I invited the teachers to collaborate on a project using these themes. I developed a story board. The teachers and students returned to the library on Wednesday. I introduced the lesson using the students' story seed posters as inspiration. The classroom teacher then modeled working through the storyboard. (She was perfect and had no idea I was going to put her on the spot!). 

The students then nurtured their own story seeds (think many plant analogies here). I loved working collaboratively with the teachers as we helped students work from watermelon slice stories down to small moment seed stories and then helped those to grow.

Part the Third
The students came back to library at their normal time on Friday, story boards in hand and created two sides in Kid Pix.  The first slide was their story seed sentence -- designed to entice someone to read the story.  The second slide was an image from the story -- designed to compliment and expand upon the story (think precursor to Caldecott).  




Part the Fourth
We are going to finish the project by having the students narrate more of the stories. These students have a story to tell and I am ready to listen.

1 comment:

  1. Great way to make connections for this book!