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Friday, 25 April 2014

Teaching the 5 W's with STORY STICKS!

Teaching the 5 W's - Who, What, Where, When, and Why - has never been my favourite subject.  And because I am not too excited about it, my students don't get too excited about it, either.  For me, it's just tedious.

Last year, I was teaching a Grade 4/5 class, and when we looked at informational writing, the 5 W's came up again.  I tried to find a fun and creative way to liven up this topic, and I remembered something I had seen on Pinterest, coming from a blog called Sarcasm 101 - story sticks!

Ruby, the original poster, used coloured popsicle sticks as elements of a story.  One colour for character, another for conflict, etc.

I decided to adapt the idea, and make each colour stick into one of the 5 W's.
I spent an hour or so coming up with a class set of sticks.  The red sticks show "WHEN," green sticks show "WHERE," yellow sticks show "WHO," and the blue sticks "WHAT." 

I told my students to pretend they were now members of a newspaper staff, and I was their editor.  I explained that on a real staff, writers don't always get to write about a story they want, a lot of the time, they are assigned to report on a specific assignment.  For this activity, I would assign each student a story at random, using the coloured sticks.  I had each student pick one stick of each colour to make up the base of his or her story (they each had to fill in the why for their story).

The sticks gave some silly and ridiculous stories for my students to report, but they absolutely loved it!  They enjoyed coming up with the links between the whos, whats, wheres, and whens!

This year, I gave a similar activity to my Grade 8's.  This year's group, however, had to write the story, and present it as a scripted newscast (along with witnesses and costumes and an "in-field" reporter)!

They enjoyed it, and came up with some really creative stories! 

I have created printable story starter cards that you can print and use today!  Click on the picture below to buy!

Check out more "Tried & True" tips by clicking on the piture below!

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