Spring break is just around the corner. Students are a bit antsy as they think about their upcoming one week vacation:) So, how can teachers bring them back to reality with some humor tied to an academic purpose? Is it possible to address writing development in such a lighthearted setting? Yes, it is thanks to an imaginative use of Google Images!
First, find a few images that might generate some active interest and then model the process behind writing to that image. It can be humorous, serious, academic, etc. The teacher can model through "think aloud" what s/he "sees" with students chiming in to enhance the story. This story would be then transferred to chart paper to serve as a model for them.
Second, now teacher pairs students up to create their own story on a different photo. Students refer to model as needed while teacher circulates room to monitor/facilitate as needed. Here, they should not worry about spelling since it is a timed activity. In this scenario, laughing and creativity are heard throughout the room as students explore their topic with gusto:) Students could then share their stories with the class. There would be no grade for this since the purpose is to lower writing anxiety.
Finally, students split up in teams of 4 and as a group, create a story on their assigned photo. Each member of the group has a role and teachers will monitor to make sure that each member is contributing to the story. This activity might take two days. After the story is finished, each group will present their story to the class who will rate the story through a rubric generated by the class. Finally, a gallery walk occurs where each team's story with photo is posted around the room for peer review. Students will use post-it notes to add comments (no grades and no grammar mistakes---just a focus on content issues).
Here are some photos I pulled for this blog:
Though there is an historical theme here, the photos can be on anything the students would benefit from exploring:)
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