Minerva Louise does eventually pay us a visit, however, there are so many things to do before she actually shows up!
The Anchor Chart
Our Comprehension Focus was... you guessed it!
Story Structure with an emphasis on Beginning Middle and End
(okay, you may now giggle at my fabulous art work! No really don't hold back!)
Explaining the Anchor Chart
You don't see the car here, however, I use a car and tell my kidlets that a story is like a fun trip This is how I do it. I hope you can take something away from it.
The Title is probably going to have something to do with where you're going, how it made you feel or something very cool that happens on that trip.
The Setting is the place you'll be spending most of your time at, where most of the excitement happens and the most memorable part of that trip. That's why it's so big!
The Characters are the people who will travel with you for most of that trip. Even though you may meet new people or you may drop people off during your trip, those that stay with you until the end are usually the main characters. They seem to get that.
The Beginning is where you're packing, planning it out but not much happens there until you get on the road! This is when I usually stop and say something like, "For example, Cindy and her dog got in her zippy car." Then I'll stop.
(blink, blink, blink...wait....blink, blink, blink...wait... stare at them...blink)
That's when they usually can't stand it anymore and pipe up and say something like, "What happened??".
(I like torturing them like that...it gives me joy!)
That's when I ask them if a good story would ever just stop there? Of course not Teacher! Then I go on and explain...
The Middle now that's where the action happens! That's where all the fun really starts! That's where you get on all the rides, eat yummy stuff and take pictures with the Big Mouse!
(Where's my lipstick??)
The End is the tricky part to explain. I usually stop right at the base of the hill and pause for a bit.
(yawn...stretch...rub my tummy... drink some coffee...check my e-mail...just kidding! More torture...muahahaha!!)
By now they want to know how it ends. This is when I'll ask them, "Well, how do you want it to end? Do you want a happy ending or a sad ending? What would make sense?" Of course they realize that this is a happy ending story and our end should reflect that.
After explaining the chart I go back with my car, point to each part of the chart and re-tell the story. It sounds a little like this:
Title: The Most Wonderful Trip Ever!
Setting: The Happiest Place On Earth
Beginning: One day Cindy wanted to go on a trip. She packed her favorite clothes. She packed some snacks and she packed her dog. She got into her zippy car and started off to The Happiest Place On Earth!
Middle: When she got there she ran straight for the carousel. She rode the flying elephants. She took pictures with all the princesses. She watched the parade and the fireworks show. When she got hungry she ate yummy pizza and had ice cream for dessert. She had so much fun all day long.
(Dramatic pause...torture...it's all the same)
End: When the day was over, Cindy got back into her zippy car, hugged her dog and went back home. It was a great trip to the Happiest Place on Earth!
Actually, just the beginning!