10/10/2012 - It's Elementary
Each week, I work with Nan Wilkinson’s 5th & 6th grade class at Arcadia Neighborhood Learning Center – Phoenix, AZ

Picture It - Combined with Curriculum
I combined an exercise with curriculum to form a lesson plan - what a great session!

I have written about this technique before. It's a variation of Cathy Ward’s lesson plan, “What Do You See? Visual Literacy and Story Structure” found in Sherry Norfolk and Jane Stenson's book, Literacy Development in the Storytelling Classroom, Libraries Unlimited, 2009. It's a great way to get people (kids) thinking in images about story.

The essence of the exercise is to show them a picture or photo. Step one is to list everything you see in the photo, objects, people, clothing, inside/outside, the weather, etc. Then ask, "What is happening in this picture?" After some discussion, ask, "What happened before the picture was taken?" Then eventually, "What happened after the picture?" You then have the elements of a beginning, middle and end of a story.

Today, I added another level to the exercise. The students are studying colonial times. So I got three pictures off the internet that showed different people and things happening during this period in American History, with appropriate dress and settings. We had great discussions about the three photos and what might have come before and after each one.

In the top picture, the boy had been practicing in the drum corps and had been kicked out for making mistakes. He was angry, and didn't even see the horse droppings in front of him.

In the picture with the wig makers, one student wondered about the black woman, and if she was or had been a slave. Some thought the white woman was the shop owner. One suggested that the shop owner was a man who sailed across the ocean to make big profits by selling wigs.

The "dance" was between a British spy and a woman of prominence who knew the goings on in the Continental Congress. But she was on to him and gave him false information.

Tomorrow, the teacher (Nan) will spend the whole morning having them write their own stories based on one of the pictures, or another that they may find.

These kids are great and I am loving this!

©Mark Goldman 2012

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For more information contact Mark Goldman - 602-390-3858 - Mark@Storytellermark.com


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