Yesterday in the beginner class, the kids made six-square storyboards for the movie we’re in the middle of MovieTalking. They left most of them untouched, and so today we renumbered them (we count from one to six, or 11 to 16, or by tens to 60, or from 110 to 160…you get the idea) and I tried to tell what each picture represented. It was hysterical! I was trying to honor the artists, but I could simply not figure out what each drawing was, so the kids were correcting me all the time. One quietly asked me whether I was doing it on purpose to get more reps in. Nope, but it’s sure a good idea!
In the advanced group, I tried something that Ben has been discussing: setting up an outline for a summary. We’d just read a Chekhov story, so I put guide questions on the board:
Who is the story about?
Where are they?
What happened before the story began?
What is happening now?
What does everyone want?
What are the complications?
How does the story get resolved?
It turned out that there wasn’t full agreement on who had written the love letters, or what everyone wanted, as well as exactly what had happened before the story began. At first the kids said that they didn’t know what had happened before the story began. Then they realized they could make educated guesses, and the discussion took off.
I had intended to make them write this out, but due to the fact that I got my van stuck in our snowfall yesterday, I didn’t get their notebooks back to class, so they had to report orally in pairs, once we’d talked about it in the full group. It worked out really well! It was a simple way to get a good discussion going, and now we’ll have something to write tomorrow. This is really not so different from the kinds of story-asking questions “drilling down” that Blaine has always talked about, but it gives me a new perspective and more structure for that activity, especially after having done a reading.