"Digesting a Story"Unit (Project Based Learning)
Created by Stacy Bodin
As society finds itself immersed in the technology era, many find themselves using cell phones, computers, palms, digital cameras, and other tools to communicate and survive in the fast paced world. To assist children make their way into the future, educators across the nation are utilizing technology equipment as resource tools to mesh state expectations and the curriculum. With technology integration on the rise, many are looking for innovative ideas to intertwine the two in an effective and productive way. One such project called "Digesting a Story" has been created by 2nd grade educator, Stacy Bodin.
Digesting a Story" unit includes students building a physical (edible) setting, writing/typing original group stories. using graphic organizers, creating test questions and videotaping their stories.
With the "photographer of the day" designated to document phases of the unit, the children and teacher begin building digestible settings. Appropriate and inexpensive edible settings and characters are used to enhance the project. (Examples: Christmas Project-Setting-a gingerbread house, powdered sugar for snow; Characters- edible gingerbread cookie men or other edible cookies and cakes. Easter-Setting-dyed shredded coconut which the students dye; Characters-bunnies, marshmallow chicks and other Easter treats. Halloween- Setting-candy corn field; Characters-decorated cookies such as pumpkins or candy. Thanksgiving- Setting-multi-colored cereal-Fruity Pebbles ;could be used as fall leaves. Characters: turkey sugar cookies. (See Photo Album for pictures)
With the settings now built, the children focus on a goal. Groups utilize story maps (MS Word Template) to begin their brainstorming session. With the story map as the springboard, stories are written and typed on the computers. (Prerequisite practice for story mapping should be practice with the Read Write Think Story Map Link.) Each story is expected to have a detailed setting, characters, an original problem and it's resolution. Those discussed and documented details in each group are then born and bred to create an original story. Through the use of technology, students then type their own creative story using MS Word. Next using the writing process, the students proofread and edit their work.
The final stages involve video taping the original story segments, testing themselves, watching their final stories on a DVD and finally "digesting" their story setting/characters. The children may video tape their own productions with the help of a tripod. After stories are complete, copies are made for each student to map. Finally stories handed out and students are tested on the stories. The project targets a number of Louisiana Grade Level Expectations and NETS Standards.
The week ends literally eating and “digesting” their story setting (gingerbread houses, brownie trees, etc), and characters (gingerbread men, Easter bunnies, and other edible characters)
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