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    Beach Ball and story chains --
    By Lori 2

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    Pat Cunningham uses this idea in her Four Blocks Framework --

    Take a beach ball and on each of the colored wedges use a black permanent marker to write a question. She suggests:

    What is the title and who is the author?
    Who are the main characters?
    What is the setting?
    What happened in the story?
    How did it end?
    What was your favorite part?

    OR you can use prompts instead of questions:

    My favorite part was ...
    The setting was . . .
    The main characters were ...
    In the beginning . . .
    In the middle . . .
    At the end . . .

    After you read the story, form a circle with the children. Name a student and toss the ball to them and can answer any question or prompt on the ball. The student then tosses the ball to another student and that student can add to the previous answer or answer another prompt on the ball. Continue to throw the ball to different students until all the questions and prompts have been thoroughly answered.

    I did this this summer with my daughter's second going into third grade summer reading group. They loved it!

    Another activity they liked was to make a story chain. Each girl wrote an incident that occured in the story on a 1 by 4 inch colored strip of paper. Then they got together and threw out the "repeats" and came up with other incidents to write. Now this was from a novel so they had quite a few, but from a basal you could let your small reading groups do this. Then take the strips and place them in the proper sequence that they occurred in the story. Now the students put the strips together with tape or glue to make a story chain.

    Also have some students act out the story with puppets or just themselves. Have the rest of the class watch. You could then have other students act out the next story. If students can act out the story they show they understand it. If the story has new vocabulary -- try acting out the new vocabulary words if it is possible -- like charades.


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