I.  Purpose:

II.  Goals:

The students will decide on a central idea for a story. The story has to include a feasible plot, a descriptive setting, several characters, a problem and a resolution. Using edible props, the students assisted in creating their own settings and characters. Then using a standard four component map, they described the setting they were going to use. The next step was looking at gathered edible and non edible pieces that could be designated characters in their story. Finally as a group, they discussed and decided on a problem for their story and "how" they would choose to resolve it. The final result will be a video tape, CD or DVD of their original stories and created settings.

III. Objectives/Expectations:

By the end of this project:

IV. Time:

One week (Reading, Language Arts Block) - Reading/Language Arts Block Time (165 minutes a day) Time divided by the teacher as to how and when to work through the process.

V. Set up:

May be done as a whole class or divided into groups. Time management is crucial. Be prepared with a set goal in mind. Flexibility plays a part in this process.

VI. Preparations for this unit:

 VII. Pre requisites

The students will have to be knowledgeable in completing story maps.  A wonderful online "Story Mapping Site" if from the READ-WRITE-THINK Site http://www.readwritethink.org/materials/storymap/index.html .  This interactive site can serve as a platform in helping the students understand the concept of story mapping and how to identify conflicts and resolutions quickly and confidently.

VIII. Lesson Plan

1. On the board or on a display area, write the words:
"Setting ???"; Characters ???; Conflict ???; Solution ????
2. Ask why they think the question marks were placed there? Discuss their theories.
3. You will then ask and discuss these four components of a story:

4. Now you will explain to them what the "goal" of this unit is.

5. Now you will work to create a setting using props that the children may use for each of their stories.

6. You may find small Christmas trees that enhance the scenes. Once the setting is completed, have the students look at would could be characters. (Example: Gingerbread men, or other types of seasonal cookies). Other non edible characters may be included. (Small Santas, elves, etc.) Or they may draw and cut out characters. (Rudolph, etc.)

7. The next step involves their creativity and their ability to describe their group's setting, the characters they would like to see in the story, a unique problem and how to solve their problem. Hand out the "Digesting the Story" Map Sheet.
Attached are Blacklines in MS Word .doc and a PDF file.

8. Allow the groups to work through their ideas and have them document it on the "
Digesting the Story Map". Walk around and listen to the group share ideas. If needed probe them with questions to get them thinking. You may divide this into different sessions, depending on how well your child "map" stories. Suggestion: As a prerequisite for this have them work on the "Read Write and Think" Story Mapping site a few times to become familiar with story mapping on their own. Or have them create written story maps as often as they can before you start this. Place two children who are strong leaders in each group to guide the others. Explain to your leaders that they will not 'do" the work, but "guide" or "lead" the group to work as a team. Just as a teacher does with her students. Once they complete the four components of their story, the take the information and write a story.

9. Once the story is completed, the teacher will sit and discuss the story with them to see if all of the information is included. The teacher will allow one child to read it. If grammatical errors are heard, then the teacher can ask does that sound right? "Could it be stated differently", etc. Examples: If they wrote "is" and the appropriate term should be "are" talk them through it. Model what would be right if they don't know the answer. Use the words and phrases problem, conflict, resolution, solved and solution and fixed the problems, over and over again. The teacher should be probing constantly as each group continues to write as well as when they are done with the story.

10. Now the group will go to a computer and take turns typing the story. Each student may type 2 or 3 sentences. (Each child should sit at the computer to assist. Again it is important to stress the importance of working as a group). The teacher should be walking around monitoring these activities.

11. The students will type and proofread and edit, then the teacher will conference with the group to edit the final copy.

12. Once the writing process is done, filming will take place. A digital video footage may be transferred into a program on the computer and a CD or DVD may be created. Students will have to work through the movements of their scenes using the characters.

13. Students will be told about assessment of grades.
Rubric is included. After the filming takes place, the teacher will make copies of each story to give to the students. Each story will have a blank story map sheet.

14. Once modeled by the teacher, the students will create five questions about their own stories to be placed on a final test. The group will create and type the questions. The teacher will help guide the students with trouble. Then the teacher will combine the student questions and create an
"Assessment Document".

15. Now the students
"Digest their Story" setting. Discuss how they can digest it mentally and physically. (This will take a few days, so cover the settings each evening). The children should wash their hands each time they will touch the setting, etc. Don't unwrap all items. The unwrapped gingerbread cookies, marshmallows, and items that you know are sanitary may be eaten. Each night carefully store and wrap the food carefully.

16. Optional: Creating a CD or DVD: Movie Maker on XP machines allow for the video to be "captured" from the video recorder. Once captured, the footage may be edited and transitions may be added. To upgrade to
Movie Maker 2, click here http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/updates/moviemaker2.mspx.

17. The filmed stories are now viewed. The teacher may show the video tape or transfer the video footage into a CD or DVD. The
Adobe Premiere Series and "capturing" through a fire wire produces clear footage. Be aware of "capturing settings" during the process. See note and sites listed to assist you.

18. Send home the final Assessment Explanation and assignments. Explanation of project is attached to the Assessment Rubric. Also attached are the story maps completed after reading each group's story, as well as the final test created my the students.


Back to "Digesting A Story" Thematic Page


Created and written by
Stacy Bodin
Dozier Elementary
415 West Primeaux
Erath, LA 70533
Phone 337-937-6915

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