Laurie Clarcq on Scripting Stories 1

Laurie over on her blog has really put the discussion about scripting stories into a very fine and clear perspective. I duplicate those as three blog posts here with her permission. I will then post two texts written by Anne Matava on scripting stories, to give perspective and fullness to the discussion. Here is the first from Laurie:
Choosing Structures A: Action/Reaction
I’m going to “borrow” a thread from Ben’s blog. A few folks began asking about which structures to work on.   This is a skill. It just takes practice. It also requires you to just get started.   There is no one right way to do it. ANY STRUCTURE WILL DO. Think high-frequency and/or high interest.   Remember, no matter how grammatically beautiful a structure may be, if the kids aren’t paying attention, it’s worthless.
One of the things that a group of us chatted about at NTPRS  was how to “pick” structures that fit well together. Here are a few things that I remember from that conversation:
First, start with just one structure. The others will naturally follow. Trying to force a connection between structures is frustrating. So we can take “I need to tell you something” from one of Jim Tripp’s stories for an example.
Next, think ACTION/REACTION. A character says, “I need to tell you something” to another character. What are natural reactions to that? Jim already has a great one in his story script: gets close. But there are also other possiblities:
Earl says to Enid: “I need to tell you something.”
Enid: asks him “What?” (asks him is your next structure…see a 20 questions theme building?”
Enid: is not interested. (oooooo now Earl has to say it again in a way that will get her interested)
Enid: wants to know the information. (why? will he tell her?)
How do you choose?  Well….you know your class and your students and what they need. If one of those structures above is important to something you want to do in class…jump on it! Or pick one that is a recycled structure. Maybe you have a class that has been dying to act out a story. Pick the one that fits that bill best.  Truthfully…it doesn’t really matter.  They are all good structures! You can even put them up for the class to see and take a vote if you’d like.
Choose the one that resonates with you.  If it “clicks” with the kids…just keep on going. If it doesn’ worries….go on to another  structure, take the story another direction, stop the story and go to another activity,,,, whatever will continue to keep the class engaged. That structure will come up again in another time and place. But thinking about CAUSE AND EFFECT really helps to connect the pieces of a story because the structures flow so nicely into one another.



2 thoughts on “Laurie Clarcq on Scripting Stories 1”

  1. Voiting on structures what a thought. I can see a new word wall with 10+ structures in L2 and L1 and having kids pick the next logical piece. That Laurie Clarcq has me thinking.

  2. The emotional system of our brain loves choice. The Executive state–decision making, time management, etc–loves novelty. The survival state (where many students are daily in high school) hates both of these things. It wants safety.
    Build Trust–you are the captain of the ship, as crewmembers they must help you keep the ship afloat. Trust has to be there before they can actually choose. They have to know how to play the game.
    Then offer choice–we are all in this together. We are going to study something today and I am open to this or this what looks good to you? Limit choices to a map that works for you. But they see you trust them too.
    Then when they are trusting you and see they have choices, they will actually push forward to offer ideas of their own that may be worth exploring for all of you.
    Sail into a great year. I still have another week before showing up for Teacher’s Week.

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