We are the Play Learning Lab, run by Dr. Angela Pyle at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto.

ADDRESS

 

Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study

45 Walmer Road, Room 320
Toronto, ON M5R 2X2

© 2018 by Play Learning Lab

Writing the Story

Beginning

Structure:

1/2 groups

40 minutes

2 adults

Materials:

  • A Chair From my Mother by Vera Williams (Summarize beginning, start reading on page that begins... “My mother and I were...”

*no page numbers in the book

  • Puppets

  • Pairs

  • Story Elements graphic organizers

  • Writing folder

  • Pencils

  • Lined paper booklets

  • Single sheets (so kids can add more details)

Implementation:

1. Read and analyze how Vera Williams begins her story and look at details she includes (ideas generated by the kids- asks kids to be detectives and to notice what the author does)

 

2. Summarize and record possible prompts for the introduction...
Who was there? Where are they?
What is the character’s relationship? How do they meet? When did it happen?

 

Story starter ideas:
Once upon a time......

One sunny day.......

 

3. Kids begin independent work while teachers conference with pairs or one-on-one

*During conferences - if children are “stuck” encourage kids to pull out puppets and act out the section they are writing in order to flesh out the details

Beginning cont'd

Structure:

1/2 groups 
40 minute sessions

2 adults

Materials:

  • A Chair for My Mother by Vera B Williams

  • Puppets

  • Pairs

  • Story Elements graphic organizers

  • Writing folder

  • Pencils

  • Lined paper booklets

  • Single sheets (so kids can add more details)

Implementation:

1. Quick summary to review what to include (refer to text) in the beginning of their story
 

2. Read aloud a child’s writing as an example

 

3. Continue to work on beginning of the story

 

4. Reminder that the first step when they get to their seats is to reread what they wrote and continue

 

5. Kids begin independent work while teachers conference with pairs or one-on-one

Adding Detail to the Problem

Structure:

1/2 groups 
40 minute sessions

2 adults

Materials:

  • A Chair From my Mother by Vera B Williams

  • Puppets

  • Pairs

  • Story Elements graphic organizers

  • Writing folder

  • Pencils

  • Lined paper booklets

  • Single sheets (so kids can add more details)

Implementation:

1. Read and analyze how Vera Williams describes the problem in the story

 

2. Ask the kids what details they notice that she includes

 

3. Record prompts to be included in their description of the problem

 

How do they feel?
What did they say?

What do they see, hear, feel, taste, smell?

4. Challenge children to include these details in their story

*Reminder that the first step when they get to their seats is to reread what they wrote and continue


5. Kids begin independent work while teachers conference with pairs or one-on-one

 

Adding Detail to the Problem cont'd

Structure:

1/2 groups 
40 minute sessions

2 adults

+ Grade 6 helpers

Materials:

  • A Chair From my Mother by Vera B Williams

  • Puppets

  • Pairs

  • Story Elements graphic organizers

  • Writing folder

  • Pencils

  • Lined paper booklets

  • Single sheets (so kids can add more details)

Implementation:

1. Quick summary/review of previous lesson read aloud student sample

 

2. Identify details they have included

*Reminder that the first step when they get to their seats is to reread what they wrote and continue

 

3. Kids begin independent work while teachers conference with pairs or one-on-one

*Reminder to role play with puppets in order to help them flesh out details together

Adding Detail to the Solution 

Structure:

1/2 groups
40 minute sessions

3 adults

Materials:

  • Big Dog and Little Dog Visit the Moon by Selina Young (Blue Bananas Series)

*The book has been read aloud previously..“zoom in” on pg 6-21

  • Puppets

  • Pairs

  • Story Elements graphic organizers

  • Writing folder

  • Pencils

  • Lined paper booklets single sheets (so kids can add more details)

Implementation:

1. Quick summary/review of previous lesson

 

2. Read and analyze how Selina Young describes how Big Dog and Little Dog plan and make their invention

 

3. Ask the kids what details they notice that she includes

 

Possible questions prompts:

How did they plan the invention?

What materials did they use?

Where did they get the materials?

How did they construct it?

4. Challenge children to add these details in their description of how their characters make their invention

 

5. Give children a reminder to reread what they have written as a first step before proceeding

 

6. Kids begin independent work while teachers conference with pairs or one-on-one

*Reminder to role play with puppets in order to help them flesh out details together

Adding Detail to the Solution cont'd

Structure:

1/2 groups
40 minute sessions

3 adults

Materials:

  • A sample of a child’s writing that shows a lot of detail

  • Big Dog and Little Dog Visit the Moon by Selina Young (Blue Bananas Series)

*The book has been read aloud previously..“zoom in” on pg 6-21

  • Puppets

  • Pairs

  • Story Elements graphic organizers

  • Writing folder

  • Pencils

  • Lined paper booklets single sheets (so kids can add more details)

Implementation:

1. Quick summary/review of previous lesson & prompts -read aloud student sample

 

2. Identify details they have included

*Reminder that the first step when they get to their seats is to reread what they wrote and continue

 

3. Kids begin independent work while teachers conference with pairs or one-on-one

*Reminder to role play with puppets in order to help them flesh out details together

Story Endings

Structure:

1/2 groups
40 minute sessions

3 adults

Materials:

  • Puppets

  • Pairs

  • Story Elements graphic organizers

  • Writing folder

  • Pencils

  • Lined paper booklets single sheets (so kids can add more details)

Implementation:

(modelled after Lucy Culkins' Lesson on writing "close-in story endings.”)


1. To write a good ending, writers:

  • 'Stay in the moment' i.e. they tell the very next thing that happened. (Don't 'jump away' from the story e.g. "Then we went to bed and woke up and had breakfast."

  • Tell what the character thought or felt

 

2. Model a couple of examples for each of these points