Repeating the story to partners as they finished a project reinforced the details in the student’s minds, and had them telling right away. This felt board was made using a science fair tri-fold, a can of spray adhesive, and a large piece of felt from Walmart!
Day 2 began with a cartooning session. We might call it storyboard, but these middle school kids are familiar with the term “cartoon”. Tell your story in 8 squares. I had to remind them frequently this isn’t art, you are not being graded, it is a learning tool.
This felt image and the cartoon before it both depict the story of “The Harvest That Never Came“. You can read it at www.aaronshep.com/stories.015.html I appreciate Aaron Shepard’s website it had the length and age recomendations along with genre, culture, theme. I found a couple of stories there that fit my needs with these kids.
Using ideas I found through Karen Chace’s website and blogs www.storybug.com and www.karenchace.blogspot.com I helped the students focus on finer details of their story. I shared my resources with the students, a side lesson in cooperative work with others in the same profession.
We used this art gallery to highlight specifics of the story. They liked moving from place to place to add to the gallery. Keeping them up and moving kept the energy flowing and the excitement high.
Students drew in their main character to that gallery. I asked them to think about what the character looked like to them. Labeling parts of the story helped when referencing it and the descriptions and images helped them become better acquainted with their story character.
Another gallery was filled with scenery images.
This gallery introduced smell to their story. What does a jail cell smell like, deep in a forest what do frogs smell? What did Black Beauty smell at the horse fair?
The final Gallery was to tell about the weather during the story. Each stop on the gallery tour made them take time to think about description and create an inner vision of the places in the story.
3 Hours with me in 3 days and we need to share our stories. It is not enough, but what we had. I did not want a stage experience in this fast paced Arts camp and was happy when an 11th hour idea hit. We moved into our room to find this campfire ready and waiting. It had felt flames and was accompanied not by Smores but Oreos! Everyone sat in a circle and shared their stories and cookies.
From that campfire two students found the strength and desire to share stories with families at the end of the 3 day Arts Experience. I was able to share with families a brief background of the story experience and invite all the families to listen to their students story at home.