As we sat down to begin our morning meeting, the teacher recalled some of the things the students talked about as they were developing their story of Imogene and her peacock tail. The students urged the teacher to read Imogene’s Antlers again. There was still the same buzz of excitement during the story just like the day before when we originally read the story together.
Imogene’s brother thought that Imogene may have turned into a miniature elk. The students wondered about elks. What is an elk? Do they have antlers? The teacher noted that those were all great questions, and she added one herself, “What other animals have antlers?”
Teagan replied a deer.
Layla told us that a moose has antlers.
Some of the students shouted, “REINDEER!”
Sean said, “And snow deer!”
“What about a lion?” one of the students said, but the class quickly dismissed that idea. “Well, maybe a buffalo.”
The students continued to talk about antlers and Imogene. After much discussion, we soon began to put together our book about Imogene. The story writing activity not only is an excellent opportunity to teach reading and writing, it allows artistic expression and stimulates the children’s imaginations. This type of activity has also been described as critical to a child’s cognitive development. They are given the opportunity to think through a process, sequence events, establish problems and resolutions; but importantly, the child can create a product that they are proud of because they did it independently.
The students took their contributions of their story to the art studio. She allowed the children to explore which visual images would work with the story line. The children discussed what shapes they could use to create their illustrations. They used watercolors to help their images come to life.
As a result of the excitement from the story, the teacher asked the students comprehension questions to ensure they understood the story. The kindergartners were ask to draw a picture of one of the difficulties Imogene encountered and to make a prediction about what would happen to Imogene with her new peacock tail.
The first graders developed sentences to respond to questions about conflict and resolution. These literary analysis skills will be used throughout their academic careers. This activity accomplishes the following learning goals:
* Students understand, make inferences and draw conclusions about the structure and elements of fiction and provide evidence from text to support their understanding. Students are expected to:
(A) retell a main event from a story read aloud; and
(B) describe characters in a story and the reasons for their actions.
(A) dictate or write sentences to tell a story and put the sentences in chronological sequence
* Students write legibly and use appropriate capitalization and punctuation conventions in their compositions.
* The student expresses ideas through original artworks, using a variety of media with appropriate skill. The student is expected to:
(A) create artworks, using a variety of colors, forms, and lines;
(B) arrange forms intuitively to create artworks; and
(C) develop manipulative skills when drawing, painting, printmaking, and constructing artworks, using a variety of materials.