Plan B for Story Telling

Welcome to March everyone. It’s the time of year where we are all anxious for spring, and students are getting antsy. Hopefully I’m not alone in this, but around this time of year some of our classroom expectations need a bit of a reset. Sometimes it’s just MY energy and that I just don’t have it in me to do a story telling or story asking activity. I shared about my Plan B on my Instagram and Twitter and was asked for more detail so here we go!

What do I mean by “Plan B”?

Well, it’s not my first plan. Plan A is usually storytelling or story asking to introduce a new story. Sometimes we need a Plan B..aka independent work that centers around reading, listening, and (re)writing activities. There are a lot of options you could use for activities like that, but these are what I chose!

Take Advantage of 1:1 Devices

My school uses a mix of bring your own device (BYOD) and school provided technology so each student has their own laptop. I started with a voice recording app on my phone and used it to record myself reading the story. I made two separate recordings, one in Spanish, and the other in Spanish and English in a 1-person version of volleyball reading.

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I linked the recording in the Google Form along with an image of the reading so students could read along while they listened.

Next, students re-read the story and answered comprehension questions in English using the Google Form. Then, they got to the second recording where I linked the version of myself reading the story in Spanish and English. Again, I included an image of the story so students could read along.  In the final step of the Google Form, students re-read the story and were asked to translate a few key sentences or phrases from the story.

After completing the Google Form students moved onto a more advanced version of the story and some more post reading activities.

No Tech? No Problem.

Not 1:1? No access to a computer cart or lab? No problem. Give them the new structures and let them read and hand-write a translation for the lowest prep possible. Not into translation as a way to interact with a reading? Over the past month we have done several combinations of some of my favorite reading activities. Read and DrawTrue and False statements, The Most Important Sentence, anything like that! I also have used my emergency sub-plan packet on days where sit, read, and interact with the text is all that I can handle. My sub-plan packet is essentially most of those activities in..well, in a packet. Sometimes some simple desk work is a great way to settle your students and give you all a break from the high energy activities.

Plan B for Story Telling

Your turn!

If you would like to test this out, I decided to try my hand at sharing a Google Form with you all for the first time ever! (Not gonna lie, I’m a little nervous about it.) Head to my Freebie Library to snag the Google Form, two recordings, and three versions of the story I used as an example in this post!

No password for the freebie library? Well, that’s an easy enough fix! Pop over and join my newsletter to get access! I will never spam you or share your email, I promise. Already a member? The password is on the bottom of any of my recent emails.

3 thoughts on “Plan B for Story Telling

  1. Do you think you could use sentence sequencing as a way to reinforce storytelling? My kiddos keep saying they don’t remember anything about the novel we are reading in class and I’m looking for something to help… Student teaching problems…

    1. Yes!! I would definitely use sequencing as a way to reinforce a story! Have them look through a chunk of text, and write down ten things that happen. Then, they can swap the ten things with another person and put those things in order! Low prep for you, lots of reps for them. In general, if you’re looking for help with reading, I love hovering around my English teacher and Elementary Ed friends – they’ve been teaching novels and reading skills a lot and have TONS of experience! If you can, see if you can go observe other classes while you’re student teaching and see what you can pick up!

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