Having turned my focus to One Word Image (OWI) for the rest of the year, I’m noticing little tweaks that make all the difference. The first tweak is that the entire OWI process works best when limited to 20 minutes. Even storyasking the following day after artwork is presented limited to 20 minutes (e.g. 5 minutes per section in the pic below) keeps everything more comprehensible, compelling, and novel. You might think shorter stories lack input, but that’s not true. Since so many stories can be created, exposure to frequent vocabulary are found in many new contexts, rather than one monster of a story that takes an entire class (or more!) to co-create.
That tweak now a part of my M.O., here’s another one that adds 5 minutes to the storyasking process, but has really helped my students reawaken their imagination, not to mention something that gets X new parallel stories…
Students have 5 minutes to write, in the target language, their own details to the story following Ben Slavic’s simple story guide:
This step is like a very, very focused timed write with a bit of scaffolding. Each student writes about the co-created OWI character, but the plot deviates. These are also nice and short (4-10 sentences!), which makes typing them up, and compiling them into an FVR packet a lot easier. Hypermiling! Students who finish can turn the paper over and start representing each part of the story with a drawing. This is good for fast processors, and also encouraging shorter stories (i.e. MORE contexts!)
After 5 minutes, collect the papers. Then, move onto collaborative storytelling to create a class story together. Students suggest the ideas they wrote down in their own story (MINE!), or come up with new ones. I’ve also found that this makes all ideas heard, whereas sometimes students get pouty if their ideas aren’t selected as the story details.