Author Archives: C.Vallerga

The Red Bicycle: An ELD Storyline

Our last ELD Storyline for the year was based on the book, The Red Bicycle by Jude Isabella. Leo, the main character in the first part of the story, outgrew his beloved bicycle: Big Red. The bike shop owner in his town encourages Leo to donate Big Red to Burkina Faso where bikes are high demand. In Burkina Faso, we meet new characters who love Big Red as much as Leo did.

In the first part of the story, the students become friends of Leo’s who are also purchasing and enjoying their first bikes.  In the second part, the students use their imaginations to tell important stories about the new lives of their bikes in Africa.  Everyone was actively engaged during this Storyline through research, drama and even a bike ride!

If you’d like to learn more about this Storyline, come to the International Storyline Conference!

This Storyline was written by Colleen Vallerga. I adapted it for ELD.

It’s An Ant’s Life: An ELD Storyline

Our most recent ELD Storyline was based on the book, It’s an Ant’s Life by Steve Parker. The students became worker ants in our colony. In role as their characters, the students responded to many incidents. Below you will find a picture of the flood and the swarm. All 10 of Oregon’s ELP standards were included in this Storyline.


The Big Orange Splot: An ELD Storyline

“My house is me and I am it. My house is where I like to be and it looks like all my dreams.”

The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Manus Pinkwater.

This ELD Storyline is based on the book, The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Manus Pinkwater. Mr. Plumbean, the main character in the book, lives on a street where everything is the same. The students become the neighbors of Mr. Plumbean on this very boring street. One day, Mr. Plumbean has a change of heart and decorates his house in a crazy fashion. His neighbors, while initially upset, follow suit and change their own houses to fit their dreams. Oregon’s ELP standards are integrated into this ELD Storyline in a fun, engaging way.

Apple Pie: An ELD Storyline

We just finished an ELD Storyline is based on the book, How to Make an Apple Pie and see the World by Marjorie Priceman. The main character in the book, whom we’ve named Lucy, decides she wants to make an apple pie. She goes to the market in order to get her ingredients and discovers that it’s closed! Therefore, she decides to travel around the world to collect the freshest possible ingredients for her pie. Upon Lucy’s request (and a promise of some delicious apple pie at the end), the students become travel agent characters in order to assist her on journey. Once Lucy finishes her trip, she mails her travel agents some apple pie in order to thank them for all their hard work. 

ELD Storyline

ELD Eric Carl Storyline

Grades K-2 did an ELD Eric Carl Storyline based on the stories of Eric Carl. Students researched his art techniques, listened to his stories and did extension activities based on Oregon’s ELP standards. The students were excited to meet so many characters from the stories in their Eric Carl world (see picture of frieze below).

Eric Carl Frieze: Spring 2017

The Wild Robot: An ELD Storyline

This ELD Storyline is centered around the book The Wild Robot by Peter Brown. The book tells the story of a robot named Roz who is marooned on a wild, rocky island after the cargo ship that was carrying her sinks. The students create robot characters who also are shipwrecked on the island. As the author of the story shares Roz’s adventures on the island, the students share their robots’ experiences on the island as well. Students do research, which includes interacting with a real robot, drama activities, and many oral and written responses based on Oregon’s 10 ELP standards. We had fun with our robot adventures!

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The Giant of Thistle Mountain: An ELD Storyline

I adapted this Storyline for ELD from one written by the Global Storyline Project in Glasgow, Scotland. It tells the story of a giant who wants to fit in with the residents of the nearby village. It’s a drama-based Storyline, meaning the drama drives the story. The students participate in the story — and therefore in the drama activities — through the eyes of their village characters (e.g., baker, police officer, etc.). When different incidents occur (for example, when the giant eats all the baker’s cupcakes) the students respond to the incidents by doing a drama activity while role-playing as their village characters. All 10 ELP standards are covered in this ELD Storyline.

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Pyramid Builders: An ELD Storyline

During this ELD Storyline, third through fifth graders became pyramid builders for eight weeks. It was based loosely on the book, You Wouldn’t Want to be a Pyramid Builder!, by Jacqueline Morley. The students did an in-depth research project on daily life in Ancient Egypt, responded to many incidents and participated in discussions (along with many other activities). All of Oregon’s 10 ELP standards were included in this ELD Storyline.

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Fairy Tale Land: An ELD Storyline

F.T. land to print

Fairy Tale Land Frieze Spring 2016

During the spring, my kindergarten through second grade students participated in an ELD Storyline called Fairy Tale Land. This ELD Storyline was not based around one story in particular but various fairy tales. Each student created a fairy tale character and participated in many standards-based activities throughout our eight week ELD Storyline. I found the drama activities, in which the students pretended to be their characters, to be particularly engaging and meaningful.