The commonly accepted approach to asking a story is to make sure that the kids have acquired all the structures in the story except the three new ones and to design the script in that way. People say that if the entire body of the story isn’t already familiar to the kids, the story won’t work. Much has been written about this “problem”. Entire curriculae have been designed and backwards planned and front loaded and scaffolded in that interest. I ask if it is necessary. Just asking.
I wrote the text below in response to an observation that Jody made here today after viewing the video that I posted recently.
Ben, I see these other structures in the story:
- goes camping
- sleeps in a _______ looks out of
- is afraid
Are these structures that have already been worked in other stories, or are they “new” structures that have to be addressed formally in your PQA before doing the story? Most of them seem to be as important as the “three structures” at the top.
I ask this because, for me, with beginning students, doing this story without attending to the above structures beforehand would probably be a disaster. I can’t assume “they’ll just pick them up”. What is your take on this?
I know this is a problem but if you look at the video you will see me circling those structures until the kids get them.
You make such a good point, and it calls into question the entire concept of three structures. Why not seven structures?
My take on this is that as long as we make ourselves understood, no matter how many structures there are, as long as they understand us, there is no problem.
What this crucial point you raise does for us in our ongoing conversation here is make us choose. We either:
a. decide to avoid all new structures that may not have been presented to the kids before (not acquired by them) – this seems to me like a painful process that, as a hippy, I refuse to do because it makes me nervous.
b. we accept the fact that there are structures that the kids may not have seen in our stories and we make them clear during the lesson by teaching to the eyes, using jGR, holding ourselves accountable to making sure that they are understood, getting plenty of reps on anything new, etc. – this is doable for me, I like it. It doesn’t make me nervous.
I will have to go back and see the video again and see if I used those ones you mentioned enough times. But I think I did. This is a 3/4 traditional class that is new to TPRS/CI this year.