Monday, July 30, 2012

DIY Story Case

This year I am teaching in a multi-age, project based classroom and am SO excited about this change of pace!  Our school year theme is "Rivers" and the first quarter projects will be based on river systems and body systems.  I am leading the body system projects.  

So, today I am working on making some felt body organs as part of my anticipatory set for the projects.  Using felt made me remember this super cute idea that I made for a creative story telling class that I took in college and I had to stop what I was doing and blog about it!  We made these story cases out of old VHS cases.  

I am thinking that I can also have my students use this same concept as book reviews, retelling of a story, making up their own story...etc.  

Start with an old VHS tape case.  {Does anyone remember these?)  You can have families donate them or even ask your local video store for donations.  You could also use the thin plastic baby wipe cases. 

Cover the outside of the case with felt for a background for the story.  This could be a great way to tie in "setting".  Students could make different props to change the setting.  They could make mountains, ponds, castles...etc.  

This is the one I made in college.  It is a simple blue for the sky and some green for grass.  

The characters and other pieces are stored inside the case.  

In a traditional classroom setting this could be a project that students could work on when they finish their regular work early.  Have the materials available in a work station for students to create their story case, characters and story pieces.

Some supplies to have available for students would be:
* vhs cases
* felt
* scissors 
* googley eyes
* glue
* feathers
* gems

Students can tell their story to a friend while placing the characters onto the setting.  Their friend could practice retelling the story trying to remember the important details.  They could make up different beginnings, middles, and endings to the stories.  You could have students practice all of the story elements with this one student made manipulative.  

You can keep all of the finished cases in one place and let the students use them throughout the year or let them take them home.  So fun!  
What other ways can you think of for students to use these story cases?


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