So, how do I plan a lesson for my Kindergarten – 2nd grade class?
Methods that I continually use throughout a lesson.
Story-asking is a very big part of Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS). If you have had training in TPRS at conferences like NTPRS or iFLT, then you know the method.
Here are some blogs that explain it better than I can. Some of these links include DEMO videos.
EVERY TEACHER HAS HIS/HER OWN STYLE.
Here are the differences:
TIME/ATTENTION- Most story-asking in my upper elementary and middle classes last for 20-30 minutes. I do not attempt this with my younger students. I started to take stories and divide them into mini-stories that can be combined into 1 BIG story. I gave an example in my post El Rey no tiene una boca of how I divided that story. These mini-stories take between 5-10 minutes. The rest of the class, I do CI activities like songs, games, PQA, TPR etc.
FEWER OPTIONS- When I do story-asking with my older students, I ask for lots of details. I, also, ask more open ended questions or questions that need a longer answer. Why does the character do this? What does the character say? Where does the character go?
With my younger students, I don’t ask as many questions. I ask for a name sometimes. Many times, especially in Kindergarten, I ask an EITHER/OR question. Did the character go to Pizza Hut or Dominos? I stay away from open-ended questions and long answers because most students don’t have the language yet to express that kind of answer. I also keep to a tighter script with fewer details. Lots of times “story-asking” can be more “story-telling” like you will see in the example below. I start a story by telling students the set-up. Then, they get to choose the details in the next parts of the story.
PROPS/VISUALS- I try to do this with all my classes but I am very deliberate about providing visuals for my younger students. There are student actors or puppets for everything. If I have a mask or wig to help then I use those, too. If the character is moving to a new location, then that student actor or puppet must move. Reoccurring structures (quiere, tiene, va a, le da etc.) all have a gesture that I do and have the class do with me when telling the story. I have a set of location posters that a student will hold up during the story. I also will take pictures or have a student worker take pictures as we tell the story for students to see when retelling the story another day.
CLASS PARTICIPATION – I like to have all my students participate during a story. I like to have my students mimic the characters. One character begs for the other character’s pizza. First, I have the actor do it. Then, I have another student beg in the same way. Then, the whole class begs. Anytime I use a frequently used structure the whole class does the gesture and says it with me.
- My older students have jobs while telling a story (drawing the story, summarizing the story, taking pictures, etc.). When you have time, check out Bryce Hedstrom and Ben Slavic posts about classroom jobs.
VOTING – This goes along with class participation because it includes the whole class in a story. At the end of a story, I give students two options for the ending. I will put a motion to the ending. Then one by one each student votes for the ending using Spanish (points for using Spanish) OR they can just do the motion. I will repeat back their answer for the class. It is very similar to what I described in the LE DA game I learned from Leslie Davison.
This is going to be very detailed, so consider yourself warned!
I am sharing my style with you. It is not the only way it can be done.
STORY SCRIPT (Part 1 of “El Rey no tiene una boca.”)
Hay un rey. El rey tiene un problema. No tiene una boca. ¡Qué lástima! No puede comer. No puede hablar. No puede cantar.
There is a king. The king has a problem. He doesn’t have a mouth. What a shame! He can’t eat. He can’t talk. He can’t sing.
TELLING THE STORY IN CLASS (what actually happens)
“Clase, hay un rey.” I write “el rey” on the board and translate because it is a brand new word. I choose a male student, and I have a crown for him to wear. Then, I gesture and say “Siéntase, rey” for him to sit on the teacher stool as a place of honor. “La clase dice -Hola, rey.-” The class responds. “Oh clase, más formal” Es un rey. La clase dice –Hola rey-” We bow formally to the king and say -Hola- in our most snobbiest accents.
“Clase, El rey tiene un problema.” The class responds with the automatic response we established earlier in the year. “DUM DUM DUUUMMM,” I whisper dramatically and slowly for effect. “Clase, el rey tiene un secreto.” I make sure everyone is engaged. I might call on individual students to ensure everyone is listening. “Eric, el rey tiene un secreto.” Then, I list all the things that the king has. “El rey tiene ojos. Los ojos son cafés.” “El rey tiene una nariz.” “El rey tiene pelo. Tiene pelo rubio.”
(Dramatically) “El rey … no tiene … una boca.” I pause. I act shocked and repeat it a couple times either to the whole class or addressing individual students to fish for dramatic reactions
“Clase, ¡Qué lástima!” This is usually already posted as a rejoinder, but if not, I write it on the board to introduce or remind students what it means. “La clase dice -¡Qué lástima!” The class responds.
If I haven’t posted “puede” and “no puede” before, then I write them on the board now and translate. These are not new words to my students because I have introduced them at the beginning of this unit. I have a stack of signs/flashcards of infinitives that students recognize. (They know “come” means “he/she eats” so I have a sign with “comer” and someone eating.)
“Clase, ¿El rey puede comer?” (holding sign of COMER) The class responds “NO.” One student might say “¡Qué lastima!” If they don’t then, I prompt them by saying it myself. “Clase, el rey no puede comer.” I act shocked and repeat dramatically with examples. “Caroline, el rey no puede comer… chocolate.” SHOCKED “Toby, el rey no puede comer…pizza.” SHOCKED “Clase, el rey no puede comer… ¡EL HELADO!” SHOCKED. “Clase,¿el rey está contento o está triste?” The class responds and I have my actor be sad. I also compare students who can eat chocolate or pizza to the king. I have those students act out what they can do.
I then go through a sign or two of actions he can do. “Clase, ¿El rey puede escribir?”(holding sign of ESCRIBIR) The class responds. “Sí clase, el rey puede escribir porque tiene… “The class responds “manos, brazos, dedos etc.” I have the actor playing the king act out by pretending to write or really writing something on the board. I might have other students write. The whole time I am narrating. “El rey puede escribir. Caroline puede escribir. etc.”
“Clase, ¿El rey puede bailar?”(holding sign of BAILAR) The class responds. “Sí clase, el rey puede bailar porque tiene… “The class responds with different answers “piernas, brazos, manos, etc.” I will have my actor dance then, I will have other students dance and then the whole class. “La clase puede bailar. Toby puede bailar. Yo puedo bailar.”
“Clase, ¿El rey puede hablar?” (holding sign of HABLAR) The class responds “NO.” One student might say “¡Qué lástima!” If they don’t, then I will prompt them by saying it myself. “Clase, el rey no puede hablar.” I act shocked and repeat dramatically with examples. “Caroline, el rey dice -Hola- “No, porque no puede hablar.” “Patrick, ¿El rey dice -Tengo hambre.-” “No, porque no tiene una boca… No puede hablar.” I try to keep asking and giving examples until the class is finishing my sentence. “El rey … NO PUEDE HABLAR.” Each time it makes sense, I will throw in a “¡Qué lástima!” Hopefully, students are starting to do that for me. I will continue to compare students who can eat chocolate or pizza to the king. I will have those students act out what they can do.
Then, I am done for the day. I don’t go any further than this. Sometimes I will even break this story up with a brain break or other activity if it is going on for too long. I don’t always extend each part if I feel like I need to keep it moving. If the class is responding well, then I will extend it.
When the story is done, I usually do an up and moving activity because, for the most part, students have been sitting through this activity.
The next class time I will review part one and continue the story into part two.