Storyasking made simple

Storyasking à la TPRS is one of my very favorite methods for facilitating language acquisition, and it is also one of the most complicated to learn. In this week’s #summerSOMOSfunCLUB, Elicia Cárdenas and I shared some steps and strategies for maximizing its success in your classroom. Scroll to the end of the post to watch the video!

Storyasking made simple - get tips from pro TPRS storyaskers Elicia Cárdenas and Martina Bex to set yourself up for storyasking success this year!

Storyasking with pictures!

In preparation for our LIVE session on Storyasking, I did a little Storyasking Demo on Instagram using images. In the same way that this story unfolds by adding one small, suggested detail at a time, so does a TPRS story in class.

Build the story image by image

We begin with a character… a dinosaur!

And our dinosaur needs a name!

Okay… so his name is Dani… but what is he like? I pulled two adjectives from the comments to describe our dear T-Rex:

Like every good character, Dani has a problem– a very serious problem! Dani’s problem is that he can’t….

That’s right!! Dani can’t go to school. Dear old Dani! But why?? What is keeping him from getting an education?

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Dani es un dinosaurio simpático y pequeño. Tiene un problema... quiere ir a la escuela pero ¡no puede! No puede ir a la escuela porque la escuela no admite dinosaurios. ¡Los dinosaurios no pueden ir a la escuela! Dani está triste porque quiere estudiar matemáticas, quiere estudiar ciencias, quiere estudiar español, pero ¡no puede! Qué hace Dani? . . . Leave your suggestion for how Dani tries to solve the problem below 👇🏼 and check out #somoscuentos to catch up on the rest of the story. . . . Join us Tuesday at 1pm EDT in the SOMOS collab group on Facebook to learn more about #storyasking! . . . #tprs #spanish #español #flteach #citeachergram #spanishteacher #spanishteachersofinstagram

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Of course, you probably guessed it… Dinos aren’t allowed in school.

And so Dani does what any good dinosaur would do: he dresses up as the principal and fakes his way in!

Once he is in, he finds himself in a dreaded faculty meeting. SO. MUCH. TALKING!

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En la reunión, los profesores hablan mucho. Hablan sobre los estudiantes. Hablan sobre los padres de los estudiantes. Hablan sobre sus clases. Hablan sobre sus familias. Hablan sobre sus problemas. Hablan, hablan... ¡hablan! Dani no habla. Dani tiene hambre. Dani mira a los profesores. ¡Tiene mucha hambre y es carnívoro! Dani come a los profesores. FIN . . . Thanks for following along! Hope the process gave you a little more insight into what #storyasking in language classes is like. Join us tomorrow in the SOMOS Collab for a LIVE session to learn more!! . . . #somoscuentos #citeachergram #teachersfollowteachers #spanishteachers #iteachspanish #español #spanish #cuentos #stories

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Unlike you or I, when Dani gets the munchies in the middle of a faculty meeting…well…it doesn’t end well.

Co-create the story one detail at a time

If you take some time to read through the posts and the comments, you will see that the story progressed through questions and suggested answers. Each time that I asked a simple question to advance the story, I took a very simple answer from the comments and incorporated it into the next ‘scene’ of the story. While there were tons of very creative and detailed ideas shared, I wanted to keep the story simple and to build it slowly. When you ask a story in class, you will want to do the same!

Storyasking WITHOUT a script

The Dani the Dino story was developed without a script; it was a “free-form” collaborative story. I started with a character, but I had no plot in mind. Together, my Instagram followers and I chose a problem and found a solution.

Many teachers ask stories without a script in class; just as we did on Instagram, they introduce a character to their students (or co-create a character!), choose a problem, and help the character find a solution. This free-form storyasking is very fun, and it can be intimidating to a teacher that is still learning how to communicate with their students such that the students understand.

Storyasking WITH a script

To give a little more structure and to make it easier to shelter vocabulary, many teachers (myself included!) like to co-create class stories by following a script. The script serves as a story outline, so the basic plot is pre-determined. However, the details are decided by the class. All TPRS stories that are included in the SOMOS Curriculum are created using Matava-Style scripts.

TPRS Storyasking Success Tips

Watch this Storyasking Success Tips video from #summerSOMOSfunCLUB to set yourself up for success this school year!

In this video, we cover

  • What a script looks like
  • How to use a script
  • What expectations and procedures to establish

Additional resources for TPRS storyasking

To learn more about storyasking, please visit this posts:

To learn more, join the SOMOS Curriculum Collaboration group on facebook!

3 thoughts on “Storyasking made simple

  1. Giana Russo says:

    Hello-
    I just watched the recording and was curious about how I can access the comments afterwards in order to find the bit.ly link with the handout.

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