Recycling Stories

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10 thoughts on “Recycling Stories”

  1. Some people have the class illustrate them and make them into books for the class library. One of our 6th grade L1 writing teachers had her students make a story book and she found a place that would print bulk orders for a good price. The kids ordered copies as souvenirs for the year.

  2. I just began using an online site which includes a game called “Story Holes.” You type in your stories, and it randomly creates blanks (you can set how many). Students drag words into the blanks. The program is “World Language Games” and there are many more games – that one fits your desire to review old stories. When I was getting things set up, the designer told me that Annick Chen has inspired about 50% of the games as they are now. (She teaches Chinese in DPS. Ben kindly asked Annick for suggestions about CI-friendly homework for me and this has been a nice solution. My school expects me to give 15-20 minutes per night; I needed it to be more fun for students, lower output demanded of them, and less work for me.) There’s a fee: higher in the first year, then a low maintenance fee any year after that.

      1. Sorry, took me a couple days to remember I posted here! I contacted the game designer, Mike Ahrens, directly. He’s at: mikeahrenswlg at

        My site set up for the 5th grade (very beginning class) is: and you can see what it’s like there. Sign in as “Special Guest” and use password nihao.

        You get stats on the kids’ activity. Not the flashiest visuals, but some decent stuff in there.

        1. Oh yeah: one thing about the screen when you go to the link: it’s got a lot on it. You’ll find “Story Holes” as a game listed at far right under “To Play at Home (Java)” and scroll down.

          1. Tell him you heard about it here. He is always at Lincoln visiting us. Everybody uses them but me. I would, but I don’t have time bc of my weekly design. The games are GREAT for taking a break if you need one and have a language lab.

            There are so many things that Mike has put in there, and guess what? Much of the games are INPUT based. Software that delivers input. What’ll they think of next?

            Like you can put in a story from the week on a Friday and then it generates activities for the kids based on the story. Annick Chen has helped a lot in the design, keeping it CI friendly, as he originally designed it to help himself learn Chinese.

  3. This “Story Holes” site sounds like a great resource! When you post the link, I’ll go look it up.

    I almost always do a CLOZE activity of our stories, whether recycled or current, just to get in yet another rep of CI reading.

    I think recycling stories is such a great way to make our jobs easier. Whether it’s a story from a different class, a previous year, or from that same class earlier, I think we’re missing out on easy pre-made CI if we’re not recycling stories.

    I address this a bit more in a post from a week or two ago called “It’s the Reading”. I think that’s where I talked about how this has worked for me this year.

    I’m still looking for that list of “reading as a group in FL” activities we accumulated this last Spring… in case anyone has it or knows where I can access it here.

    1. This is a great point. It would be fun to print out stories used in class and slip them into page protectors in a 3-ring binder. Wouldn’t take too long… print after using the story in class, and just keep adding over the course of the year. Label the binder “Stories Grade 6” or whatever, and let them read that during silent reading times.

      I think I will try to set this up.

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