Our class story, Winter's Night Hibernation, is finished! The children worked together all winter to craft a collaborative story about a group of animals who are preparing for the long, cold days of winter.
These animals are doing so by collecting treasure words, or special words that could keep them warm. As they work together to do this special task for the animal community, they are also becoming a strong community themselves.
Even though the children are done writing the story, the story is still playing out in our classroom. They are working towards performing a play for their parents, complete with masks and other characteristic props that will help the audience know their character better. The story is not only alive as we prepare to perform it, it is also seeping into our community and becoming a part of our day to day. The classroom is filled with many creatures like chipmunks, squirrels and lizards who, like the animals in their story, are building a strong community.
The story and their characters are also taking over their "sneak peeks." After a long weekend, L. (who is the Raccoon in the story) brought in the following sneak peek from his weekend:
"My mom digging under the ground. She was finding some treasure words. Then the raccoon came and helped my mom carry the treasure words. She was excited."
We wondered, what is happening here? What does L's story tell us? The children then had this very lively conversation:
L: Our story is coming alive! We might turn into our animals!
LA: With treasure words!
Teacher: How does that happen? How can our story come alive?
F: Animals must be reading our story and they are pretending that they are doing the story.
L: Maybe like one-eyed snake is listening and all the bugs in the Arboretum, too and they are hearing us talking about the story and they are trying to act it out and it's coming alive!
F: They are helping our story to come alive.
C: Maybe even Desert Kangaroo Rats are hearing it!
Teacher: Do you think our story is going that far?
Whole Class: Yeah!!!!!!
L: We wanted it to go to the whole world and it is!
With that, we wondered how to keep this energy going? How can we continue to spread our story outside of our classroom walls. The children collectively decided to go out in the Arboretum to act our story for the animals to hear.
As the story played out beneath the sun and on top of the grass, the children were convinced that the snakes and other creatures that live underground were listening and watching. They were convinced that our story was doing exactly what they intended it to do: to keep everyone and everything warm.