News Archive

First Grade Storytellers
Posted 10/31/2018 12:11PM

There is more than one way to tell a tale

Everyone knows that reading is fun – and that writing is even better!

Recently, our first graders tried their hand at writing and retelling – through code – the story of Chrysanthemum, the mouse hero of the book written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes, the author of Lilly's Purple Plastic PurseOwen, and Kitten's First Full Moon.  In the book, Chrysanthemum thinks her name is perfect, until the first day of school, when her new classmates make fun of her for being named after a flower.  Through a careful narrative guided by her teacher, Mrs. Delphinium Twinkle, Chrysanthemum and her classmates learn about teasing, self-esteem and acceptance, and, in the end, Chrysanthemum truly blossoms.

After reading the book in class, the first graders ventured to the DREAM Lab to meet as a group and retell the story individually.  Some chose to write about it, while others chose illustrations.  The children then broke into small groups and, with Ozobot markers in hand, retold the story from beginning to middle to end.  The goal?  Create a timeline that the Ozobot – a pocket-sized robot that follows color-coded commands - could track, making stops along the way at important moments from the story.

This DREAM Lab exercise was an interdisciplinary blend of skills the first graders have been working on since the start of the year.  The retelling of the story is part of the Reading Wonders series, where first graders have been learning about character, setting and events; making and confirming predictions; and discerning between realistic fiction and fantasy.  By working collaboratively in small groups, the first graders continued their IB Unit of Inquiry “Go Team,” where they learned about responsibility, roles, conflict resolution, and cooperation.  And the Ozobots tied everything together, bringing coding and STEEM education to literacy and teamwork.

Watch the story of Chrysanthemum come to life!


email page print page small type default type large type