More From Laurie On Student Generated Stories

As for the kids “creating” the skeletons….I think it solves that need that teachers and students have had to “end” a story.  Since they have a skeleton….they already have an ending.  Something inside says “Ah!!” and can now focus on being truly present in the story….
can you expand on that? i still don’t make it to the ending of stories even with the skeleton stories.
That is because you don’t worry about it.  You know that it is the “work in the moment” that creates acquisition.  Many, many people find it difficult, if not impossible, to feel comfortable that way. 
There are a myriad of reasons why we feel this way.  We live in a “Git ‘Er Done!” society.  The bottom line is often getting to the finish line.  The entire idea of a story not only implies, it demands, a beginning a middle and an END.   We like closure.  We feel driven towards it.  We need, want and like a goal to work towards.   One of the things that drives many teachers and some students crazy is “parking” in a story and hanging out there. 
Most of us have set up stories with a setting, a character and a problem.  The “work” of storyasking “feels like” we need to get the character to solve the problem and end the story.  Even when we tell ourselves, and our students that we are just trying to get reps, the drive to solve the problem and find an ending does not go away for many people.  It also is totally outside the comprehension of folks outside of the CI bubble. 
By providing the class (and ourselves) with a skeleton story, we give them (and again ourselves) permission to play.  There is a part of the mind that can relax and say…Ok…now…what’s the rest of the story?  I’d love to know more about it.  Let’s figure it out!!
Now…not all skeleton stories have an ending.  For some reason, our minds don’t mind that so much.  We have an outline to fill in…an exoskeleton (or is it now an endoskeleton?!)  so to speak to build on.  AND WE NEED THAT STRUCTURE.
Without it, the activity feels too much like a free-fall.  A shot in the dark.  A whim.  It looks like, and feels like, we have resorted to telling stories instead of teaching.  You know how hard that is for people.  And they have reason to feel that way.  They will be asked to account for where there are going and what their students are doing.  You personally have great instincts with that.  Not everyone does.  They need a more concrete plan.
Now you and I know….that that what we PLANNED to do….is to teach via stories, not tell stories instead of teach.   But if we feel, the students perceive, or others think that we are storytelling instead of teaching, we have lost credibility. 
And we need credibility as much as we need structure.
So…inadvertantly…we have found a way to feed those needs.  We have a structure that is composed of the target phrases and has been created by student input.  We like it.  The students like it.  If we chose appropriate structures, it will meet state criteria and admins will like it. 
What’s not to like?  :o)
with love,
Laurie

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