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by Angela Ackley
Materials Required: a recently read novel, paper, writng and coloring utensils, scissors, glue
Concepts Taught: sequencing, summarization of plot
Story Wheel is a reading activity designed to help students practice sequencing skills, summarizing a novel, visualizing story elements, and recognizing story structure. It can be used at any grade level and can be adapted for Social Studies or Science text. I have even adapted the size of the project so an individual student can complete a Story Wheel.
- Trace a LARGE (3 feet in diameter) circle with chalk and a chalkboard compass onto colored butcher paper. Cut it out and fold it to make eight segments (pie pieces). Also cut a small circle (6 inches in diameter) from some of the scrap.
- Trace another circle (2.5 feet in diameter) with chalk and a chalkboard compass onto white butcher paper. Cut it out and fold it into eight segments. Cut apart the segments.
- Repeat the above two steps to make enough sets for the number of groups into which you will divide your students.
- Divide the class into small groups, about 4-6 students each. Assign a story or book to the group to read.
- When the groups have finished their assigned reading. Have them list the important events in the story. Emphasize that events should be chosen from the beginning, middle, and end of the selection.
- Next have the students narrow the list of events to the eight MOST important. They may want to combine some events so they can properly summarize the plot. At this point I like to begin stressing proofreading and editing, requiring that the events be written in complete
sentences. When they have reached a consensus, I check their work, making any needed suggestions.
- Once their choices are acceptable, have them write the events on the white paper segments, across the widest portion. Make sure they place a number in front of each sentence, indicating the order of the events.
- Next the students should draw an illustration on the white piece below their sentence to accompany the event.
- When all written work and illustrations are completed, the groups can glue the white pieces onto the large colored circle, centering the white piece on the colored segment.
- Write the title and author on the small 6 inch circle and glue in onto the center of the wheel, over the white pieces' points.
- Have each group share its Story Wheel with the whole class.
These make wonderful displays for open houses, parent conferences, special luncheons, or whenever visitors are expected in your building.
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