Children, as we gather for story time, I want you to think about a little friend that we met in another story, The Gingerbread Baby. Do you remember our Author of the Month? That's right, Jan Brett. She is known for doing something special to the pages of her books. Do you remember what that is? She likes to put clues in the illustrations along the margins. As I read the story of The Gingerbread Friends, I would like you to be on the lookout for key events at the beginning, middle and end of the story.
In our kindergarten classes, we have an author who we feature each month. In the month of December, we feature Jan Brett, so I ask the children if they remember our Author of the Month. I also ask if they can guess who is the illustrator of the book I am sharing. (They should guess, Jan Brett, as well.) Lastly, I ask if there is a special characteristic of Jan Brett's books that they can remember. (Jan Brett draws picture clues in the margins). By asking these questions, I can review some of the key concepts of print. I set the purpose for my reading, by telling the children that I am looking for the key events at the beginning, middle and end of the story, so that they should be on the lookout for these pieces.
I read the story to the children with excitement and inflection in my voice with particular focus on the key events that I wanted the children to remember. If time allows, I like to read the story through twice--first for the pure enjoyment of the story and the second time so that the children can search for the information that I am seeking. On the board I have made a flow chart of three large boxes labeled beginning, middle, end. The boxes need to be large enough for me to draw pictures and write words.
Take a look at the chart on the board. Each box is labeled beginning-middle-end. In the first box, I would like you to tell me a key event at the beginning of the story (I am looking for something regarding the Gingerbread Baby needing a friend.) I will draw a picture illustrating this idea and write a short sentence about this.
In the second box, I will repeat the the activity, but am now looking for something from the middle of the story. What happened in the middle of the story?(The Gingerbread Baby goes inside the bakery to find a friend.) Again, I will draw a picture illustrating this idea and write a short sentence about this in the middle box.
For the last box, tell me about what happened at the end of the story. (Matti makes more cookies so the Gingerbread Baby has friends.) Here I will draw a picture of the Gingerbread Baby and his new friends.
By using the information in the three boxes, you should be able to retell the story. Turn to a friend and tell them what the story was all about. Did the flow chart on the board help you to remember the story? Using something like a flow chart or graphic organizer can help you do your work more easily.
Each of you will be given a worksheet that has a three-box graphic organizer. You will be doing an activity similar to what we just finished doing. You will need to draw something from the beginning, middle, and end of the story. The more details you add to your drawing, the easier it will be for a friend to retell the story. If you would like, you can add words to help describe what you have drawn. When all your work is finished, you will trade your paper with a friend so they can check to see if your retelling makes sense. If your partner cannot understand your work, it will be important to go back and add more details. I will be around to see how you and your buddy work together.
The children were given their own three box graphic organizer to illustrate what happened at the beginning, middle and end of the story of The Gingerbread Friends. Because most of the children have not developed the writing skills, I remind them that the more details they add to their picture, the easier it would be for someone else to retell the story. When the children are finished with their drawings, I have them trade papers with a friend to see if the friend can look at the picture and retell the story back to them. If their friend cannot, I tell the illustrator to go back and add more details and to draw carefully. I will be walking around listening and looking at the interactions between students.