The Storyteller’s Project/Proyecto del Cuentista Lesson #3

In the third lesson of The Storyteller’s Project we continued to explore identity.

We began by reviewing our study of the theme of collections.  We discussed the mentor texts we have read so far (The Matchbox Diary and My Name is Jorge: On Both Sides of the River).  We remembered the writing that we accomplished with each lesson (Heartmaps and I am poems) and how each time we write in our writer’s notebooks we are adding to our collection of memories.

Then we looked at the word “memoir” and determined what it meant.  I shared this video of a 5th grade class’ Six Word Memoirs and explained that we were going to begin by writing a six word memoir.  I shared some examples from this mentor text, Six Words Fresh off the Boat: Stories of Immigration, Identity, and Coming to America.

Students then wrote their own six word memoir to add to their collection of memories in their writer’s notebooks.  Here is an example of one student’s six word memoir.

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The Storyteller’s Project/Proyecto del Cuentista Lesson #2

The second lesson in the Storyteller’s Project series related to identity.

Screen Shot 2018-01-07 at 12.20.20 PMI read aloud a poem, “The Photograph” from My Name is Jorge: On Both Sides of the River by Jane Medina.  We tied the idea that the author wrote about a photograph (a memory) to our over arching theme of collections.

I played two short pieces of music and students identified how each piece made them feel.  We discussed how poetry was about feelings and emotions and how poetry was similar to music in that regard.

Students then wrote “I am” poems. Along with their heart maps, their “I am” poems are kept in their writer’s notebooks so that they have a place to collect ideas for future writing pieces.

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©2018 by Dawn Little for My Learning Life. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

The Storyteller’s Project/Proyecto del Cuentista Lesson #1

Our first lesson in The Storyteller’s Project revolved around collections.

First, I read aloud The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman.  We discussed how the Grandfather collected memories in matchboxes.

Next, students created heart maps.  Heartmaps provide an opportunity for students to make a map of all the things that are in IMG_3199their heart, all the things that matter to them.  The heart map was developed by Georgia Heard as a way to collect ideas that are rooted in memory and experience.  We made a connection between the Grandfather’s collection and students’ collections of ideas on their heart map.

I also gave students their writer’s notebooks and read aloud “What is a Writer’s Notebook Anyway?” from A Writer’s Notebook by Ralph Fletcher.  We finished the lesson by determining that the writer’s notebook is the perfect place to collect ideas for writing.

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©2018 by Dawn Little for My Learning Life. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

The Storyteller’s Project/Proyecto del Cuentista

The Storyteller's ProjectLast spring, I applied for a grant from the State of Maryland International Reading Association Council (SoMIRAC).  In September, I received $1,000 check from SoMIRAC to begin administration of my project.   Here is a little background on The Storyteller’s Project/Proyecto del Cuentista:

Our school is extremely diverse. We are a Title I school and the majority of our students are Hispanic. Some of our students are children of undocumented immigrants.  Our students have stories to share and I want them to feel empowered to share those stories.  I want students to feel valued and realize that the stories they have to share are important.  I want our students to view writing and reading as a pleasurable activity. With this vision in mind, I designed the Storyteller’s Project/Proyecto del Cuentista.  

I created this project for our 5th graders.  Once a month, I go into both 5th grade classrooms and teach a writing lesson.  The Storyteller’s Project/Proyecto del Cuentista will allow for students to authentically write their story in the form of a memoir. My hope is that they will share their memoir at their 5th grade promotion in June.  

With the grant money, I was able to purchase copies of three mentor texts for every student as well as one copy for each classroom teacher to place in their classroom libraries (I will share these in future posts).  I also purchased and gave each student a writer’s notebook, pens, and colored pencils.

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