Teaching plot with the plot diagram and sequencing events are two activities we’ve focused on a lot lately.
I was amazed how the activities surrounding one short story came together. We did these activities over the course of four days as part of our reading instruction for the week.
First we read “The Green Ribbon” in our literature book.
Then we watched the video:
As I was watching the video on my iPad I got the genius idea to do screen shots of different part of story for sequencing purposes. (I am becoming a huge fan of the iPhone/iPad screen shot and have probably a dozen ways it makes my life easier.)
I went into SMART Notebook and used the Hot Spots tool to create two different but related activities surrounding plot.
First, students had to place the labels for a plot diagram in the appropriate place.
Next, students had to place the events of the story in the appropriate place on the plot diagram.
I also used SMART Notebook’s Image Arrange tool and the screen shot images of the video so students could sequence the major events.
I wasn’t so sure about this last-but-not-least activity, but I am glad I gave it a try. It incorporated sequencing, summarizing, sentence writing, and speaking & listening.
To prepare, I had Tweedle Dee draw 8 different pictures in cells like a comic strip (in random order). I asked her to keep the drawings simple and to reflect the main events of the story. Since she loves to draw and most of my students hate it, this was a win-win situation.
In class, I gave a copy of the mixed-up comic strips to each student. They had to cut, sequence, and paste the cells in order. They then had to retell the story in their own words under each cell.
I encouraged them to use their books for vocabulary and spelling. I thought this might be too juvenile or easy for my students but it was definitely challenging. Everyone’s story was slightly different in terms of wording. In fact, they did a little 4-3-2-1 sharing right before our comprehension quiz.
Here is one of the finished comic strips from my class:
The “Sentence Arrange” tool in SMART Notebook is a great tool for sequencing and ordering and can be used in all subject areas.
You can find this tool in the Lesson Activity Toolkit. Basically you enter single pieces of information – in sequence – on up to 8 separate lines. The lines are shuffled and students must reorder them. Like most of the activities in SMART Notebook, it has a self-check feature.
I have used this for whole class instruction, stations, and individual practice.
The screen shot below shows how we used this tool for learning the Scientific Method.
Here are some other ways I have used “Sentence Arrange” in the past:
- Memorizing the Preamble of the Constitution
- Learning PEMDAS in math
- Sequencing events in a story
- Ordering numbers from smallest to largest
- Memorizing the 7 base metric units
- Ordering presidents
- Sequencing battles in a war
- Memorizing lines of a poem
What other ways could you use this tool in your classroom?
Share your ideas here!