Somos and Seesaw – Part 2 – Tell a Story

I love Somos and I love Seesaw! Put them together and it just makes sense.

I previously showed you how to “Establish Meaning” as the first step in using Somos and Seesaw together. See that post HERE. 

Today I’m going to introduce part two: Telling a Story. 

In the past I always used the script in Somos Units to “Ask a Story” . I really enjoy that activity, I’m a very theatrical kind of teacher. But you don’t have to do that. There are other options.

I love these new StoryBuilders that are a part of the digital Somos Flex. I’m going to be using them for now and for always because I love them so much. They’re so low prep! If you’re teaching third, fourth and fifth grade, there’s a very good likelihood that you’re teaching multiple grades with multiple preps. Storyasking can be incredibly labor intensive and mentally intensive, so if you’re juggling all these different curriculums, you might be telling three different stories in a day and that’s just really tiring. So the StoryBuilders give you a support of content that’s really good, that’s personalized, that’s engaging compelling input but not so much work!

The sequence for the unit is:

1) Mi diccionario

2) Practice Sentences ¿Comprendes?

3) StoryBuilder as a class (2-3 times)

4) StoryBuilder – independent activity

When I assign the independent activity with the StoryBuilder, we have already gone through the same StoryBuilder as a class. I highly recommend you do that. First of all, it shows them technically how to navigate the Google Slides. Second, it’s so stinking fun to have them vote on which one that’s just super fun. Do it once, twice, three times before you let them do it independently.

I might do the actual Storyasking from the traditional Somos unit as well depending on how I feel the class is getting the vocabulary. Is it coming automatically when I ask them, or do they need more practice? Is it a good story script that I know this class will respond to.

So your students are ready to navigate the StoryBuilder on their own. Here is how I set it up.

Then click “Create New Activity”
Give the activity a title. Then click “Add Template for Student Responses” (This is a game changer!) Multiple page activities is only available in Seesaw Plus, so if you don’t have that, you’re not going to be able to do multiple pages. I think it’s totally worth it.
After clicking “Add Template for Student Responses” it will give you options for what should be on the first page. Click “Link”
On the first page of the student template I insert the link to the StoryBuilder.

I add a text box with the instructions “Open the story by clicking the link until it opens. Follow the directions.” Once they click on the link, that’s going to take them to the digital StoryBuilder on Google Slides.

With the actual Google slides StoryBuilder, you will need to make a COPY (Click FILE and then MAKE A COPY) to keep in your personal Google Drive. Then you can change the directions because they might not be suitable for your grade and students. This copy is the link you give your students. (Click Share at the top and then Copy Link)

For example, I remember hearing from a third grade, veteran teacher who told me that third graders have a really hard time copying things from another source. It’s really difficult for third grade, that’s a developmental thing, so do not have them write it down.

I instruct them to go through the story twice, and then pick their favorite version. If you want to go through it more than twice, they can. 

Once they go through all of that, then they go back to Seesaw. I have instructions to draw a picture of their favorite version of the story then record a message explaining the picture and their favorite version of the story. They can either record the message or type a message telling me about their picture – why did you draw this? So basically you’re having them summarize the story or pick a favorite scene, but then they have to explain where this fits in the story, in their favorite version. This kind of gives you a glimpse into how much they understood because they can’t do this without understanding the story well. 
Page two is super easy because all you have to do is put on the directions: 
Draw a picture of your favorite version of the story
Record or type, describing the drawing your favorite version of the story 

So that is Step 2 – Story! How do you like the StoryBuilders? What is your favorite one? How do you use them?

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