To view this content, you must be a member of Ben's Patreon at $10 or more
Already a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content.



10 thoughts on “Sunflowers”

  1. I’m finding that I can’t get through stories quick enough. It takes a long time to get good suggestions from the kids (meaning ones that will lead to a good story IMO). How can I get the kids to offer great suggestions straight away? It seems like they need hear other ideas before being able to formulate better ones. Could it be I’m not asking the right questions? Timing? Waiting too long to get a great suggestion?

    1. You’re probably asking the right questions and I’m sure the timing is good. You may be waiting too long to get a great suggestion. This reveals a reticence/shyness in the kids. We teach/taught the same kids so I know how shy they are. So take a bit longer – up to 40 min. – to finish a story. Who cares?

    2. Julie Quenneville

      I have the same concerns Dana. At times I feel I’m spending too much time on the asking of questions. Case in point was the other day with my 6/7 class. I asked the usual questions and there didn’t seem to be much coming from them, and I had to lead them in the right direction constantly (character, a cup of hot chocolate, was visiting the North Pole).
      In the end, they had given me 4 or 5 good ideas. That night though, I made it into a great story, adding dialogue but keeping their structure intact (the basic plot). Next day, I presented it to them with much fanfare, making sure I introduced it carefully that these were the skeleton ideas they had given me.
      When I was done reading it, several kids started clapping!!
      It goes to show that sometimes they give us a little bit, but if we nurture the few ideas given, they still feel like it’s theirs!

      1. Really insightful comment. I agree. The four or five answers, or even less, are enough. It’s the illusion we create, as we guide the story along, that makes them think that they created it, but we guided it, made it happen.

        1. Hmmm. So I’ve never added anything to the story itself. When we do Write and Discuss, I might choose better words than I did during the story creation and I obviously put in transition words to make it flow.
          Julie, how long does it take you to put together each class’s story?
          I used to type up the story before class so we’d be ready to read it, but then I tried writing it with them and it was great. It’s like doing modelled writing for younger students. I talk out lou when I’m typing (I’m facing the class) and I say things like, “Hmm, I can’t use that word again as I just used it. What’s another word I could use in there? Or maybe I should change the sentence around so it works better?” At first, some kids were bored but eventually they all have started to pay attention and help me write it. I’ve explained to them that I’d they pay attention during this step, they will learn so much about writing.

          1. Ive found that using “un secreto” helps model for an answer. Be silly with your own suggestion even cheesy/cliché. This helps students step out of their shell. Suring suggestion time too, i blurt softly some suggestions that gets the juices flowing. For the problem i have students collaborate in groups of 3 or partners. I tell them to be specific but no more than 2 sentences. I have say that it could relate to the character

    3. I think too much about things. Recently, for details, I started taking the first suggestion and working with it. Otherwise, I get too bogged down in the choices. If I go with a time and modify or take it as it is, it gives less time for students to start spitting out too many ideas. It may keep them more on their toes too. I was just reviewing what Ben says about not getting bogged down in the details: Here is a paraphrase: Get to the plot; the rest is details.

  2. Agree about getting right to the plot and totally relate to this:
    …I think too much about things….
    We are taught to parse, judge, intervene, decide at every moment. It is what we think teaching is.
    Teaching is being present in a creative process, responding to what the group wants. They are not stupid. They are waiting for us to hear them. Then any plot works.

    1. My oh my.
      that is so right on.
      I feel ashamed to have been teaching 18 yrs and only recently and truly enjoying the mega “secret” that is one of the top things that can make a teacher effective…
      … simply being present .
      When we are in the moment / not distracted in our brains on “what is the next activity”/ teaching to the eyes / in tune to our students (and that takes a LOT of trusting to LET GO of several controls) then it is magical.
      So easy to say.
      Hard to do & to trust.
      But oh so rewarding.

  3. Alisa Shapiro-Rosenberg

    The other day we were creating a story from an OWI about a giant golden gummy bear named Big Juicy who wanted his own YouTube channel. Alas, his parents said, “Absolutely not!” Anyway the class in question – lotsa heavy hitters in there – was having a very hard time resolving the story and bringing it to conclusion. Profe 2 wasn’t even working in there. Suddenly I heard someone mumble, “and then a dog came by and just ate it.” So I made a big to-do out of this desperately bored and perhaps cynical punt, “what a great idea that was!” – that the class was having a hard time deciding Big Juicy’s fate – so the dog decided it for him! CUT! and RUN!

Leave a Comment

  • Search

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe to Our Mailing List

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.

Related Posts

Stendra Super Force generico all’ingrosso

Stendra Super Force generico all’ingrosso Valutazione 4.6 sulla base di 352 voti. Nome del prodotto: Stendra Super Force Categoria: Disfunzione Erettile Nome commerciale: Extra Super

The Problem with CI

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to

CI and the Research (cont.)

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to



Subscribe to be a patron and get additional posts by Ben, along with live-streams, and monthly patron meetings!

Also each month, you will get a special coupon code to save 20% on any product once a month.

  • 20% coupon to anything in the store once a month
  • Access to monthly meetings with Ben
  • Access to exclusive Patreon posts by Ben
  • Access to livestreams by Ben