Posted:30 May 2017
Author: Emily Robinson Leclair, Community Learning Network
Found in: CALP Training
Picture this, you are at a staff meeting and “invited” to take three pages of numbers and statistics and turn them into a something meaningful and engaging using an interactive process. Add to this the fact that you have been divided into teams and are required to present your final product in less than an hour. This has become a creative competition based on numbers!
Welcome to a CLN team staff meeting.
This task was daunting to my group and me. We sat silently for far too long, given our time restriction. We struggled to pull these statistics together using a process that would be fun, collaborative and memorable. We shared some of our observations about the trends we could see in the stats, and made some notes.
Sometime close to our deadline, we realized it could be a story. A circular story reminiscent of Laura Numeroff’s classic story time series “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”. For those of you who are unfamiliar with these books, “circular stories follow a ‘round’ pattern—they begin and end in the same way. Like the cycle of seasons or the life cycle, circular stories follow a predictable series of events that returns to the starting point”. (www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/unwinding-circular-plot-prediction-292.html)
It was a definite ‘a-ha’ moment. Using the predictable text pattern “if you give a (blank) a (blank)” we could create our own story appropriately titled “If You Give a CALP a Portal”. We turned the statistics for training and other CLN Support Services into if-then or cause and effect statements:
We have had fun with the results of our assignment, turning our oral story into print and even trying our hand at a video version.
Click here to link to the story.
I encourage you to take this process and use it with your learners. The repetition provides a great opportunity to practice reading strategies like predicting and fluency. Consider using instructional strategies like graphic organizers or cloze exercises to build story structure and vocabulary.
Be forewarned, ‘if you give a CALP an assignment, they are going to want to blog about it’!
Emily Robinson Leclair
CLN Regional Support Staff