Input Hypermiling Combo: 1 Activity, 6 Days, 24 Texts, 76 Storyboards!

Back in 2016, I wrote about five follow up activities based on one story. I’ve certainly been thinking differently since then, though I haven’t so much as changed my tune as I have changed keys. I’m now cautious of doing many activities over and over using just one story. Despite any novelty, the context remains the same. Surely, that can’t be ideal for acquisition, right? After a while, the student is probably just working with an understanding of the story from memory. Similarly, I’ve been highly critical of Latin teachers for remembering English translations they’ve studied and/or taught over the years instead of actually processing the target language itself. Because of that KEY change, I’ve been looking into creating new contexts with minimal planning effort. Here’s a workflow to hypermile your input:

1) Get a text
2) Read that text
3) Do a new activity that gets you a) more texts, b) drawings, or c) both
4) a) Read those new texts, b) Picture Talk the drawings, or c) both
5) Compile texts, drawings, and glossary into FVR packet


A couple weeks ago, I began with one activity—just a class day of rolling Story Cubes and asking questions to co-create a story. That one activity then gave me 6 other days of input (with roughly a day between each so this combo lasted about 2 weeks), and resulted in 24 total texts (i.e. 4 original, 5 additional parallel per class), as well as 76 illustrated storyboards w/ sentence captions for the Free Voluntary Reading (FVR) shelf! I spent my planning periods typing—the best uses of my time now that I’ve streamlined grading & scoring practices to be virtually non-existent without any impact. Check out the combo: 

See this post for more details about each activity, below…

1) Scaffolded Story Cube Storyasking (templates)
– Input: co-created new source of input (class story)
– 1 new story per class

2) Story Cube Reconstruction (blank graphic organizers)
– Input: discussed new source of input (other class story), and other new sources of input (parallel stories)
– 1 new parallel story per group

3) Any Reading Activity
– Input: reading new source of input, and possibly discussing them

4) Read & Draw (storyboards)
– Input: reading new source of input (parallel stories from other classes)
– Illustrated storyboards per student

5) Picture Talk
– Input: listening to a new source of input (storyboards)

6) Free Voluntary Reading (FVR)
– Input: reading new sources of input (original and parallel stories from other classes

After the first day, I typed up the class story. After the second day, I typed up the parallel stories and added them to the original class story to make a packet for students, all to read on the third day. After the fourth day, I scanned in drawings and assembled a single collection of all class stories, parallel texts, drawings, and even added a glossary using Voyant Tools. I then printed 15 stapled copies with glossy covers, and placed them in the Free Voluntary Reading (FVR) reading area.

10 thoughts on “Input Hypermiling Combo: 1 Activity, 6 Days, 24 Texts, 76 Storyboards!

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