Sometimes, when we get students from non-CI teachers we have to ease the students into CI activities.
That was the case with one of my classes this year. I could not, for the life of me, get student actors for stories. I couldn’t get funny suggestions, I couldn’t get anyone to do persona especial. It was rough. I had to figure out some way to get students interacting with me, and language. They were ok with reading stories, but co-creating was a challenge.
Then I had a great idea. This was originally in a Martina Bex unit (I forget which one), where students came up with an alternate version to the class story. But class stories were not working for me, so it couldn’t be an extension activity. It had to be the main story-activity.
So I started with a script.
Mike has to wash the dishes. Mike doesn’t want to wash the dishes. Mike doesn’t want to wash the dishes and doesn’t do it. He doesn’t do it because there is an octopus in the sink. The octopus breaks all of the dishes, and now Mike doesn’t have to wash the dishes.
Then after some PQA about things students have to do but they don’t, or don’t want to do. I gave students this form.
With the questions, which students comprehended because of the PQA and posters around my room, students drew the variables that would fit into my story-script.
After they were done drawing, I put the pictures on my doc cam and we discussed the pictures that students drew. I love using student drawings, because they’re really funny. Even from more timid classes, students BEGGED for me to use their drawings, and talk about them.
Students got a LOT of reps of “has to” “doesn’t do it” “and doesn’t want to”, because so many students wanted to talk about their pictures.
After we were done I created this reading, using the pictures to help clarify meaning. I took a mini story from each class and we read and discussed the new stories.
I imagine this could be done on the fly, if one were to realize story-asking wasn’t working. “Take out a piece of paper, draw a 3×4 grid, answer these questions with a drawing”.
After a couple of weeks when we were only able to do drawings, students came around and we were able to start using actors. It’s still a good activity for when I can’t handle moving actors around, or when students aren’t willing to act.