Where in the World are Elephant & Piggie?
After we had sent an email to faculty telling them about how the LTC was going to be celebrating Picture Book Month, Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Potts, wrote back to say that she’d love to work on an ELA project together around picture books. We decided that we would study stories without words (aka wordless picture books) and create a writing project around illustrations. Naturally, we thought of Storybird as the perfect tool to have students look at professional illustrations and write their own stories. We were also very excited when Mrs. Parnell and Mrs. Babajtis wanted to do the project, too!
During LTC classtime, we read The Giant Seed, The Lion & the Mouse, A Ball for Daisy, and The Boy and the Airplane. While we read, we used the Visual Thinking Strategy of asking, “What is going on in this picture?” and “What do you see that makes you say that?” The students even offered their ideas of what sentences and dialogue could be on the page if it had words.
Then it was time to write our own stories. We found three sets of illustrations in Storybird that we thought would be appealing to Kindergarteners and chose five illustrations from each set. We printed them out and made a poster for each set.
To introduce the students (and the teachers) to Storybird, we read a Storybird story from the gallery called Little Panda’s Rescue. Then students did a gallery walk (museum hands and all!) to look at the three different sets of illustrations. After the class voted for their favorite one, we started brainstorming using the same VTS questions, “What is going on in this picture?” and “What do you see that makes you say that?”
We worked in small groups, each group brainstormed for one illustration in the set. We modeled how to brainstorm with one of the illustrations and then the students were able to work in their own groups (there was an adult at each group doing the writing and recording 🙂
Finally, as a class, we took everyone’s brainstorming ideas and turned them into sentences. Because the ELA learning goal for this project was to teach the writing skill of Beginning, Middle, and End, we focused on sequence and using transitional words, such as, “Then” and “Next.”
The Kindergarten teachers enjoyed this process and asked if we could print out more brainstorming sheets so the students could work on writing their own stories. Absolutely! For little ones, it’s a great idea to do an entire project as a Guided Practice which can then be done again as an Independent Practice.
Here are the stories the Kindergarteners created. We do hope you enjoy them! And keep an eye out for those transition words . . .
Hello Dear Pine Glen Friends,
We are so happy to announce that we have found each other in Port Clyde, Maine! We were so excited to share all the places we’ve been with each other. We had lots of stories to tell. But at the end of the day, we really enjoyed just sitting on the back porch together watching the boats and the beautiful sunset. We hope you enjoyed your summer as much as we did.
Gerald & Piggie
Hello Pine Glenners,
Well the summer is almost over, everyone is back at school, and I still haven’t found Piggie. I heard that she was very close to the United States near the Canada border so I stopped to look in Len Libby, Maine. I didn’t find Piggie but I made a new friend. His name is Lenny and he is the world’s only life-sized chocolate moose! Yes, he is made out of 1,700 lbs. of milk chocolate. What a sweet friend!
Hello Pine Glenners,
Someone told me that Gerald is learning to speak French so I flew straight over to Canada and Montreal! But first I stopped at Niagara Falls to see this amazing natural wonder. The Canadian falls are called the Horseshoe Falls because it is the shape of a horseshoe and an average of 600,000 gallons of water go over the falls every second!!!
I took a fun ride on the Maid of the Mist boat to see the falls up close. They give you plastic ponchos to wear but you still get soaking wet! It was fun!
Then I went for a hike in the Niagara Glen Nature Reserve to look for Gerald and all I found was this strange, moss-covered rock. Kbam!
Then I went to the city of Montreal, the second largest city in Canada. I hiked up a very big hill in the middle of Mount Royal Park to see if I could spot Gerald from up there. I saw the whole city of Montreal . . . but no Gerald.
Please let me know if you see Gerald (Merci Beaucoup!) Summer is almost over and I miss my friend.
Dear Pine Glenners,
Oh no! I left Europe, but I hear that Piggie went there looking for me! If I’m going to find Piggie, I know that I need to get up high and look around for her, so I headed to Paris to visit the Eiffel Tower! The Tower is almost 1000 feet high, so I thought I would get a great view to spot Piggie with the telescopes.
When I didn’t see Piggie anywhere, I thought that maybe she was inside somewhere, so I went to look for her at the Louvre, a famous museum. I got to see one of the most famous paintings of all time, the Mona Lisa, but I didn’t see Piggie anywhere! Summer is almost over and I still haven’t found her! I’ll keep on looking, but I’m getting worried.