Friday, June 10, 2011

Story Book - an instructional strategy students love!

Class began with the "Bell work" or as I call it in the Maldives (since Meynaa School does not use bells when classes change) "Starter Activity." 

Little weird perhaps, but the students got into it!

This was one of those classes, where I'd planned the whole lesson.... then when class started, realized I needed to do something different.

I'd planned on building on a lesson from earlier in the week, to take the brainstorming notes and turn it into an essay.

Wrong plan for today!  Quick shift.... and we did "Story Boards" instead.

The students could choose one of the above topics for their Story Board.  All of them built on topics the students would have background knowledge.

A Story Board involves giving students large sheets of paper and then having them fold the paper three times.

When unfolded, the paper has eight individual sections.  The story begins in the top left hand box, and ends with the bottom right hand box.  The six boxes in between, tell the story...... in words and pictures.

No Internet and No TV was a very hot topic for the student's Story Boards!  You can guess which side of this debate the students were on!

It's always good to check one's notes, and lesson plan.... even if the lesson plan has suddenly been changed!

Moving through the classroom, answering questions and monitoring student work.

In this Story Book, the student told a story of what the Maldives would be like if the islands were connected by bridges.

Story Boards can be used as a type of brainstorming activity which involves the visual with pictures and the written words. 

These short sentences could be used to expand the story, turning the Story Book into a written paragraph or an essay.

100% student engagement!

When the timer went off, I had the students form a double circle.  The students in the inside circle faced the students in the outside circle.  Those inside explained their Story Board to theie outer circle partner.  Then the outer circle was given time to tell the inner circle partner their Story Board. 

Using the timer, each student was given about one minute to explain their Story Board to their circle partner.

Quick wrap up conversation with the students at the end of this lesson to get their thoughts on the activities of the day.

Since I was demonstrating the Story Book lesson to the Indian expat English teachers, we had a short reflective conversation once the students had left the classroom.

These end of the lesson reflections with the teachers, have been a powerful tool for us to think through what happened and what we might do differently.

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