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Stories with familiar settings: I hate this unit!!!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by rainbowdrop86, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. rainbowdrop86

    rainbowdrop86 New commenter

    Aaarrgh! I remember wanting to throw my laptop against a wall this time last year when planning this unit, and I remember it being awfully planned and therefore awfully taught!!!!! This year im going to link it with my topic on toys. Im planning on somehow using the books dogger, old bear, kippers toy box, velveteen rabbit. But... I have no idea what is expected!! It'll be the first topic so new children, settling in to knowing them and their levels etc. I want the final outcome to be writing their own story about a toy that comes to life, perhaps our class bear. I also want to link in toy story the film, doing a character description of sid etc. But i dont want to flit around from book to film, to a different book, but just cant get it straight in my head! Any ideas to help! Thanks in advance
     
  2. rainbowdrop86

    rainbowdrop86 New commenter

    Aaarrgh! I remember wanting to throw my laptop against a wall this time last year when planning this unit, and I remember it being awfully planned and therefore awfully taught!!!!! This year im going to link it with my topic on toys. Im planning on somehow using the books dogger, old bear, kippers toy box, velveteen rabbit. But... I have no idea what is expected!! It'll be the first topic so new children, settling in to knowing them and their levels etc. I want the final outcome to be writing their own story about a toy that comes to life, perhaps our class bear. I also want to link in toy story the film, doing a character description of sid etc. But i dont want to flit around from book to film, to a different book, but just cant get it straight in my head! Any ideas to help! Thanks in advance
     
  3. Don't forget, you don't have to do these units. I don't really do the units, except for the silly stuff unit. I tend to look at what would really interest them and what they need, making sure I cover all the genres.
    I didn't go straight into writing whole stories with my Year 2s last year as in the previous year it was the thing that the children said they enjoyed least at the beginning of the year, as they found it really hard. Last year in the first half term we focused on characters in stories and they ended up creating a comic strip with a hero and villain (our first theme is heroes and superheroes) instead which worked much better. We then focused on settings in the second half term and they wrote a space adventure at this point which worked much better as they had built up the focus on characters and settings.
     
  4. rainbowdrop86

    rainbowdrop86 New commenter

    Unfortunately my ht expects stories at the end of this unit. I'll certainly do lots of descriptions of characters, which will mainly be toys. I've now got a rough plan of dogged one week, then old bear the next, then a week on toy story, then writing own stories. Any other ideas? Will do lots of sentence level work I think
     
  5. That's a bit of a pain. I'm lucky in that my HT doesn't get involved in that way.
    What about doing some drama where you ask the children to imagine they are their favourite toy lying still in their owner's bedroom, just where the owner left them. They might have a neat owner who looks after them and puts them away properly, they might have an untidy owner who leaves them in a heap, or they might have a nasty owner who has treated them badly (they might be injured). Explain you will then make the classroom dark, as if it is nighttime and their owner is lying asleep in bed and when this happens they will start to come to life. You could then freeze them at points and do some thought tracking with a few of them.
    You could finish off by going into role as a adult returning to the room, putting the light on etc, which is the cue for them to either freeze in their pose or lie back to their starting point. This could lead on to a discussion with them about what their owner is like, how they felt coming to life, what did they want to do, what would they have done if someone had spotted them etc.
    This would lead on well to them creating a story about their favourite toy coming to life. You could let them bring their favourite toy in and let them play with the other toys, which might spark off some ideas of adventures, with different toys helping each other or causing problems etc.
    I would then use this to start brainstorming ideas for stories, vocab, structure focussing on their stories have a good opening, problem, solution etc
     
  6. I used the Harry & The Bucketload of Dinosaurs books when I did this unit a couple of years ago.
    We made up our own adventures for Harry & his dinosaurs using a series of 5 or 6 comic strip pictures. Then they had to come up with a sentence (or two or more...) for each picture to turn them into stories.
    Using the picture strip as a "way in" seemed to help the children get their heads round the story events ...
     
  7. I read through this thread and coulnd't help thinking of 'The Velveteen rabbit', which is a gorgeous story about a toy rabbit coming to life once it has been loved enough.... highly recommend it, even though it was written a long time ago!
     
  8. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    no experience with this area planning, but your comments made the film toy story jump out at me!
     
  9. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    You might find this is too fast. An alternative might be to choose one story only for literacy lessons (have the rest available for children to read and read them at storytime) and stick with it. Choose the kind of story that you want the children to recreate later, so one where a toy comes alive in your case.

    So week 1 might be getting to know the story itself and looking at the settings and characters, like you say lots of sentence work and getting in adjectives.

    Then week 2 lots of shared writing of what makes a good story start, middle, end and so on. Again sentence level work, but focus on connectives.

    Week 3 guided writing, including planning story mountains or some such in groups or pairs. Focus on punctuation as they'll be writing more than one sentence at a time, so are likely to forget the full stops.

    Then week 4 writing bit by bit for their own story, a bit each day after an example from you and peer assessing on the Friday.

    This way you can feel like you are actually teaching children skills and yet keep your HT happy.
     
  10. rainbowdrop86

    rainbowdrop86 New commenter

    Thanks minnieminx. Literacy is a real weakness of mine. I just dont get how id string it out for so long like u suggest. Would love to use toy story as main focus.
     
  11. rainbowdrop86

    rainbowdrop86 New commenter

    Love all these ideas
     
  12. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Week 1:

    Mon: Tell them the story, they then tell each other in various ways and draw a story map.

    Tues: Retell the story in pairs/small groups. Hot seat various characters in groups,

    Weds: Step/act out the story in groups. Role on the wall.

    Thurs: Sentence work using adjectives created on Wednesday.

    Fri: Write a description of a character using sentences from Thurs. One in shared writing as a model and then as guided writing.

    There is a week...

    I definitely find that spending lots and lots of time on the S&L aspects first mean I get better quality writing in the end.
     
  13. rainbowdrop86

    rainbowdrop86 New commenter

    Thank u. I think i have this expectation that every lesson must have a written outcome but i suppose not. Im going to b really cheeky and ask for further help for week 2. Perhaps u cld pm me instead. I think im def gonna use toy story though as main focus, and will read other stories just as part of topic.
     
  14. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    LOL I like doing this sort of outline planning...it is just the writing the full on page that school asks for that drives me nuts!

    Week 2:

    Monday: Games to run to 'good' and 'boring' for opening sentences. Why did they choose that? Share write a few good opening sentences...pairs improve them and share.

    Tuesday: Extend to a share writing a good opening paragraph (just 2-3 sentences). Create SC for what makes a good opening.

    Wednesday: What do we mean by the 'middle'? Create SC for a good middle. Groups write a middle that follow from yesterday's opening.

    Thursday: How do we finish a story? Create a list of familiar possibilities. Pairs come up with really unusual endings and add them to list. Create SC for a good ending. Groups write their ending from the start and middle already created.

    Friday: Grammar starter on adding in connectives (I'm assuming your year 2 won't use them automatically, most don't at this point in the year.) Model adding connectives to improve sentences written in shared writing. Groups then add connectives and lengthen sentences in their own stories that they have written. Use all the SC created for children to peer assess each group. Groups can read their stories out and others assess.

    I would do this group writing on large sugar paper with felt tips. Gets reluctant writers more interested and motivated. But you could do it in books and have everyone write if it keeps you or your SLT happy.
     
  15. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    Minnieminx, this is the first unit I have to do with my y2s in sept so I shall probably use ur outline plan too! Thing is - I think for some reason on our ltp/mtp we've split the unit in to 2 parts. Im not the only y2 teacher so this not something I can change. Anyone know why this would be done - what's the benefit to returning to it later in the year? And what would you expect as an outcome after 2 weeks work?
     
  16. suzdbn

    suzdbn New commenter

    I would recommend his books, 'How to Teach Story Writing at Key Stage 1' and 'Talk for Writing Across the Curriculum'. You can also see him in action on youtube.
     
  17. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    Thanks, that's really helpful, I'll look in to those.
     
  18. rainbowdrop86

    rainbowdrop86 New commenter

    Thank u so much Minnieminx, I think I'm going to do some work on character, setting while we watch the film. I'm thinking of little writing tasks such as describing their bedroom, emotional work on how woody would be feeling when buzz arrives, character descriptions, wanted poster for Sid etc, then get into your outline plans of writing their own stories etc. if you don't mind I might pm you when I've planned it to c what u think
     
  19. rainbowdrop86

    rainbowdrop86 New commenter

    what is role on the wall
     
  20. We are using Storytelling as our basis for Literacy next year.
    Our first topic (Y1) is Ourselves...any good ideas for a story that we could
    learn? We used to read Titch and Nothing but they are both too long for learning by heart!
    Any ideas?
     

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