Daily Schedule

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Starting Our Stories - William Steig Style

For the past several weeks we have been immersed in the stories of William Steig. We finished our chapter book, Dominic, just this morning, and the children will be writing a book review this afternoon. We have also read quite a few of his picture books, including Zeke Pippin, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, The Amazing Bone, Tiffky Doofky, and Gorky Rises. I chose these books to read first because they all share common characteristics. As we finished each book, we analyzed it together and added information to our classroom chart:

Hero and Species
Villain and Species
Magic Item
Solution and Ending

In each of books mentioned above, there is a hero who has an adventure. He/she is soon beset by villains of one type or another. There is a magic item that helps the hero, and allows (eventually) he/she to go home, usually to be given a blanket of hugs and kisses.

Today, we started thinking about our own William Steig inspired stories. Each child was given a Story Organizer to help them think and create. Story organizers can be hugely effective in the sometimes daunting face of writing. In this case, I have found that they help in:

  • Helping students structure writing project
  • Encouraging students to make decisions
  • Making it easy for students to classify ideas and communicate
  • Allowing students to examine relationships
  • Guiding students in demonstrating their thinking process
  • Helping students increase reading comprehension
  • Making it easy to brainstorm
  • Encouraging students to organize essential concepts and ideas
  • Making it clear how to break apart a story into the main elements (intro, rising action, climax, etc.)

We will continue working on our stories over the next days and weeks. I can't wait to hear how they turn out!

Here are some writers at work:

No comments: