EL Support Lesson

Create Your Own Story

Provide your ELs with extra practise using transition words to create a story. This activity can be used as a stand alone or a support lesson.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for theBeginning, Middle, and End Mix UpLesson plan.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for theBeginning, Middle, and End Mix UpLesson plan.

Students will be able to describe the beginning, middle, and end of a story.


Students will be able to describe the beginning, middle, and end of a story with transition words using a paragraph frame.

(3 minutes)
Choice StoryboardFrayer ModelVocabulary Cards: Create Your Own StoryGlossary: Create Your Own StoryTeach Background Knowledge TemplateWrite Student-Facing Language Objectives Reference
  • Choose a familiar short fictional picture book from your classroom library. Begin a picture walk, asking students to describe, based on the pictures, what's happening in the story. Use active questioning to engage students and make sure you include the following vocabulary words: beginning, character, setting, middle, problem, end, solution. Briefly define elements of fictional text using student-friendly definitions.
  • Explain that today they will be creating their own fictional story in small groups. Have students choral chant the learning goal for the lesson: "I can describe the beginning, middle, and end of a story with transition words using a paragraph frame."
(8 minutes)
  • Explain to students that before they create their stories, they are going to learn some new vocabulary words they can use to make their story interesting and better understand what they read. Pass out the Vocabulary Cards worksheet to each student.
  • Define the vocabulary words from the worksheet as a whole group, encouraging students to offer ideas about what the words mean. Refer to the visuals from the worksheet and discuss how the vocabulary word connects to the visual.
  • Post the Frayer Model worksheets around the room and explain the steps to filling out one of the Frayer Models. Separate the students into small groups and ask them to rotate from one Frayer Model to another. Give each group a colored marker to add pictures, thoughts, sentences, and brief notes about vocabulary words from the lesson.
  • Ask each group to go back to their desks with one of the completed Frayer Models. Ask them to share out their interpretations of the pictures, thoughts, sentences, and brief notes on their chosen vocabulary word. Write the following sentence frames on the board to provide support as students orally share their ideas:
    • The word ____Means ____.
    • I saw a picture of a ____. I think that connects to the word ____Because ____.
(9 minutes)
  • Split students into small groups and pass out whiteboards and markers. Explain that they will be making sentences using the words they just learned. Provide a few example sentences for the students, reiterating the importance of using transition words. For example, say, "I'm going to try to use the word delicious in a sentence. I know, based on looking at my vocabulary cards, that delicious means something tastes or smells good or pleasing. I love eating oatmeal with brown sugar for breakfast, so I'm going to use my idea about breakfast to create a sentence." Next, model writing the following sentence on the board:
    • In the morning, I love to eat breakfast. First, I make the oatmeal. Next, I sprinkle brown sugar on my oatmeal. My breakfast is delicious!
  • Remind students to start their sentences with a capital and end with a period. Reiterate the importance of collaborating, or working together, with their small group to decide on a topic and create the sentences. Provide some of the following sentence frames to assist in their collaboration:
    • "I agree with ____Because..."
    • "I disagree with ____Because..."
    • "What you said made me think about...."
  • Model using the sentence frames within groups as you circulate to monitor student progress.
  • Give students time to create their story sentences in small groups.
  • Ask students to pick out their favorite sentences and do a whip around pass with the students, allowing each group to share out.
(10 minutes)
  • Pass out the Choice Storyboard worksheet and have students get out their reading logs or journals. Ask a student to read the directions aloud. Read through the columns, starting with "Choose a Character." Ask students if they need any words defined and provide visuals and student-friendly definitions as needed.
  • Model creating a short story using the choice storyboard and be sure to explain to the students that they shouldn't create the same story as you.
  • Encourage students to use the new vocabulary words they learned in their stories and pull ideas from the sentences they created in their small groups. Put students in small groups and walk around, observing how well students collaborate.
  • Allow each group to share their story with the class, if time allows.


  • Allow students to sit in the front row during the picture walk.
  • Provide students with visual glossaries to use throughout the lesson.
  • Have students create sentences with sympathetic non-EL students or a teacher.
  • Provide visuals of words on the Choice Storyboard worksheet.
  • Allow students to create a story with a partner and support from the teacher.
  • Allow students to refer to the Choice Storyboard worksheet during the formative assessment.


  • Have students repeat back and paraphrase the learning goal.
  • Encourage students to use each vocabulary word in a sentence during the word level activity.
  • Allow students to work in pairs during the sentence and discourse activities.
(5 minutes)
  • Use concept maps to assess student understanding on the elements of fictional text. Remind students that the purpose of a concept map is to organise and represent their learning in a visual way!
  • On the board, draw two ovals. In the middle of the first oval write "story" and write "transition words" in the second.
  • Give students access to a variety of colored whiteboard markers and explain that for the first oval, they must think of words, sentences, and pictures that describe the elements of a story.
  • Explain that for the second oval, they must think of transition words they used today when creating stories in small groups.
  • Provide an example of a word, sentence, or story for both concepts. Give students five minutes to create connections to the concept maps on the whiteboard.
(5 minutes)
  • Take a picture of the concept maps to use in the future as a way to briefly activate prior knowledge on the elements of a story and transition words.
  • Allow students time to turn and talk to a partner about what they chose to draw or write on the concept maps.
  • Provide the following sentence stems/frames to encourage depth of conversation:
    • "I chose to draw/write ____In the ____Concept map because ____."
    • "Something interesting I saw on the ____Concept map was ____Because ____."
    • "I'm still wondering about ____."
    • "What you said made me think about...."
  • Model using the sentence frames with a student if necessary.

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