Lesson plan

Picture Puzzlers

Make your students into storytellers with this lesson where they will learn how to make complete stories of their own.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
  • Students will be able to order plot events and create an original short story with a clear beginning, middle and end.
(10 minutes)
Picture Sequencing
  • Gather students together and ask them to think about the steps they take in the morning from when they get out of bed to the minute they walk through the classroom door.
  • Write “Getting Ready for School Story Sequence" on the board. Underneath, create a 3-column chart and title the first column "BEGINNING", the second "MIDDLE", and the third "END." Tell students that events in the beginning, middle and end of a story are considered a story's Sequence, or plot order.
  • Ask for volunteers to give responses to the morning story sequence.
  • Write student responses under the appropriate headings on the board. If few responses are listed, add some of your own morning prep details.
  • Tell students that what is recorded on the board are the events of a story. Explain that these steps are a story sequence, and that the sequence always goes beginning, middle, end.
(20 minutes)
  • Count off students to create groups of 3.
  • Tell students that they will be acting out part of the story sequence with their groups. Explain that the 1 group will be able to choose from the "BEGINNING" column, the 2 group will be picking from the "MIDDLE" column, and that the 3 group will be picking from the "END" column.
  • Model this as you act out a beginning, middle, and end selection.
  • Direct students to get together with their group and prepare for a skit showing one of the responses.
  • After 10 minutes of work time, ask for group 1 to present, followed by groups 2 and 3.
  • Ask your class if they thought these scenes made sense. Have them elaborate on why or why not. Possible reasons why it didn't make sense: There is more than one character, and they do different things in different orders. There is more than one “author” of the skit, so each will have different perspectives, and they may not line up properly.
(10 minutes)
  • Gather students back together and display the pictures from the Picture Sequencing worksheet.
  • Put the pictures in the pocket chart, and explain that even though the events are not in order, they should be easy to sequence since there is only one character.
  • Ask students to help you order the pictures. Guide them by using words like "beginning" and "end". Continue until all of the cards are put in order. (See the answer key if needed.)
  • Have students name the story. Write their responses on the board.
  • Ask students to think of each picture as a page in a story. Point to each picture and ask for volunteers to pretend to be the author and “read aloud” what might be written with each illustration.
  • Remove the pictures from the pocket chart and save for the assessment session of the lesson.
(15 minutes)
  • Direct students back to their seats, pass out the Picture Sequencing worksheet, and read directions for the worksheet aloud.
  • Have students complete the worksheet.

Enrichment:Challenge students to draw a different beginning or ending for the story. Students could also create another picture story using a new character.

Support:Proactively group struggling students with proficient mentors. Allow struggling students to use picture cards to put events in order.

(10 minutes)
  • Put pocket chart cards back in order.
  • Ask students to bring worksheets with them and gather for review.
  • Pass out clipboards and red pens.
  • Go through the pictures and help students determine whether or not they have sequenced them correctly.
  • Ask for any volunteers to share their story, including titles.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask students how this might help them become better writers.
  • Have students rate the lesson by showing you 3 fingers if they understood how to order from beginning to end, 2 fingers if they have trouble with at least one part of the story sequence, and 1 finger if they feel they still need help with most of it.

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