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Stories and poems that have a familiar structure can create a supportive context for learning about the writing process, building students' background knowledge, and scaffolding their creation of original stories. In this lesson for students in second or late first grade, teachers help students explore the concepts of beginning, middle, and ending by reading a variety of stories and charting the events on storyboards. As they retell the stories, students are encouraged to make use of sequencing words (first, so, then, next, after that, finally). A read-aloud of Once Upon a Golden Apple by Jean Little and Maggie De Vries introduces a discussion of the choices made by an author in constructing a plot. Starting with prewriting questions and a storyboard, students construct original stories, progressing from shared writing to guided writing; independent writing is also encouraged.
Deborah Kozdras, Ph.D.