The Power of Pictures

While searching for ideas to help my third-grade students write longer and with more detail, I came across the idea of making storyboards. Many of my students are English language learners and struggle to string together more than a couple sentences. I have a 45-minute makerspace session with each third-grade class that allows me to support their literacy with hands-on activities. In the past, we have created settings out of Legos and characters out of plasticine, which has given them a concrete model to describe. Students wrote more when they could look at the visual. (We took pictures of our work and saved them to the students’ Google Drives so they could continue to reference them.) But, students were still only writing a

description and we needed to move on to a full blown story. Forcing students to draw an actual sequence made them able to think through their story. As we talked through their pictures, I could supply the vocabulary they needed to complete their thoughts. At, least they now have a multi-step plan with rising and falling action and some keywords. Hopefully, this is the next step toward more sustained and detailed writing.


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