Since we live in Texas, we like to teach a long unit about our state, some time around Texas Independence Day, which is March 2. Throughout this unit, we have learned many facts about Texas, as well as studied many tall tales that take place in Texas. The kids really enjoy reading tall tales, like Pecos Bill, because some really crazy things happen in the story that they think are very silly. They have fun re-telling these exaggerated moments.
To conclude our Texas study, we have written stories about Texas today.
The first thing that I did when I introduced that we were going to write a story was draw out the story elements.
The students came up with the characters, the problem and the solution of the story. Of course, we discussed that the setting would be Texas. :)
After this, we drew out a story map, using the 4-square model that I discussed in this earlier blog post.
The students came up with each sentence. We practice reading our story, to make sure that it had a problem and a solution.
After all this, I sent the students back to their seats. We have spoken many times in my class about how to make a "good illustration" for their writing, so we discussed this again before they started. The kids know that I like their drawings to be very colorful and fill up the whole page.
They were able to copy the story that we created together, or... if they were really "thinking", they could come up with their own story, as long as it had characters, a problem and a solution.
Here are some final "stories" about Texas that the students wrote!
What a great way to end our Texas unit!