Super Mini Stories

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16 thoughts on “Super Mini Stories”

  1. Here are two – maybe shared before elsewhere in the PLC? These are from very early, beginning Chinese classes so they reflect that language. I’ve used these with grades 4 through 11 now – work for me at all those ages.
    1. Eating Kittens: (students need: would like to/wants to eat, numbers, good)
    She is (Lady Gaga). Lady Gaga is not good! She wants to eat. She wants to eat (kittens). She wants to eat (10) (kittens)! She eats (10 kittens)! [Student actor now role plays eating one at a time with the whole class counting under teacher’s lead.] (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 kittens). She ate (10 kittens)! (Very good!) Eating (10 kittens) is (very good)!
    2. Spiderman loves Beyonce: (students need: is, likes, very/really, cries) I story-ask the part about the second character not really liking the first character, but only will take that answer so there’s now some unrequited love. Skip the crying lines if it’s complicated.
    He is (Spiderman). She is (Beyonce). (Spiderman) likes (Beyonce). (Spiderman) really likes (Beyonce)! But (Beyonce) doesn’t really like (Spiderman). (Spiderman) really likes (Beyonce), but (Beyonce) doesn’t really like (Spiderman). (Spiderman) isn’t good! He cries! He cries because (Beyonce) doesn’t really like him. But (Beyonce) is good. She doesn’t cry.

  2. It’s funny how in Chinese you say She is (Lady Gaga). For clarity for new people, we who don’t teach Chinese start with There is a girl/boy/woman/man. The girl/boy/woman/man is named (Lady Gaga).
    Thanks Diane – these are good examples of these super mini stories.

    1. You can do “there is a person” in Chinese, too, but I wait for a while to do it. The second story is one done in the first week of Chinese 1, so this is really aiming to stay super-simple — they know like 5 words! Plus, the word for “have” and “there is…” is the same in Chinese. I like to get them used to “have” first. I think maybe I use “there is…/there are…” at the end of the first month.
      By saying “She is” or “he is,” I avoid having to teach word “is named” which I have found confuses them if it is introduced so early (they look for something that equals “name” and there isn’t). Plus “is” is super-useful all the time.
      Same deal with “is good” “isn’t good” in Chinese. That is my super-simple way to avoid having to teach “happy” “sad” “angry” etc. too early. Those likewise come later, within a couple months.

  3. There is a fish.
    The fish wants a cat.
    The fish buys a cat.
    That’s silly.
    The cat eats the fish.
    That’s sad.
    There is a [turtle].
    Her name is ______.
    She is [green, white, and black].
    She wants to go to [the moon].
    She finds a [multi-colored boat].
    She goes to [the moon by boat].
    She is happy.
    There is a girl.
    She wants a friend.
    She goes to [the pool].
    She sees a [dolphin].
    They are friends.
    There is a [girl].
    She lives in ____.
    She is cold.
    There is a boy.
    He has a scarf. (having a real scarf is good)
    He gives the scarf to the girl.
    She is not cold.
    She is happy.
    He is happy.
    There is a [boy]. His name is ___.
    He is hungry.
    He wants to eat [100 ice creams] and [100 hamburgers].
    He eats [100 hamburgers and 100 ice creams].
    That’s a lot!
    Is he still hungry?

    1. When they are just beginning and have no vocabulary to come up with the details, you can give them or ask them for some choices ahead of time using the words and images. “Give me 5 animals you want to know how to say in ___.” Or something like that.
      Or have lots of stuffed animals and toy vehicles and fake food and dolls and…
      That’s one way to do it, anyway, preteach a bit. I’m going to do that better next year 😉
      That lack of vocabulary is frustrating for them and tends to lead to English and can be confusing for them.

        1. Ruth these are great. Thanks. I will add them to our list. Thanks to you and Diane, just from today we have seven really good new super mini stories. I am sure that this category will get a lot of use next fall (“Super Mini Stories for Classroom Use”). If you have more, send them to me as emails – – or just put them in the comments field. This is a little gold mine we just discovered, but we need the group to send in the stories. Click here for the format:

          Ruth said that she uses these in grades 4 through 11. Perfect!

          1. I also didn’t come up with all of these myself, but I don’t remember where some of the ideas may have come from and how much I adapted. So thanks to whomever.

        2. …maybe these are mini, not super mini….
          Yeah I think they are great and that if they work there is certainly no label we want to put on them. The seven we have so far are great, very usable. I know that Bu Cathy in Australia who teaches elementary will get involved on this ongoing project of collecting these scripts. Catharina will as well, when she gets back from a little break. Don’t we miss her! I’m really excited about the possibilities here. As I said, the “Super Mini Stories for Classroom Use” category will get some use this coming year, I am sure. All we have to do is remember we have them and that we want to keep adding more to the category.

      1. There’s a program called Pictosonidos made in Spain but is a bank of vocabulary with pictures and sounds. It’s organized into units animals, foods, actions, bathroom, etc. It may be fun to use it for those first days when we don’t have a lot of words to draw from.

  4. Here’s two of Catharina’s popular stories I have done with students:
    There’s a girl.
    Her name is Lucy.
    Lucy is cold.
    Baby’s coat is too small.
    Mr Hudson’s coat is too big.
    Bu Cathy’s coat is just right.
    Yesterday Bobby was at Macdonalds.
    Yesterday Shrek was at McDonalds too.
    Shrek said, ‘Halo. My name is Shrek. What’s your name?”
    Bobby said, “My name is Bobby”
    Shrek said, “Bobby? Bobby from Port Elliot Primary School? OMG”

  5. 1. The first story should be credited to Judy Dubois: “I had a lot of fun with primary children simply by taking some jackets off the hooks outside the room (with their owners’ permission) and having a student go to a store to buy a jacket and trying on one that was too big and one that was too little and one that was pink! and then he tries on his own jacket and it’s the right size and the right color and he buys it. The kids thought it was hilarious!”
    2. The second story is an adaptation from Jim Tripp’s script “Nice to meet you” where “Celebrities worship our students, not the other way around.”
    3. I have had great success with another Jim Tripp script (adapted to my little kids):
    Student A has a -burrito-. A is hungry. There is a problem. A has no mouth.
    Student B has 2 mouths. So B gives A a mouth.
    I did the story on Grandparents’ Day, with a student and his grandfather acting it out. It was short and silly enough to keep everyone interested, young and old.
    4. Brrr! (Jim Tripp) (adapted)
    Student A is cold. A says: I’m cold! Student B gives student A a tomato. A puts the tomato on the head. Student A is still cold. B gives A a chicken. A puts the chicken on the feet. etc

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