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.
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.
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.
I recently just finished an ELD Storyline based on The Honeybee Man by Lela Nargi. The story tells about a beekeeper named Fred who lives in Brooklyn. It is a magical story that provides the perfect base for an ELD Storyline. During the Storyline, the students got to experience what life would be like in a hive through the eyes of their honeybee characters. Ample opportunities for student discussion and interaction were provided throughout the Storyline. Due to local grant money, each student was able to take home a copy of the book at the end. One student exclaimed, “I’m going to read this book every night!”, when she received her copy.
All 10 of Oregon’s ELP standards were integrated into this ELD Storyline.
In The Boy Who Loved Words by Roni Schotter, the main character, Selig, is a wordsmith. He collects words, and shares them, wherever he goes. The students become wordsmith characters and begin collecting and sharing words as well.
One challenge I have been working through this fall has been integrating ELD Storyline with our district pilot, ELD Wonders. ELD Wonders follows along with what the students are learning in their regular classroom during core reading time. I discovered that when I integrated the vocabulary from ELD Wonders, it made this Storyline even stronger. The ELD Wonders vocabulary words were integrated naturally into the Storyline as “classroom words.”
Oregon ELP standards 2, 3, 7, 8, 9 and 10 were integrated into this ELD Storyline.
I recently finished an ELD Storyline based on The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson. In the story, a baby barn owl named Plop is initially afraid of the dark. Throughout the story, he meets many different characters who eventually convince Plop that the dark is great.
All 10 of the Oregon ELP standards were integrated into this ELD Storyline.
I am constantly thinking of ways to adjust Storyline to fit my ELD (English Language Development) program. I only see my students for 30 minutes a day, 4 times a week. Although I love doing art with my students, we don’t have enough time to do all the artwork that is traditionally associated with Storyline. It’s important, however, that students are able to do some of the art. It gives them ownership and makes the Storyline more real.
I have found two ways to manage the amount of art involved:
- I have created a lunch recess activity called Storyline Art Studio. Students who are interested in doing more art can come in during recess and help create the frieze and other art items for the Storyline.
- I sometimes prepare part of the frieze myself before the Storyline starts. In the photo of the frieze below, I created the grass, the sky and the road from the paper the students painted during Storyline Art Studio. I also created blank houses that the students then decorated.
Throughout the 2015-16 school year, I will be posting information/activities about our ELD Storylines. I hope it’s helpful for you!