animal storytelling with grades 1 and 2 at Diefenbaker

Posted on: January 19th, 2014 by jnovakowski

On Friday, I visited Margaret Choinski’s grades 1 and 2 class at Diefenbaker to hear and see the stories the students have been working on. This class is part of our district’s QTL project looking at playful storytelling and oral literacy.

The class had read the book Sharing Our World: Animals of the Native Northwest Coast by Garfinkel Publications during which they learned about the importance of different animals in local Aboriginal culture. Each student chose an animal that was important to them and this was a character in their group stories.

The students went outside and collected various materials to create their settings. They wanted to be able to create forests, beaches and tree top settings.

Margaret gathered paper box lids for the students to create their settings in. This gave the students a defined space and also made the settings portable and able to be “saved”.

The students then created their settings – one of their favourite parts of the project. They thought carefully about the types of habitats their animals would live in.

The class chose the themes of friendship, family and helping others for their stories. Margaret provided some guiding prompts on a chart to help the students frame their stories and keep them focused (I am, We live in the, One Day…). The students practice their stories orally many times before sharing them and having them Margaret record them on the iPad. During my visit, several of the groups presented their stories to me. You could tell they knew their stories were well, were proud of their work and had fun moving the animals around in the setting as they told their stories.
At the end of my time in the class, Margaret connected her iPad to the projector and shared a few of the groups’ recorded stories. The students loved seeing and hearing their stories on the big screen!

A short animoto with parts of the stories:

The students were so proud of their stories and told me they thought the best part of the project was creating their settings and presenting their stories.

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