Teacher-librarians aren’t always found in the library. As a matter of fact, they are oftentimes out and about, working with classroom teachers. DEMS grade five students in Mr. Coleman’s class have been making classroom connections with storytelling by writing personal narratives that reveal creative tension and develop an emotional impact. Mr. Coleman and I developed the storytelling unit during shared planning time.
Designed to challenge students to compare and contrast memorable stories and to find their own compelling stories to tell, the lessons have offered a way for students to dig deep to find the stories that offer meaning and important lessons to share. Based on Bernajean Porter’s Digitales storytelling structure, students are examining the Six Elements of Good Storytelling and using the process to guide their creative work.
After working together as a class to create a story arc using The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch as a model, they are designing story arcs for their own personal narratives.
Sitting down to plan as a team takes commitment, hard work and time. As ideas are shared and put on the table, collaboration requires a certain sense of humility, a desire to listen to the other and a willingness to adapt. Teachers working solo make good lessons, but teachers working together make mind-boggling, juicy, super-duper lessons.