If you have never done a story, then you must start simply. This is about the simplest story script I have ever thought of. The following is an interchange from a previous thread on PQA between Chris Stoltz and me:
Chris maybe you can use this:
wants to be
Jillian loves Brad. (get a girl actor up now and circle the shit out of that). Brad wants to be with Sammie (get Brad up now and circle). Jillian hits Sammie.
(The variables are only names in this ultra simple beginning script.)
Here is how I told Chris to handle this:
First PQA those three target structures. As you know, the first part of any PQA session is establishing meaning/gesturing. You tell the kids what each target structure means in English (limit 2 min.) and then you ask them to suggest gestures for the structures. What I do is say to them, English, “Class, how can we remember that “aime” means “loves”? They praise them when they show and you all agree that “loves” is the hands held across the chest with the head at an angle (or whatever THEY come up with) and “wants” is two flat hands rubbing together (or whatever THEY suggest) and “hits” is one fist in the flat hand (or whatever their little hearts want to be a gesture for that word).
Next, for the second part of PQA, the “just talking to them part”, your mindset should be, “I am now going to get as many repetitions as I can on each of these three expressions before starting the story.” Then, imagine that you have an invisible crow bar in your hand and you are going to PRY out all you can from these kids about the three expressions. First, you look at a kid with a mysterious look, and you say, “Class, Anthony (look directly at Anthony) loves ______”. LET THE KIDS fill in that blank with their cute answers. Laughter will follow as you reject a few and finally accept one. Go on like that for all three structures. Before doing that, of course, be sure to line up your three target structure counters as usual, if you want to (nothing in stone here, I am just sharing what works for me) and keep each one of them on task of counting the structure they have been assigned. They do that on a little colored square of paper on which they write the structure they are counting and tally them using the four and across tick method and then they hand them to you at the end of class. (This counting thing is not just to let you know how many times you say a target structure – it’s real benefit is that when you stop the class every once in while and look directly at, say, the counter for “loves” and ask him or her, “How am I doing?” “How many have I got?” I say that in English. It really has an odd way of engaging the entire class, is why I say that. It just keeps the kids engaged. Weird but true. Once you are up to 30 reps or so on each one, at least, and/or the PQA session is slowing down, get going on the story, which is, again:
Jillian loves Brad. Brad wants to be with Sammie. Jillian hits Sammie.
Now don’t go getting all wigged out that you are finally going to start a story! Just focus on the first line. You may end up spending the entire class on that one line (not likely with this script but it has happened with more complex first lines of stories before). Milk that first line. Circle it. Have a kid write the story out as it develops. Have another kid write a short quiz for the end of class. Have a third kid illustrate the story as it unfolds. You will need the quiz and the illustration for the last 12-15 minutes of class (2-5 min. on the illustration and 5-8 min. on the quiz). You will need the story to write the reading for the next day’s class.
Chris January 24, 2012 at 8:19 PM 
I love it!!!
Chris January 24, 2012 at 8:21 PM 
And during the PQA, do the structures need to tie in with each other or is that the story’s job to do that?
For example, when I’m done milking “loves” for what is’ worth during PQA, do I move onto “wants” with a different student and then onto “hits” and talk about something completely unrelated or do I tie them together? I feel like if I tie them together for PQA, I will have basically done the story.
Chris January 24, 2012 at 8:25 PM 
OH, and we’ve done some TPR like: walks, runs, jumps, stands up, sits down. Should I incorporate those into the story? Like Jillian walks to Sammie. Jillian hits Sammie?
Ben Slavic January 24, 2012 at 8:41 PM 
Anything can happen in PQA. Trust that it will. You may go through the three target structures in order, or you may not. I like to combine them, but that’s just me. You don’t care about anything but feeling happy and enjoying yourself as you get more and more and more reps. No plan. No order. No nothing, just hanging out and NEVER asking a question that doesn’t have a target structure in it. This would actually answer your question about using other expressions. I personally would do that in PQA but not during a story. I want to stay to the script, embellishing with details local to the class, but still I would stay on my script. And, by the way, if you mess this up and they look at you like deers do when confronted with headlights, then you are so close to an easy fix – just slow down and use point and pause and don’t go out of bounds. That fixes the deer in the headlights thing right quick.
Chris January 24, 2012 at 8:41 PM 
I think I’m good to go for tomorrow. Thank you! So do you think free write and dictado would be a good option for Thursday then after all of this circling and Wednesday’s story?
Thanks again for this script. I will report back to you tomorrow to let you know how it went. I’m excited about trying this.
Ben Slavic January 24, 2012 at 8:43 PM 
I can’t believe I wrote a script.
As far as the order of when to do what, you are right in that you can invite them to do a free write or do a dictee AFTER you do the story and after the reading (because input precedes output).
Can’t wait to hear how this goes.