Three Action Story

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11 thoughts on “Three Action Story”

  1. Interesting. I am wondering if this could be combined with the 7-Step process of the Invisibles. I think there is a way that this could be done in an NT way, just like we can with the Matava scripts.

    Can’t wait to hear your presentation on this at the next Chicago TCI meeting, Ray.

  2. Good gracious what an idea. If you figure out how to do it let me know. I’m swamped now with too many projects. I don’t know if people know but Ray was chosen as his district’s Teacher of the Year a few years ago, and I have have seen him work and it is SWEET! He’s got style up there with the likes of John Becker in St. Louis*.

    *Remember we don’t need a flashy style to do this work well. It’s too strong by itself. The new way of doing CI that I am advocating here and in my books ANATS and ANATTY is just so strong that even Mr. Milquetoast could create riveting stories. It’s just that way! How do I know? I AM Mr. Milquetoast.

  3. I’m looking forward to presenting on this at our Chicagoland TCI meet up. I’m sure there are teachers out there who do similar things and I’m looking forward to getting some feedback. Ben, thanks for the shout out, but I was never named teacher of the year at my district. I wish! You must be confusing me with someone else. Anyway, thanks for the post!

  4. Yeah, Ray shared this Three Action Story (TAS) plan with me at our TCI Chicagoland meeting at Catherine Cook in December. I’ve tried it a couple of times already, to do something different before I start with Invisibles in February. I see why Ray does this TAS so often, for the reasons he mentions above. The simplicity is brilliant, really, like almost full-blown NT instruction. And this is where I’d love to see a video of Ray in his classroom teaching. I’m certain that the true mastery is found in those subtle moves he makes in the dance of co-narrating a NT story. And as he says, you could build a story nest around one action or, if it’s feeling dry, jump to the next. That’s a comforting feeling, for everyone in the room. Having those three actions written on the board gives me and students a feeling of direction, just like Ben’s OWIs and Invisibles.

    I haven’t tried out the Invisibles all that much. Just a few times last spring. I plan on again real soon. The characters and the stories are memorable. Ray’s Three Action Story is more simplistic and, therefore, easier to use at the beginning of the year and great to use if whatever you’re currently doing isn’t going well. There have been times when I’ve asked my class to think too hard about a problem, for example, that a character is having in the creation of an OWI and its transition to a story. With Three Action Story, we don’t think hard. It’s very light. A light cognitive load, which, in turn, allows for the corners of the mouth to curl up.

    1. For me its the OWI and what they create. This year, being the most disorganized teacher ever, I posted all the characters mixed from all the periods. Guess what happened? Crossovers happened. I even jokingly said they were Marvel Cinematic Universe crossovers or MCU. So 1 period borrows one in a story when I ask “with whom?” Or during a character creation the students suggest that one character likes another character. In one class, they have killed or really “disappeared” almost all their characters. I simply allowed it because they get 35 minutes of straight CI. That same class, a French 1 wants to do an epic trilogy. I haven’t even tried that SL style with other class stories, though I have done when the 7 step came out. Possibilities are endless… hence NT

  5. It’s really all about questions. I have gone from making the 7 step explicit to subtle. Example: in one story I had the students create a solution. The kids were thinking “lets come up with best idea to wrap it up!” So they said, the two characters call Midnight Flash (our Shiba Inu dog character who is addicted to chocolate even though it hurts him) Then I say “But….” then I make it a failure. “Midnight never came! So they call… ” “Who did they call class?” This, becomes more like communicating “Guess what I am thinking” or “Guess what actually happened.” Always really good times AFTER the kids have lunch.

    So yes, maybe its about having multiple tracks. Three locations RARELY worked for me but when they did it was awesome. Then there can be three actions. Or three people that arrive. Etc…

  6. I know. I think the three actions is brilliant. Three locations almost never worked for me. I got into the first and that was where it ended. Anne told me it was the same for her.

    The “guess what I’m thinking” thing is all Blaine. He played it that way from the very beginning. In about 2004 he used to do master classes in DPS at East High School and people would come from miles around to watch the grand master in action as he taught five classes through the day and half the people in the room were teachers. That’s where I met Bryce Hedstrom. He had a big cowboy hat on.

  7. Hi all (didn’t know where to put this so I’m putting it here. Ben, you can delete or move as you see fit)

    Just wanted to let you know that I am presenting a CI session at Nice Minicon this Saturday! The other sessions are more focused on tech (but you always learn something useful)! If you end up coming find me and we can eat lunch together and turn it into a CI get together!




    Saturday, January 26 • 9:00am – 9:45am
    Incorporating Free Voluntary Listening by Gregory Schwab

    Session description:
    “According to the research, one of the best ways for students to acquire a language is through “free voluntary” or “self-selected” reading & listening. During Free Voluntary Reading & Listening students read or listen to comprehensible books, audiobooks, or videos. Learn how to incorporate a successful program in your classroom. Use Google Suites for Education & Hapara to get your students interacting with target language media they are interested in.”

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