Thursday, June 30, 2016

Cinderella Story Elements Writing

Welcome back for part 2 of my Cinderella story elements blog posts!  Last post I talked about the reading portion of our Cinderella unit.  This post will focus on the writing and the bonus reader's theater we performed at the end!

Once we had heard about all the different Cinderella stories we were able to come up with some commonalities between stories.  The students did this in their groups first, and then we compiled everyone's ideas.  Again, our teacher sheet is not to be found, but it looked like this!

Now came the fun part... Each student was given a blank graphic organizer with the story elements and tasked with writing their own version of Cinderella!  They wrote awesome stories.  Some Cinderellas were Scissorellas and lost her tip at the arts and crafts store.  There was a zombie Cinderella whose parents had been cured and she lost her arm at the dance.  There was a Cinderella who lost her sunglasses at a concert and a Cinderella who lost her towel at a beach party.  We had fairy-cat-mothers and even twin Cinderellas who fell in love with twin Princes.  It was fabulous!
In the resources available on TpT I have also included a writing conferencing sheet, and rubric for grading. 

This was the even more fun part.  I found, way back when, this musical of Cinderella Around the World by Jenny Kidd (Please note the link goes to a google search because I can only find the word document for this production much to my dismay. Providing you with the search allows you to determine which copy you'd prefer to open.  The first two will open the play) I cut out the singing parts and then split each scene into groups.  Each group had its own Cinderella (7 Cinderellas all together).  Some students with smaller parts had more than one character to cover.  I created a backdrop in PowerPoint including a map with the continents showing where Cinderella was in each scene.  The students loved performing this so much we invited 2nd grade in to view and then the other third grade classes and the principal.  Alas I have no pictures of this because I was too busy wearing my director's hat! So you'll just have to trust me that when I told the students we had just completed our final performance and they could take their lines home there was a gasp of dismay!
I have share my backdrop for free HERE!

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Cinderella Story Elements - Reading

When the third grade teacher I work with told me that the last unit of the year was fairy tales I became giddy with excitement! 
And off I scurried to pull out my Graduate School final project.  This was before I knew about fun fonts and copyright! 

I'd created this whole unit around the various versions of Cinderella.  When I originally wrote the unit, we were just looking for common elements and then writing our own in a writer's workshop-esque format.  However since then the unit has expanded and matured a little bit.  For the purposes of this third grade unit we moved away from the "around the world" part and focused on the story elements.  

The following unit plan is how my colleagues and I proceeded through the unit.  I've included what we will be modifying for next year (this was our first year doing it).  All of the graphic organizers are available for you to purchase on TpT.   I have provided the link at the end.

I am going to start with just the reading portion of this unit, another post regarding the second half (writing) will be linked at the end!

The first thing all students did was this interactive online Cinderella story.  It plays through the traditional Cinderella story with some humorous additions that made our 3rd graders giggle.  After telling the story it goes through each story element starting with setting right through the resolution.  Each story element is accompanied by a definition and an interactive activity to allow the students to demonstrate their understanding.  We assigned this to students within the google classroom, so it was easy for them to click on the link and bring it right up!  This took us about 2 days to complete.
If you are unable to complete this activity online I have included Pocket Chart sized words and definitions within the resources available on TpT

After they completed the online activities they were given a graphic organizer with all of the story elements listed, and a separate sheet of definitions.  They had to cut out the definitions and glue them into the correct spots on the graphic organizer.  Exposition, and climax were tricky ones for them!

Once the students had the definitions down the classroom teacher and I demonstrated how we would fill in the graphic organizer using information from the Cinderella story.  Unfortunately I don't have a picture of our organizer (couldn't find it!), however it looked something like this:
Then students were allowed in groups of two or three to choose a Cinderella book of their own to read and fill out the story elements for.  These students chose to read Rough Face Girl by Rafe Martin.  One thing they (and other groups) struggled with zeroing in on the protagonist.  They often put every not mean character in the protagonist column.  We had to review that the protagonist was the one person in the story they wanted to succeed and overcome the obstacles! 

All-in-all we had about 20 different versions of Cinderella to choose from!  We decided to narrow that down for next year however.  Some of the Cinderella stories are very, very wordy and don't follow the traditional Cinderella structure.  These were some of our favorites:
Rough Face Girl, Cindy Ellen, Cinderella Skeleton, Prince Cinders,
Cinder-Elly, Bigfoot Cinderrrrrella, Bubba the Cowboy Prince, Interstellar Cinderella

After they read and determined story elements for their Cinderella stories they created a slideshow in google slides to present their story.  I had the pages set up for them, they simply typed in their story elements and took some photos to add into the slide.  This was super easy to do on the chromebooks and with Google Slides.  After they presented to the class we printed out their slides (2 to a page) and created this display in the hallway!  It was a big hit!
An editable version of this PowePoint is available within the resources available on TpT.  I have also included a non-editable PDF if your students will be filling it out by hand! Click below to go to TpT.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Summer Fun

This post was originally published on the SeeMamaTeach Collaborative Blog.

Hello! It's Michelle from Teaching Eternity.  Last summer I was home with an itty-bitty baby who laid in his swing or napped on my chest all the live-long day.  Every once in a while he would demand to be fed, or I'd need to change a dirty diaper, however primarily we enjoyed spending time in the living room.  This summer I will be home with a much different baby! This baby walks, babbles, only naps once a day and gets bored.  So as much as I am enjoying being home with my guy for the next two months I know I need to be ready with some summer fun! So I asked around and collected some ideas!

Ok, so this is actually a really big age range even though it's only one year! If you're in the first quarter of this year your summer will look a lot like my summer did last year.  Lots of naps, feeding and diaper changes.  My guy's favorite play was to lay on the floor and I'd make funny faces and sounds at him! He liked his floor gym too.  Going for walks or sitting outside in the shade was also a great way to spend time.  If you've got a baby who is sitting up toys start to come into play.  My guy loved water bottles and tupperware especially!  Sitting in front of our full length mirror was also a favorite.  Listening and responding to music was and still is a go-to activity for us.  We do a lot of singing!

This is where I'll be this summer, and honestly fellow contributor Heidi from Mac-N-Taters has got me covered with this list! Her blog also has tons of other great ideas!  One mom I asked suggested stickers!  Her little one loves to peel them off and stick them on paper, primarily on top of one another.  Lots of craft stores sell $1 sticker books.  Right now my little guy likes the feel of the sticky stickers on his fingers, so maybe I'll be stopping by Michael's (and if something fun for mommy makes it into the cart who could blame me!). Someone else suggested rice, corn or beans in the sandbox which I think my guy will love! I can see him now scooping it up dumping it.  I can also see him putting it in his mouth, so for me this will be an 'under adult supervision only' activity.

All of my suggestions for this one involved being outside!  One mom suggested a nature walk, and I thought that was such a good idea.  Trying to find critters, playing with leaves, picking flowers... and if you can involve water in some way (a creek or pond) the fun doubles!  Another mom suggested a picnic, with the little ones in charge of the menu and packing (or as in charge as you leave a 3-5 year old). For rainy days it was suggested to go outside and do some puddle jumping!  Or, if you're not interested in having a wet kiddo building a fort inside! I remember loving to build forts.  Then their imagination can run wild, princesses in a castle, survivors in the wild, scientists in the lab, dogs trying to escape the pound (if you can stand the barking) ... possibilities are endless.  You can try out some make-your-own ice cream sundaes for those really hot days, or for when you need a little treat too.  Feeling super adventurous? Try make your own ice cream!

As teachers we know we are trying to avoid the 'summer slide' with these kiddos!  Some suggestions were to check-out your local library for various summer programs.  Whether it be a summer reading program, or summer 'camp' programs.  If you're a camping family go ahead and pitch a tent!  If not maybe just a day hike or trip to a nearby state park.  This is also bike riding age, and playground playing age.  If you're feeling crafty try doing some tie-dye or sand art.  Swimming is always a winner too!  If you can, get a membership to the zoo ... they also have summer educational programs, and who doesn't love to watch the monkeys! Side-walk chalk and bubbles could also provide endless entertainment!

Straight from a twelve year old girl ... her suggestions are anything involving the water, going shopping, getting frozen yogurt, and going out to eat.  At this age they may start going away to summer camp.  This may be a good time to start teaching them to cook.  Crafts are always a good idea.  I'd also suggest the library and zoo for kids programs, and check neighborhood events for movies in the park.  Amusement parks and water parks are a great way to spend a family day.

At this point kiddo is pretty much on his or her own for finding summer entertainment!  (Or at least I was at this age) If they aren't working, this would be a great time to do some community service.

I hope I was able to give you some ideas on how to stay busy (and sane) with your little ones this summer.  I know writing it all out for you has certainly settled my nerves about it!  I have 14 days left of school, but then I am ready to hit the ground rolling, and enjoy spending lots and lots of time with my boy.  Have a great summer everyone!
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