Launching Story Workshop

Launching Story Workshop

Story Workshop is a classroom structure designed to support language, literacy and the arts.  It is a time of the day where children within the Primary Group explore their capacity as authors, and this can happen as they are offered a multitude of invitations and materials to play and work with.  During this literacy structure, the children are invited to play with words, stories, ideas, materials, each other, possibilities, genres, process and audience.  In connection to this exploration, they are also being immersed in opportunities to share and hear excellent examples of published writing through read-alouds, genre studies and sharing of their own work with the community.

At the beginning of the year in the Primary Group, we are introduced to these ideas by first talking about authors. In both the Maple and Magnolia Room, we are all authors because we are all creators of stories… stories about our lives and stories that live inside our imaginations. We play and explore with the idea that Story Workshop is the time of the day where we author the stories that live inside of us and share them with our community and even beyond!

We began our time together in Story Workshop with the mentor text  (texts and/or books that will guide us in our work) Bear Has a Story to Tell by Phillip and Erin Stead (watch trailer here).

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In this mentor text, Bear has a story to tell but is unable to tell it because of the distractions of life around him.  Then, when he finally gets a chance to tell his story, he has lost it.  His friends that surround him offer support and suggestions and help him as he tells his story.  Like Bear, we all have a story to tell and we are lucky that we are in a learning community that will support us as we find the many different ways to tell them.

In the beginning of the week, we were using simple and familiar tools like paper and pen to author stories that told our community more about who we were, what we liked, and what we wanted them to know about who we are.

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We brainstormed about who we are and what were the important parts of ourselves that we wished to share through story.

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And we shared with our friends, both old and new.

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At the end of the week, we began uncovering what happens to our stories when materials like paint, collage, blocks, sand, and small world (just to name a few) are available during the creation of stories.  During this time, we observed as the children played and explored as they uncovered a way for their ideas, stories and to live outside of pen and paper.

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As we look back at the stories generated during the first days of school, we are met with stories that tell us more about who lives in our community. We know know more about what they like, what they like to do and what they like to do with their family. We know know more about who they are. Here are a few examples:

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“I went to Target with my mom and my sister and I got this cool toy.  It was a unicorn with wings and a mermaid tail and I play with it.  It was a mystery!”  -Will, age 6

 

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“My Trip to Michigan” -Launa, age 7

 

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“That is our campsite and this is the parking lot.  We are camping at the beach.  It reminds me of the beach.  It was windy and the leaves blew everywhere.  That’s the sun.” -Greta, age 5

We look forward to researching this more with each other as we crack open the idea of Story Workshop and what it can look like, sound like and feel like in both classrooms.  Some questions posed this week that will help us guide our future research and discovery are:

  • What is an author?
  • What does an author do?
  • Who in our community sees themselves as authors?

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