Stories from My Students
We did a ‘chain story’ in class today, but not with things (like we did before here), just plain words and sentences. One sentence per child. They are already familiar with this activity so we didn’t have as much problems as before. This is a mixed-age group of kids.
Objective: To familiarize the children with story structure – beginning, middle, end, flow.
This is what they came up with (I’m staying as close as I can to the original and the children’s own words):
I started the story with: Once upon a time, there was a castle far far away.
Children’s contribution: The castle was in the water and it shook all the water away, leaving only sand. Then, the bad guys entered the castle. In the castle, there was a big red dragon. Then daddy came out and fight with the dragon and the dragon had blood all over his body. The dragon flew to the doctor and the doctor took care of her. After she was well, she went back home, in the water, and suddenly a baby came out of her stomach. The baby was really cute. They found a lollipop in their home. The mommy had a big lollipop and the baby had a small one. They were happy because the lollipop was yummy.
There were a couple of hiccups here and there with the much younger ones, who weren’t familiar with ‘flow’ and have a tendency to create their own story or just start from the very beginning again. Because the objective of this activity was for the children to get to know a story structure, I had to help/guide the child to continue the flow of the story.
They were very proud of how the story came out and even wanted to draw and write their story 🙂
Story #1: Love and Invitations!
Loving my job everyday. Received so many ‘I love you’s’ and hugs yesterday. One even invited me to her house for a little sleepover! Haha and whn I told her I can’t make it for her bday party she said, in her exact words, ‘It’s ok. I will tell my daddy to give you a ride to my party. You must come. You got my invitation.’ She’s only three… Cute or what! Haha
Story #2: Keep warm!
It was so chilly when we stepped out of the classroom today. I told the kids it’s so cold even with my thick jacket on. So one of my kids suggested tht I put my hands in my pocket which I did.
When the kids were playing at the playground, suddenly one of them called out to me and said, put your hands back into your pocket…! It’s cold!
I smiled and said ok. Obediently I did as he said 🙂
Kids! Don’t they just surprise you? :))
Story #3: A little magic
It’s been cloudy past few days, so I taught d children the ‘Mr Sun’ song and said ‘let’s hope by singing this song, mr sun will come out and play tomorrow’.
But the next day, it was still a little cloudy when we went out to play. Then one of d kids came to me and said, ‘Still no sun’ 😦 So I said, ‘why don’t we try again’ and we started singing the song again.
Then, like magic, the sun peeked outta the clouds. The little girl smiled and said, “It worked! It worked!” Haha
Thank you God, for making that little girl’s wish come true 🙂
Story #4: You must come
A little girl invited me to her birthday party but I couldn’t make it. So I told her the next day, to which she said, “It’s Ok Miss Veronica. I will tell my daddy and ask him to give you a ride to my party. You got my invitation. You must come.” I just smiled and said I’ll try.
Story #5: A special princess
I gave the girl an early birthday gift since I couldn’t make it for her party. So I asked the next day if she liked the gift (a tiara). These were her words:
“I liked it a lot Miss Veronica! But…but…” And struggled to come up with the words,…but finally she said, “but it’s a little big for my head.” She didn’t want me to feel bad it took her so long to say those words…”If it’s smaller it’ll be perfect!”
I replied, “Aw….I’m so sorry to hear that… 😦 I was really hoping you could put it on, for your birthday party.”
“But Miss Veronica. I will wear it on my birthday. Then everyone will say I’m a pretty princess!”
“I’m sure they will! And did you like your birthday card I made?”
“Yes yes! I love it!” :))
I tried out a storytelling ‘game’ with my kids today (aged between 3-5 years old). I picked a couple of objects and put into a bag. In the bag, there was an apple, a board book about a dog, a plastic cup, blocks, a toy dinosaur, a purple crayon, an eraser, a pair of sunglasses and a glove.
I started the ball rolling by picking one object from the bag, and began the story with, “Once upon a time, in a land far far away…” and took out an apple. So I continued, “there was a big apple tree that grew in a backyard of a castle.”
And to get it going, I asked the next child to take out another object, and he got the board book about a dog. He stared at it for awhile, not knowing what to say. So I prompted, “What would you like to say about the dog? Was he in the backyard with the tree? What was he doing?” After awhile, he said, “He was playing by himself in the backyard.”
The next child got the plastic cup. This girl is very good at storytelling and she’s only 4. She immediately knew what she had to do. “Then the dog saw a plastic cup that had water in it, and started drinking it!” To make it more interesting, I asked, “Was it magic water?” She said, “No! It’s disappearing water! The water disappeared from the cup when the dog drank it!”
The next object was a set of blocks, arranged into a shape. The girl who got it said, “A boat! The boat had water in it and it disappeared too!” “Where was the boat?” I asked. “The boat was next to the cup!”
Then it was a toy dinosaur. This girl who took it out was about 3 years old. She began saying, “Once upon a time, there was a dinosaur.” Before I could say anything, the girl who got the plastic cup interrupted and said, “No you must continue from the boat.” The 3 year old stared at the dinosaur for a really long time before saying, “The dinosaur came out from the jungle.” And we left it at that.
Then we got a purple crayon. The boy said, “There was a purple crayon in the garden.” To which the girl who got the plastic cup interrupted and said, “And the crayon started coloring the dinosaur purple! Is that okay?” She asked the boy who got the crayon. He nodded 🙂
The next thing was an eraser. The child who got it said, “The dinosaur ate the eraser!” The children found it funny and laughed. I couldn’t help it either 😀
Next was a pair of sunglasses, to which the child who got it said, “The dinosaur wore the sunglasses and put it on his head!” So I put the sunglasses on the dinosaur and the children thought he looked ‘cool’ 🙂
Finally, it was a glove. The child said, “The dinosaur wore the gloves too!” And the girl who got the plastic cup added, “But he didn’t put it in his hand, and put in his feet instead!” And another added, “Then he tried it on his head too!” And another said, “And he ate it too because he was so hungry!”
We had a great laugh at all of the suggestions. Then I said, “How should we end the story?”
One boy said, “He ate it and fell asleep.” I asked if everyone likes that and they nodded.
Then I let them ‘draw’ their story on colored papers and glued the pages together, gave it a cover and a title, and turned it into a book. (I should have taken pictures!! :(( )
Lastly, I asked them to retell the story using their book. Remember, the objective is to briefly introduce them the elements of a story – beginning, middle and end. I was very proud of some of them who knew how to start and end the story 🙂
Points to note:
* Don’t worry if the “flow” of the story isn’t as how you ‘planned’ it to be, after all, it’s the children’s story 🙂
* The younger children had difficulty creating the ‘flow’, because they haven’t really grasp the flow and elements of a story, whereas the slightly older children had fun exploring their ideas.
* Keep repeating the flow of the story when in the middle of it, because the children can lose track when they get over excited with the objects they get 🙂 I also lay the objects in front of them so they can keep track.
Stories come in many shapes and forms. In this section, I’d be publishing all of my student’s stories (with their consent of course :)). No amendments/corrections have been done as I want to keep them original. Hope you enjoy reading them!
We learnt some new prepositions in class. To give them more practice, I asked them to come up with their own sentences. Then I challenged them to create a story using the sentences they’ve just made. I let them decide whether they want to partake in this challenge or not. Two of them decided to do so. One of them is Edward, the youngest student in this class, but one of the most polite, pleasant and hardworking 🙂
Edward is indeed a joy to have in class, always willing to help and share. Never once has he created havoc in class. He adheres to all classroom rules and puts his whole heart and soul into all the class activities. And this is the story he’s written 🙂
Chien Wen is one of the most enthusiastic and hardworking students I know. Her vivacity and positive attitude are infectious. She has shown great leadership qualities too. Her love for reading is amazing. This girl has definitely got a bright future ahead of her. Keep up the spirit, Chien Wen! 🙂