Thursday, September 15, 2011

Story Structure Freebie

This year I've been using an A.MA.ZING new strategy for teaching comprehension of stories with a problem and solution.   I learned it from one of my super helpful and generous colleagues Mrs. Wilson. It's called STORY.
Each letter stands for an element of the story. I introduced them one at a time over the course of about two weeks. I have them posted on the bulletin board behind our whole group area for easy reference.
S stands for setting. Each day I say, "S is for setting." My kiddos respond, "Where the story takes place." This card has a different colored border to look like a picture frame. You can bring in framed pictures and talk about the setting of the pictures to introduce this element.
T stands for talking characters. Although not every story has characters that talk, most of them do. The kids always grasp this element pretty easily.
O stands for "Oops! There's a problem!" For the last month I have only read stories that have a very clear problem and solution. More on that later.
R stands for resolve. How did they TRY to fix the problem? Usually there are several attempts before the problem is actually fixed. In this format it is important to keep this step separate from how it is actually resolved.
Y stands for, "Yes, the problem is fixed." How did they finally fix the problem?
These are  little STORY sticks that you can make give to students. They are color coded to match the posters. Give them to students when doing a read aloud with a problem/solution format. When they hear something that helps them answer one of the STORY question they can hold it up in the air to signal.   

As is said before, so far I have focused exclusively on stories that have a clear problem and solution. I have missed reading themed books, however after only four weeks in school my special needs first and second graders can clearly identify these story elements. I think that's a pretty good trade off. 

Here are some of the stories that I have used to teach problem/solution:
King Bidgood's in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood
Owen by Kevin Henkes
Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
Bootsy Barker Bites by Barbara Bottner
Lyle Lyle Crocodile by Bernard Waber
A Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon
Moosetache by Margie Palatini
Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathman

 Below you will find a download of my strategy posters as well as a graphic organizer for reader response.

 Whew that was a long post! This teacher is beat. Between teaching, my kids' travel soccer team, training for my 5k at 5:30 am BEFORE SCHOOL, and blogging I am whipped.  I plan on relaxing a little this weekend; no school stuff. But I have been working on some writers workshop things that I plan on sharing next week, so check back soon! 



Kelly said...

that. is. awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i've been struggling to find some sort of simple way to teach story elements and this is SOOOOO what i've needed!!! you rock! printed it out all ready and its going in the plans for next week!

luckeyfrog said...

I just discovered your blog and I LOVE it! You have so many ideas for centers and things that will be perfect in my 2nd grade room. Thanks for all that you share.

I have to wonder where you teach- I'm in Indiana too! :)

Heather Unger said...

I teach in Paoli. Where are you?

luckeyfrog said...

West Lafayette!

Dana said...

LOVE THESE!!! I wanted to let you know that I gave you the Versatile Blogger Award! You are an amazing source of so many helpful ideas and tips! Thank you for all that you do! :)

3rd Grade Gridiron

Heather Unger said...

Wow, Dana! Thanks you so much. You just made my day.

Mary Pitner said...

Thanks for all the great ideas! I gave you the I Heart Your Blog Award.
Pitner's Potpourri

Miss J said...

These are great!! I am a new follower!!

Miss J@Smiles, Crayons, and Endless Stories

Heather Unger said...

Thanks, Mary! How sweet of you to think of me.

DrDiva said...

AWESOME....hate I didnt find it sooner but oh soooo glad that I did. Thanks for sharing. Can not wait to use :)

Paula Hamand said...

great idea! thank you!Paula

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