Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Easiest retelling center ever


3 guesses on what that is- Maybe the spots help a bit- it's a cow. We drew it together as a class after reading the book, Mrs. Wishy Washy. (I LOVE crazy old Mrs. Wishy Washy and her poor animals who just want to stay in the mud).  

Last year when I was co-teaching with Splatypus and our literacy coach we began doing interactive drawing. Normally we do interactive writing where the teacher and students share the pen to write one message. Kids come up to take turns writing the letters they hear in words, or writing words they know. But after observing that some of our kids just could not draw, or when they drew they drew stick people with minimal details, Splattypus decided to take a step back and draw something as a class. 

The point of writing is to communicate a message on paper, which of course, starts with the act of drawing. Some children need to be taught that their drawings can communicate a message or a story before they are ready to start putting words on paper. After all, if you do not understand that your drawings can tell a story how are you ready to tell a story in those squiggly things we call letters?

Last week my kiddos and I read and re-read one of the Mrs. Wishy Washy big books. Then we began drawing "with teamwork" as one of the girls says, the characters. You have to give up a lot to be able to share the pen while drawing. Nothing is going to turn out remotely perfectly. But that's ok. The kids LOVE the finish product. We made all the characters and cut them out so we could use them to act out the story.

They can't get enough of it. If I leave the characters out I'll find them acting out the story by themselves. They want their cow, pig, and duck to go everywhere. I need to get off my lazy pregnant rear end and laminate them so I can let them play with them during free choice.

The best part about this was that it was an absolutely no-teacher prep lesson that lasted over the course of two weeks, and as covered multiple lessons- we've done 1) Communicating through drawing with our interactive drawing  2) Identifying characters in a book 3) Reading with expression and 4) Retelling a story in sequence.  And the only thing I had to do was get the book and have the construction paper ready.

It's been so much more powerful than if I'd made the animals myself, or if I'd photo copied the pictures from the book (which I was going to do before it occurred to me we could draw them together first). 

1 comment:

magpie said...

Whatever happened to those felt boards????
Those outcomes were once achievable a few years back BUT now you'd be hard pressed to convince a Principal that is at the very least.... working towards, ha ha, ☺☺☺

A think tank focused on creative solutions for future problem solvers -tree