Sunday, November 20, 2016

Easy Story activity: Secret input!

I thought I would share the #1 go-to activity that I use if I have a little bit of time to prep.  I love this activity because...
1) It is a "secret input" activity.  Students think they are doing a writing (or speaking) activity- but secretly they are reading!  Plus, if they are writing they are copying directly from the text, therefore are writing accurately!
2) It is based on the student's own work- either acting or drawing.  They are so completely engaged when they are on stage.
3) It's easy and totally flexible and adaptable.  Reading a novel? Use this as a review.  Asked a story and want more reps?  Yep, this works great for that.  Did Reader's theatre and want to spice it up the next day?  Also works for that.

Step 1: Have students create the images.
You can do any of these activities to get the pictures/scenes you need: (These are just the ideas I can think up in 10 seconds- there are many more)
Acting: Freeze Frame, Reader's Theatre (with frozen moments), etc.
Drawing:  Cooperative Mural, individual mural, drawing scenes/comics while listening to retell, Running Dictation with Drawings, etc.

Step 2: Make sure you capture the drawings/scenes.
One way I do this when I use actors is that I give one student my phone and they get to chose which scenes (with help from me) to get pictures of- based on the "Queso" (cheezieness) factor.  Or, quickly before the next class comes in, I snap a photo (or several) of the mural on the board/individual white board and save it for later.

Tech tip: If you have google drive installed on your device, you can take a photo and upload it directly to drive from the phone without having to fuss with moving photos from iPhoto or anything like that.  Easy.

Step 3: Create the activity. 
 I use google slides because it is even faster than powerpoint, but the process is basically the same.

Create a slide show.  Insert directions on the first slide.  My directions are in English because I am very specific about them (and my level 1 kids are not ready to do it in Spanish).  They read
"Write the best sentence from the story to describe the following pictures.  You must use your copy of the story."

Then insert a slide for each image.
Tech Tip: If you do a cooperative mural or comic and have a Mac, you can quickly break that one picture down into several smaller pictures.  Or if the pictures overlap you can quickly separate them out into separate ones.  (I don't have any examples because I just save the individual pictures in the mural.  Sorry!) Open the picture in whatever application you prefer, and use the shortcut [Option Shift 4] to grab a screenshot of where ever your cursor is.   Make sure you know where those screenshots are saved (usually desktop, but you can change it).  This makes it super fast to insert into google slides because you can drag directly from your desktop to a slide without having to go through the whole import photo step.

Pick hilarious images, vague images, and images that will get you the reps that you wish for.

I also usually pick some image from Google Images that has something to do with the story...but that's totally not necessary.  Just fun and usually takes an extra 10 seconds.

Step 4: Provide students with a paper copy of the story/scene, whiteboards, and markers.  (Or, paper, or do it verbally with partners. Really, the options are limitless.)

Step 5:  Students write the best sentence from the story.
They may not all agree- that's ok.  In fact, that's an opportunity for more repetitions and PQA.

I have done this activity with as few as 3 images, and as many as 10.

Here is one full slideshow that I made.

Here is another one:  I am also going to try an extension activity where they speak and then...answer questions about the text.  (I am using who/what/where questions and some why to get that higher order thinking discussion.  I am also going to do the activity orally because I think they need to be social.)  If you want to see the questions appear, look at it in "present" view and click through.

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