March 3, 2013

A Novel Idea: Story Chains and a TpT Holiday Offer

I mentioned today’s topic, Story Chains, in my last blog entry Novel Responses to Novels on March 1, 2013. Story Chains is a fun and motivating way for students to demonstrate they have acquired the ability to retell a story, to sequence the actions in a story, to relay the main idea and details of a selection, or to summarize the plot of a chapter or book. 

I have used this activity with my fifth- and sixth-grade students who have read both fiction and nonfiction selections and with eighth-grade Science students who have read textbook material. It could easily be adapted for any grade level and any content area. In addition, it is an activity that works well as a co-operative group activity or as an individual assignment.

1.    Assign a story, novel, or text selection for students to read.
2.    Prepare numerous 1" by 8 1/2" white (or pastel-colored) paper strips.
3.    Distribute your determined strips to each student or co-operative group of students.
4.    On one strip, ask students to write the title and author of the selection. If it is a selection from a textbook, have them write the chapter title, page numbers, or any pertinent identification information.
5.    On each of the remaining ten strips, the students should write a sentence or two detailing important events or main ideas from the reading selection. Remind them to include events from the beginning, the middle, and the end of the selection. The chosen events should summarize the selection or identify the main idea and supporting details.
6.    Require the students to include various visual symbols that support the information on each strip as well as page or paragraph numbers where the information is found.
7.    When all the strips are completed, the students are to staple or glue them in an interlocking chain in order, similar to holiday paper chains.
8.    Ask the students to share their chains with the class.
9.    Use the chains to decorate a bulletin board or hang them in the hallway for all the students in your building to enjoy.

As I looked back at this activity that I’ve used almost since I began teaching, I noticed that it aligns nicely with the grs. 5 and 6 ELA Common Core Standards for Literature and Informational Reading. I’m sure it could also be adapted for other grades as well.

Happy Teaching,
The Teacher’s Desk 6

P.S. Did you notice that The Desk is WEARING THE GREEN? Happy St. Patrick's Day!

To help celebrate this holiday, I am offering my St. Patrick's Day Parts of Speech Mystery Pictures in a bundle. Each individual picture is priced at $1.00. For the month of March I am offering the bundle of THREE for only $2.00... you get one FREE! Click HERE or on the link below the picture to download your bundle. Erin go bragh!

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