Friday, January 18, 2013

No More "I Like" Stories in Kindgergarten

This month many kindergarten classrooms will be pushing their students to higher levels in writing. They will still be doing small moment stories, but now they will be helping them to go further. One almost magical way to get them to do this is to use the "Magic Words of Story". This small technique is the easiest way to get your five-year-olds to move from writing: "I like my mom. My mom is nice." into writing actual small moment stories. 

When your student starts to tell a story about mom being nice and liking mom, simply stop them and say..."One time...." and magically they will tell a "one-time" story.  I am including in this blog a sample of a lesson for using Magic Words of Story. You will be amazed at how this transforms your students' writing!

Lesson: Small Moment Story with Magic Words of Story

Materials: chart with Magic Words on it
                   Blank chart paper for my story.

You have been doing lots of writing.  I know when I write it is easier for me to write about things that actually have happened to me.  Today we are going to try to do that in this class.  I sometimes have trouble though getting started.  I am going to teach you a strategy today that will help you if you have trouble getting started with your stories.
I have something that helps me.  I call it Magic Words of Story.  You know what a magician is…he does magic.  When he wants something to magically appear he uses magic words.  Well, when I want a story to appear, I use magic words…the magic words of story.  I have made a chart with some of them on. (Show chart with: One time, Once, On Monday, Yesterday, Last Friday…)  

I am going to write my story now.  First I have to think what I want to write about.  (Take time to think.)
I know I will write a story about my sister.  “One time after supper my mom said, “Kathy, do the dishes.”  I didn’t want to do the dishes.  I said, “Why doesn’t Kris have to do the dishes?” I asked my mom.  “Kris is going to practice her piano,.” Mom said.  I was mad!

Now I will write my story.  But how will I start it.  Oh, I know I will use the Magic Words of Story.  I think I will use: One time…
One time I had to do the dishes.  My sister got to practice the piano.  I did not want to do the dishes.  I was mad!

 Do you see how I used those words and a story appeared like magic?

Active Engagement: Let’s try it.  Think of something you can write about.  Remember it has to be a story that happened to you.  Give me a thumbs up when you have an idea.  Now which of the magic words will you use?  Give me a thumbs up when you know.  Turn to your partner and tell them what magic words you will use.

From now on, if you get stuck and can’t think of how to start your story, you can just look up at the Magic Words and a story will magically appear!


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