Cool Campground Trio: Storytelling Planes, Cars, Baseball Games

Storytelling Airplanes ready for takeoff on a journey around the world!

Invite students or campers to help fly toy airplanes around a Campground of the Traveling Story.

Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!

Climb Aboard a Storytelling Plane – I found an old story about a dad’s experience camping in summertime years ago with his family.

His father loved to tell stories around a campfire, urging his young son to jump on board an imaginary airplane and add details to the story as it unfolded.

This old story sparked a new attentionology trick in my mind…

Invite students or campers to “play” with small toy airplanes and “hop on board a plane” in the Campground of the Traveling Story.

Teachers “fly” the largest plane. Kids pick smaller planes “to join the flight team.”

Hold up your plane and start the storytelling journey. Then call out to one child at a time, identifying the child by his or her airplane color, and instruct the child to take the story further.
You might say, “Red Leader to Blue Beamer, pick up the story and travel on!” The student holding the smaller blue airplane will start speaking, and on goes the fictional story.
Kids love racing cars around tracks too.
Start Your Cars For Storytelling – Give kids inexpensive toy cars to help them master the use of exciting verbs in storytelling.

Use cool verbs, action words, that ZIP across the page like cars around a track!

Encourage kids to use cool verbs, action words, that ZIP across the page like cars around a track!

Encourage use of power verbs in their storytelling aloud and in their writing – verbs that “zip” across the page, like cars race around a track.
Introduce this concept by pretending to “race” a “hot rod” across notebook paper in front of your class.
Say a phrase or full sentence about any subject aloud with at least one “power verb” like “dash, flash, zip.” Kids will enjoy the racing car connection.
Ask the class to say your phrases or sentences back to you.

Invite students to choose new subjects to talk/write about and take turns pretending to race their cars saying power verbs aloud that suit their subjects.
Drive on to a baseball game!

Take kids out to a ballgame in class or camp and invite them to bat at telling a story.

Take kids out to a ballgame in class or camp and invite them to bat at telling a story.

Pitch Me a Good Story, Please – Take students or campers to an imaginary baseball game to encourage storytelling about sports.

Use a foam baseball for this activity.

Start a story and move around the space you’re in.

“Pitch” the ball to one child at a time. When each child catches the ball, ask her or him to take a bat at telling how the story goes on.

Round Robin Storytelling like this “officially” dates back to the nineteenth century, according to research I’ve read. Round Robin collaborative novels, with different authors writing a chapter each, later became popular, especially with science fiction.

Today, you can find Round Robin Stories and ideas for their development online. Just Google children’s round robin stories.

One of the big benefits in this cool campground trio of storytelling – planes, cars, baseball games – is the inclusiveness of the activities.

There are no right or wrong answers with moving stories. Do remind students or campers, however, that they need to make up transition sentences that connect their part of the story to what’s already been presented.

Point out that transition sentences help the listener understand when there’s a change of story setting, the introduction of a new character, or an addition to the main idea. This helps students develop strong writing skills.

Moving stories that fly, race, and pitch to batters offer a cool trio of attention-getting ways to help kids learn.

Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!

Talk with you again soon,

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet

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Posted in Attentionology for K-5 Teachers
Barbara Cleary has been serving as a resource to hundreds of educators for more than 25 years. An award-winning writer, producer, teacher, and trainer, Barbara’s focus is on offering easy, fun tools and tricks that support K-5 curricula and assist teachers with classroom management.
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