Fourth grade is difficult year. There are dozens and dozens of standards for mathematics, English/language arts, social studies, science, physical education, health, social/emotional learning, and fine arts. When I contemplate all of these standards, I often think about ways I can make them more interesting and relevant to my students. I love it when I come up with an idea completely out of the blue!
That happened this morning while I was getting ready for work. One of the standards for my students states that they will be able to discuss the differences between prose, poetry, and drama. We have been reading and discussing prose all year long, will be doing a unit on poetry next week, and started a unit on drama yesterday. The idea I got this morning was simple: the best way for my students to learn about the distinctive aspects of dramatic storytelling is by creating their own dramatic stories.
I decided to utilise my reading groups this afternoon to start this process. The students are writing brief plays based on one or two scenes from the books they are reading for their groups. It took a few minutes for them to settle into the process and start working together, but once they did, they really got into the task! They were discussing characters, setting, lines, dialogue, and even assigned roles. It was awesome! I am excited to see what comes of this project. The goal is for them to finish by next Tuesday so that they can share their plays with their reading buddies in first grade. We’ll see how it goes!