Blanchard Elementary, Year One
Hannan – Elizabeth Reeves
Learning Objective/Exit Outcomes:
- Students will be able to read and surmise a passage or story.
- Students will be able to think critically about how a story may be changed depending on the perspective of the writer.
- Students will be able to collaborate with peers to improvise a new ending to a story.
- Students will be able to work on communication soft skills, such as listening and responding appropriately.
ELAGSE4RL7 Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text identifying similarities and differences.
ELAGSE4SL1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
TA4.CR.2 Develop scripts through theatrical techniques.
- Develop scripts based on stories (e.g. personal, imaginary, real).
TA4.RE.1 Engage actively and appropriately as an audience member.
- Participate as audience.
- Demonstrate appropriate theatre etiquette.
TA4.RE.2 Critique various aspects of theatre and other media.
- Identify artistic choices through participation and observation.
ELA and Theatre
The teacher divided the class up into groups of 4-5 students and gave each group a story or passage to read together. Once students have read the story, each group will have a turn to play a theatre arts strategy called Conducted Story. Within Conducted Story, each group would line up at the front of the classroom to begin. The PAIR Specialist led the first round of Conducted Story. As the conductor, the PAIR Specialist would point to a student in the group to start the group’s story as any good story does with “Once upon a time…” The PAIR Specialist would then, at any moment, pull their hand back and point to another student in the group to continue the story on. The students must use focus to stop speaking, even if it is mid-sentence, and to pick up where the story left off as quickly as possible. It is the job of the other students in the classroom to be attentive audience members, focused and listening to the story to be able to recall as much information as possible.
With the teacher’s help, students were encouraged to come up with a new ending to their story. While the beginning of Conducted Story should start with an introduction of important characters and setting, it is then up to the students to come up with a new series of events that occurs within the story using the constants that are characters and settings and any other pertinent information. Students must listen to each other very carefully so that the story progresses and continues to make sense. The PAIR Specialist will take the opportunity to point to themselves when a story begins to go off track by reviewing the important plot points that have already been laid out, encouraging students to work with what has been given by their group before their turn.
After the first group’s story, the PAIR Specialist and teacher asked review questions about what happened in the story to the audience members who had been listening. This challenges the entire class to remain engaged, even when their group is not up at the front of the class.
The teacher then stepped in as the conductor for the next group.
If you want to take this strategy one step further, connect reading and theatre strategies back to writing, and have each student individually write a new story ending to their favorite story they heard through Conducted Story.