Deep Insight

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13 thoughts on “Deep Insight”

  1. Oh damn! Are you talking about me again?
    “It made me see that what I used to do was stories was too loosey goosey, too long, too all over the place in too many directions, no three locations, and not very interesting because I didn’t have the right script.”
    Hahaaa! Busted again. I know this about myself, so great reminder. Yes indeed. The three most fun days in any of my classes this year have happened with one group who can play the game. I have not been able to use scripts with the other 2 groups because they get instantly derailed for very different reasons. But the one group has done some great memorable stuff with two Matava scripts and the Darth Vader movie talk.

  2. And jen the major ingredient of that success of course as we know is SLOW, but the insight I had yesterday was that SLOW is not possible without a good script and deep penetrating interest on the part of the kids. I was able to see yesterday – where I never had before to such a degree – how the CI fingers work together to grip things to make the story work. One finger is SLOW, the other is a good script, the other is staying in bounds, the other is the three locations, but those fingers can’t pick the story up and throw it into the air without the thumb gripping too, the thumb being the Classroom Rules, esp. Rules #4 and #8.

    1. Hello,
      I am still trying to understand the CI puzzle here in Montana; this post both clarifies the skills necessary but also still confounds me. Reiteration of SLOW and the idea of a script is helpful.
      My confusion is what do you do with the script-
      is the script the story?
      are you only teaching and acting out the script, i.e. not asking for or adding details?
      are you establishing meaning for each structure before working with the script/story?
      What does “3 locations” mean?
      In short, I understand the concept of CI – being IN THE LANGUAGE with kids, slow, repetitions and staying in bounds- but I do not understand the machinations of implementing the strategies. I know that for my beginner level I can start with One Word Images and not do stories for awhile but use of a script sounds like it could be a TANGIBLE stepping stone for me as I try to incorporate and wrap my brain around new teaching style.
      Thanks so much,

      1. Hi Carrie, the most helpful thing might be to watch teachers who are using a script to develop a story with a class. If you scroll around at this link:
        you’ll see links to Ben with a class, setting up for and then using a script called “Brrr!”
        It’s a very interactive process, and details are contributed by the class. Here is info about Jim Tripp’s script that Ben was using:

        1. I’ve had this question before: How to use scripts?
          The script gives you a storyline. You choose the (underlined) variables you will ask. You can tell some lines. You can embellish the script with anymore info you please. You can establish meaning of new words before you start or as you go.
          3 locations, or better yet, 3 situations/events, is a TPRS strategy to stay in bounds and get more reps. The basic storyline repeats itself 3xs and usually the character’s attempts are foiled until the last time. You do not have to include 3 events.

  3. The thing is it takes real talent, kind of like being able to crochet or pole vault, to write a good script, and the only collections I know are Tripp’s and Matava’s. It blew my mind once when I mentioned Matava to Carol Gaab last year and she had never heard of her. Two geniuses in the same field and not aware of each other! I have used scripts since 2001 and would not leave home without them. I developed kind of my own way of using them and wrote that process up in my first book TPRS in a Year. It explains everything. These days I personally work from scripts about 80% of the time. All those 27 activities I share in The Big CI book I use about 20% of the time. This year it has been 90% scripts. When it’s dinner time and I want a good meal, especially when being observed, I always have a Matava script in my hand, providing me guaranteed fun and safety in a way that nothing else can in a CI class. Why don’t more people use scripts? Hell, I don’t know.
    Carrie read especially the sample stories (A – E) at the end of the book. It will all be clear.

  4. Gracias : ) I am learning more all the while I study your book and this site. On the one hand, I can understand CI’s simplicity but on the other hand the different strategies and nuances of the teaching style continue to overwhelm me even as I know I am likely overthinking everything. That is ok I am still studying and formulating little goals for me and my students. I am going to look into the Portand University credits and see if I can’t incorporate university credit into my quest for learning how to teach with comprehensible input!

  5. Carrie if you can get to a summer conference do that as as well. There is nothing like seeing it modeled in a trust-filled place. Please know you have my respect and I am sure that of many others in the PLC. Few professionals embrace the (seeming complexity) of it long enough to tame it. It takes too long and it’s too scary. Most people dip a toe in and, feeling how hot the water is, so full of the heat of swirling change, turn away and say it doesn’t work. But those willing to feel the burn, to dive deep, find the pearl.

    1. You can’t do it wrong. Just try to get as much input comprehended as possible. In order to get a better feel on what is being comprehended we ask a question every 1-2 utterances. If you are not comprehended, then there is no harm done. Just go back and restate, rephrase. That’s it.

  6. Hey all,
    Ben, thanks for this post…it definitely grounds me. My struggle is on a long term basis, how can I create a structure in which the type of TPRS you describe in its must pure form can happen? I have bought in to the backwards planning from novels idea meaning that I pick my structures based on a novel I am hoping my students will be able to read. I am trying to really limit what structures I use and be strategic. The only problem with this is that the scripts out there…like Matava and Jim’s scripts and even Carol’s and Blaines don’t always fit in to to the progression of structures that I like to use. No problem right…just write my scripts? Well, I find that I somehow always make them so much more complicated than required and lose sight of the basic principles (3 locations, a conflict, good characters, etc). My question is, am I missing a point here. Is it better to utilize the good scripts out there and just don’t worry about where the structures lead? When I did that though, I often found that we rarely recycled structures from our good stories and then the novels didn’t always include the structures I used in TPRS. How do others reconcile this tension between targeting specific structures to align to a novel or a text versus going with good stories? Or am I missing a point altogether?

  7. Alisa Shapiro-Rosenberg

    You are grappling with the “How to school-ify T/CI?” issue we’ve been talking abt here for some time. (Also part of the structure/targeted/non-targeted discussion). I find that knowing/front-loading the minimum that they MUST for the novel is a great way to insure they get the most from the reading. I don’t work with scripts per se (I haven’t found a collection appropriate for young children) but I do try to incorporate targets into my stories, MTs, PQA, whatever vehicle I can. In terms of sequence, it’s good to know the words before you read them. When I first taught Brandon Brown…Dog, I missed some of the frequently used words in the book, and tried to teach them or at least get reps on ’em through PQA right before the chapter, but then the following year I made a list for myself of less likely words, to insure I squeezed ’em in before we got to the reading. That way I could try to incorporate them via my other materials.
    You have it right. It defies a neat scope n sequence. It’s too beautifully simple.

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