Hi there!  Today I'm blogging over at Who's Who and Who's New
with some spring fever thoughts.  My kiddos are getting very antsy after being cooped up for so long.  It was time for a social skills intervention!  I decided to send them to
Click on the image above, or the blog button above to jump over and see what's up.  Enjoy the weekend!
We did a fun little activity last week that really helped my students to understand story structure a little more.  Common Core has second graders understanding how narrative texts are laid out - not just the basic "What is the setting/characters/problem/solution?" type of thing.  My kiddos have done pretty well with this, but I thought the few who were still struggling to understand how events in a story really contribute to how it moves, could use a little review.

We've been spending the last couple of weeks on famous Americans - lots of black history first, and now we'll get into famous women for March.  We spent a week reading and discussing the book, Henry's Freedom Box, by Ellen Levine. 

This is an amazing story about a man who mailed himself to freedom - in a crate.. to Pennsylvania... and it worked.  We used the book to talk about character traits, finding evidence to support conclusions, similes and more. 

This story has a definite rise and fall to the action, so it was a perfect choice for reviewing story structure.  First, we created a story mountain graphic organizer together.  We started with a blank screen (I did this on the Smartboard) and we worked to come up with the elements we would need.  By having students create the organizer, they had to really think and remember what the parts of a story were and how they were related.  Our finished organizer looked like this:

The previous day, we had categorized events in the story by how important they were.

I took the "Red Light", most important, events and typed them up, one event per page. 
After we had re-created our story mountain, I brought out the event pages.  Right away I saw a few eyes light up - "Oh yeah!  _____ would be the climax because that's where the story really changed and got most exciting!"  I knew this was off to a great start!  I just love when the connections start to click!

Students worked in groups with their own set of events to first sequence them, then decide where the climax would be.  We had some great discussions about exactly which event was the climax. 

Finally, we made a kid story mountain!

I had my students who already understood the story structure idea hold the papers, making sure the ones who still struggled could see the mountain and were engaged in the discussion about why each event was where it was.  Woo-hoo!!  They loved it and it really made an impression.

As a follow-up, students used sticky notes to write their own events for the story mountain.  Here is what we used:
Some stuck just with the beginning, middle and end... others asked if they could add rising and falling action events.  Everyone was successful and this was a great way for students to really see what story structure is all about - and how it contributes to the story.

You can grab copies of all the charts here by clicking HERE or on any of the pictures. 
Really?  Is it March already?  I cannot believe how fast February went by.  We had a full week of school last week (first time since I don't even know when) and I had to sleep late today just to recover.  It had nothing to do with the fact that I was up shopping the TpT sale until late... nope, nothing at all.

Well, a new month means it's time to link up with Farley for a new Currently!

Let's take a quick sec to chat about each one, shall we?  Listening to nothing... I do love that.  I am the kind of person who just cannot work with the tv or radio on in the background.  I do my best work and get the most done in silence.  This may explain why I don't get much done....
Next, loving me some Easter candy!  I am NOT a huge candy fan, but I do love those Cadbury eggs and marshmallow peeps.  I prefer the bunnies... easy to eat by biting the ears off first.. :-)
Shopping, shopping, shopping... I definitely did my part to support all those wonderful TpT sellers out there.  I bought a bunch of great bundles of products I use the most, and - of course, some clip art.. and borders... and I'm thinking I should have bought a few more that are still on my mind...
No snow!  Or should I say, no MORE snow.. since we already have plenty of the white stuff (which is now ugly brown and not pretty anymore)... they are calling for more snow on Monday, but those weather guys are being very evasive about this one... I'm afraid we're going to get blasted with a ton of snow after they say it won't be much.  It was so nice to have a full week to teach last week!
Speaking of spring - or speaking of wanting spring... I was thinking that since spring weather was not going to arrive here very soon, maybe I could make myself feel better with a pedi.. or some spring clothes.. I am sooooo tired of my boots and sweaters and cords.... bring on the open-toed shoes and short sleeve tops!
And ????... that's for you to guess.  This month we're all playing a little guessing game with our Currentlys.  The last piece is the answer to a question - I give you the answer and YOU have to figure out the question.  Want to play?  Leave a comment with your guess.  I'll give you a hint.. it has something to do with my Currently for this month.. have fun!

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