Author:
Tracy Rains
Subject:
Elementary Education, Composition and Rhetoric
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Level:
Upper Primary
Grade:
4, 5
Tags:
  • English Language Arts
  • Narrative Writing
  • Story Elements
    License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Language:
    English
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs, Interactive, Text/HTML, Video

    Storytelling

    Storytelling

    Overview

    In this project, you will explore a real-world problem, and then work through a series of steps to analyze that problem, research ways the problem could be solved, then propose a possible solution to that problem. Often, there are no specific right or wrong solutions, but sometimes one particular solution may be better than others. The key is making sure you fully understand the problem, have researched some possible solutions, and have proposed the solution that you can support with information / evidence.

    Begin by reading the problem statement in Step 1. Take the time to review all the information provided in the statement, including exploring the websites, videos and / or articles that are linked. Then work on steps 2 through 8 to complete this problem-based learning experience.

    THE PROBLEM

    STEP 1: THE PROBLEM

    From the start of time, there has been a desire to communicate and tell stories. Stories have been told by drawing pictures, by speaking, and by being written down to be read again and again. A really great story grabs the audience’s attention and is able to hold that attention until the conclusion of the tale. This is true no matter how the story is told, whether written and read, scripted and acted out, or told from generation to generation. In today’s world the art of storytelling is evolving. This article provides a great history and description of how the art of storytelling has continued to change throughout the ages.   

    Storytelling is effective when the audience is invested in the characters, interested in the plot, and intrigued to see how the whole thing ends. There are many avenues to tell stories, whether it be in books, newspapers, screenplays, or online. Well-thought out stories usually take time to develop and evolve, as is explained in this video. In this age of  technology, however, stories are also shared on social media. Although social media is a way most people stay connected, it can lead to communication issues as highlighted in this article. The language used online versus on a written page is different and can lead to mishaps in communication. As this article states, some writers, especially students “are not able to go from informal writing to formal writing, which causes writing to worsen.”  If a story is shared on social media, there are many ways that the story may not express what it was intended to communicate. This video provides some insight into this idea. For example, on Twitter, a tweet is limited to 140 characters. A fully developed story cannot be adequately depicted on a Twitter page. Using text messages or emails to share stories can also lead to a communication breakdown because the tone of the simple words on the screen do not convey the meaning or tone of the writer like a fully developed narrative does. Finally, in thinking of the popular sentiment of trying to have a “scoop” or “break the news,”  stories can also have punctuation errors on social media that can lead to miscommunication and misinformation.  

    Storytelling is a powerful way of communicating. Using technology to enhance the story is a powerful tool in a writer’s toolbox. Technology, like social media and text messaging, is also an important communication tool between people trying to relay thoughts and directions. But when the technology becomes the vehicle for the storytelling, there may be a breakdown in the communication between the writer and the audience. This could be frustrating to both parties, and the story gets lost in translation.  As demonstrated in this video,  no matter how busy or loud our world gets, an engaging story, told in the right way, will still make us stop, connect, care and feel.   

     

    DEFINE THE ISSUE

    STEP 2: DEFINE THE ISSUE

    Think

    1. How could you sort/classify/categorize this problem? What type of problem is it?

    2. What is the motive/underlying theme/message?

    Do

    • Use your words to summarize the problem in 4-6 sentences.

    WHAT DO YOU KNOW

    STEP 3: WHAT DO YOU KNOW

    Think

    1. List the keywords from the case study. Put a check beside words you are familiar with prior to starting this project.

    2. Brainstorm and categorize to create a list of the significant parts of this problem.

    Do

    • Make a chart showing what you know that will help you solve the problem.

    ANALYZE THE CASE INFORMATION

    STEP 4: ANALYZE THE CASE INFORMATION

    Think

    1. Determine if the information is based on fact or opinion.

    2. Distinguish relevant/irrelevant information from the current case study and provided resources.

    3. How would you compare/contrast the constraints and opportunities of the problem?

    4. Infer and explain information that is important to the case solution, but is not explicitly stated in the case.

    Do

    • Develop and write out the problem statement in your own words.

    POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

    STEP 5: POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

    Think

    1. What are other possible outcomes?

    2. Analyze and explain the multiple perspectives/solutions within this case.

    3. What conclusions can you draw from your research?

    4. Generate alternative solutions.

    Do

    • Gather, organize, and interpret information from multiple sources.

    • Based on what you know, defend your preferred solution.

    RESEARCH SOLUTION

    STEP 6: RESEARCH SOLUTION

    Think

    1. Research the knowledge and data you need to support the solution and fill in missing gaps.

    2. Investigate and draw conclusions about how the preferred solution impacts the world today.

    3. What changes to your preferred solution will/have you made?

    4. What evidence justifies your solution?

    Do

    • Select decision criteria.

    • Analyze and evaluate alternatives.

    CONSTRUCT CONCLUSIONS

    STEP 7: CONSTRUCT CONCLUSIONS

    Think

    1. Review your research and develop a solution, providing supporting documentation to convince others of your solution.

    2. Decide if you will be creating an argument or a model to illustrate your solution.

    Do

    • Develop a plan/proposal with supporting documentation to convince others of your solution.

    • Make sure to include the following items in your proposal.  (Feel free to include additional information as you need to explain your solution.)

    • Describe your findings and/or recommendations.

    • List the problem statement questions.

    • Break down the data you gathered into an analysis that supports your solution(s) or recommendation(s).

    • Summarize the process you used and options considered, along with any difficulties you encountered.

    • Your presentation can be a video of yourself presenting your model or argument, or it can be an animated video using infographics and other images.

    REFLECTIONS

    STEP 8: REFLECTIONS

    Think

    1. How did you decide to…?

    2. What seemed difficult?

    3. What seemed (or eventually became) easy?

    4. If you were to do any part of this over, what would it be and how would you change it?

    5. What did you learn about the topic or about yourself during this project?

    Do

    Write a 3-5 paragraph reflection essay including these three parts:

    1. Include an introduction where you focus directly on explaining what aspect of your experiences you will discuss in the reflection.

    2. The body of the essay should explain how you have changed or what you have learned. Make certain to explain what things caused you to change.

    3. In the conclusion of a reflective essay, you should discuss how you have changed and the effect of those changes. You should share how you think the experience will change you in the future.