Stage 0: Foundation for Literacy
Stage 1: Beginning Literacy
Stage 2: Consolidation / Fluency
Stage 3: Literacy for Growth
Primary: Oral Language & ELL, Text Structures & Genres Secondary: Writing Processes & Strategies, Motivation for Literacy
Obtain or create a charm necklace
Use a piece of thick yarn or make a paper chain about 2 yards long
Collect or make the paper charms
On pieces of paper about 6” x 8” draw or paste magazine cut-out pictures of various objects (for example, a cat, a guitar, a key etc.)
Tie or tape the paper charms onto the yarn or paper chain
Think about stories to share with students that are associated with certain charms
Introduce the charm necklace
Go through the names of the different charms
Explain to students that they will have the opportunity to tell an oral narrative about one of these charms
Remind students that narratives tell about past events in order
Narratives can be fictional (a creative retell or story) or non-fiction (a retell of real events)
Model how to choose a charm and make a personal connection (or tell a non-fiction narrative)
For example, for the cat charm: “This reminds me of my cat Lantz. He used to like to sleep on top of the fridge. We were never sure how he got up there. But one day….”
Model how to choose a charm and make a creative connection (or create a fictional story)
For example, for the guitar charm: “This is a magic guitar. Anyone who holds it can automatically play a song. One day…”
Invite students to orally share short narratives that are inspired by various charms
Encourage a mix of fiction and non-fiction ideas
Ensure each student has a turn
Model how orally shared narratives can be transformed into writing
Brainstorm ideas aloud and write point form notes on chart paper
Write the first few sentences using the point form notes as a prompt
Invite students to select 1 or more charms and write either a fiction or non-fiction short narrative about them
Circulate and assist students
English Language Learners/ESL:
- Allow students to use pictures to communicate ideas - Allow students to write their story drafts in their first language - Allow students who speak the same first language to collaborate
LD/Reading & Writing Difficulties:
- Allow students to use a word processor - Provide organizational charts as well as sample story beginnings and endings to scaffold writing
Cultural Appropriateness & Diversity:
- Ensure that students can relate to at least 2 charms - Promote diversity and encourage students to incorporate their personal backgrounds into their stories
- Provide a variety of sentence starters as examples from which students can choose - Allow students to write about a variety of topics of interest
Evidence:Fitzgerald, J., & Teasley, A. (1986). Effects of instruction in narrative structure on childrens writing. Journal of Educational Psychology, 78, 424-433.
The goal of Inspiring Charms: Scaffolding Oral Expression and Narrative Writing is to motivate students to express themselves orally by telling narratives about necklace charms that can later be written down.
What You Need
5-60 minutes - Obtain or create a charm necklace - Think about stories to share with students that are associated with certain charms
60 minutes - Teacher presents the charm necklace - Teacher orally shares narratives that are triggered by certain charms - Students orally share narratives that are triggered by certain charms - Teacher models how to transfer oral ideas into writing - Students choose one or more charms to write a short narrative about
Modeling: - when demonstrating how charms can prompt storytelling Facilitator: - when students select charms and share their narratives orally Consultant: - during writing
Whole class: - during explanation of how charms can prompt storytelling and when students share oral narratives Individual: - during writing
- Observe oral storytelling strategies and techniques and make anecdotal comments
- Review completed stories
- Use this as a filler activity to practice creating ideas/making connections a. For example, while waiting to transition into another class, challenge the students to create a story about a random object in the classroom
- Have students choose a charm and orally tell a story to a partner
- Have students create their own charms and make a "classroom" charm necklace
- Have students sit in a circle and pass around the charms and challenge the students to tell a continuous story as each student orally creates a sentence to go with the charm selected
- Create a bulletin board display a. Have students edit and write a "good copy" of their stories b. Display the charm necklace across the top of a bulletin board c. Have pieces of yarn or thread linking the story to the charm that inspired it
- This activity helps students to use personal connections to objects as a strategy for planning and creating stories.
- This activity is especially good for ELL students because of its focus on oral language development.
- This activity is especially good for students with writing difficulties because of the scaffolding provided to transfer ideas into written form.
- Let students know that their written story does not have to completely match their oral story.
- Students are often reluctant to simply "go and write a story". This activity shows that one writing strategy is to first orally "tell" a story as a planning procedure and to then transfer it into written form.