On Monday the first moves toward a systematic approach to each story was begun. A new story was chosen and students were asked to pull out their character grids and their word grids.We went over the new story and identified those elements which would allow us to predict the content and/or outcome of the story. We skimmed the story for familiar names of people and places.
Then we went on to read the story, highlighting grammar elements and transition words which would help us see how the story is stitched together. We put new words into the word grid. I pulled pictures to go with all words, not just the new ones. We put down the characters and the characteristics of each character we will be looking at such as their names, the status and work, their residences and family connections, and so forth. As each cell in the grid is filled in and we associate pictures with each word, the students will be able to write in a write around about each character or speak in a speak around about each character.
The aim of this activity is to pull the class into talking in the TL (Latin) in a way that will translate into discussing themselves and other people beyond those in the textbook. Activities offer sources of discrete grades in the grade book and a good way to prepare for large-scale summative exams. Typical activities with the stories are: answering questions about the characters, writing up a story based on pictures displayed in the classroom, descibing each pictures unconnected to the story in the textbook, doing a web design of the story or a story board or other graphic organizer, doing a circle within a circle where one circle rotates, thus giving each student a chance to tell each person in the class his version of his character. Rotation can include rotating characters so everyone learns each character well.