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Soliciting [Illustrated] Responses

April 30, 2013

We had WAY too much fun storyasking in my previously-Plan B class today!! I am amazed at the transformation that they have undergone in the last few weeks--anll it took was finding the right system! We have been using the Marble Jar, and they are totally rocking it. They hold each other accountable («¡Cállete! ¡Habla español!»), and today I only had to re-start the clock ONCE for talking during storytelling. As long as I have a well-prepared lesson, storyasking has been going just fine! (Just ask my intern--things don't go well for me when I 'wing it'--maybe I'll perfect that skill down the road...) However, brain breaks and movement are desperately needed in combination with the Marble Jar to keep things running smoothly.

Enter illustrated responses.

Soliciting and managing student responses is important in the storyasking process, and you can read about some different ideas in this post or in this tutorial. Today, I added a new one to the list of options, and I am loving it because it not only allows for movement and short diversions from the story, but it also creates great opportunities for follow-up activities once storyasking is done.

Instead of asking for verbal or written suggestions, I simply asked students to DRAW suggestions. For example, if I asked "Where did the girl see her stalker when she went to the bathroom?", kids drew quick illustrations and brought them up to me (that's the movement!). I showed them on the document camera, and we talked about whatever was observable in each illustration (that's the diversion from the story). This extended the process quite a bit, since I have 35 students (although not everyone drew an illustration for every question--only when they had a good idea), but I didn't mind because the kids were engaged and receiving good, comprehensible input. As I showed them, I set aside any of the really good ones, and then popped them back up after we had seen all of them and had the class vote on which one would become part of the story. The picture to the left are my four favorite "Where did she see the stalker when she went to the bathroom" ideas. I taped the winner on the board, and we continued storyasking.

I didn't use this for EVERY detail in the story; only the ones that made for good illustrations.

Once we finish the story, I will be able to use all of these illustrations for follow-up activities: like re-tells and class storyboards, even assessments!

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