How and Why Stories
Students will be able to work as a group to express and share their ideas. They will also be able to write and illustrate their own "how and why" story.
Introduction (5 minutes)
- Before reading How the Camel Got His Hump, ask your students to name some animals with interesting characteristics.
- Tell the students they will listen to a story about why an animal is the way it is. Allow them to make predictions about the story.
- Tell the students that this style of storytelling is called "how and why" and that the stories are not factual.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (15 minutes)
- Play the How the Camel Got His Hump interactive story.
- Ask your students questions about the order of events. Possible guiding questions could be: How did the camel look in the beginning of the story? Then what happened? What did he look like after?
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (30 minutes)
- Tell your students that they are going to use their imaginations to write their own story about why an animal is unusual.
- Ask your students to give you ideas of animals whose characteristics they could write about.
- Write their ideas on the white board. Possible ideas include: elephant (long trunk), skunk (smelly), and giraffe (long neck).
- Ask your students to decide which they would like to write about.
- Once they have decided which animal, elicit ideas from the students for the story and write their ideas on the board. Encourage them to use their imaginations and humor.
- Ask the students to help you write the story and guide them by with sentence starters such as Long ago, the elephant had... Then one day...
- Write the corresponding page number and one or two simple sentences on chart paper for each page of the book.
- The number of pages for the book should be half the number of students in your class.
Independent Working Time (30 minutes)
- Divide the class into pairs.
- Give each pair of students a blank piece of white paper.
- Assign a page of the story for each pair.
- Instruct the students to copy the sentences of the page they have been assigned along the top of the page and to work together to illustrate their page.
- Tell students to turn the page horizontally and write the sentences on the top, leaving space for their illustrations. The students can also write their names in the corner.
- Early finishers can make additional drawings for the facing pages and a cover page.
- Enrichment: Have advanced students work on the Animal Word Search With Images worksheet.
- Support: Give struggling students the Animal Matching List worksheet.
Related Books and/or Media
- BOOK: How Jackrabbit Got His Very Long Ears by Heather Irbinskas
- BOOK: How Chipmunk Got His Stripes by Joseph Bruchac
- BOOK: Rainbow Crow by Nancy Van Laan
Assessment (25 minutes)
- Ask the students to show you or the class the pictures they have drawn and how the pictures relate to the sentences of the story.
- Have students work on worksheets (see Differentiation for details).
- Collect the worksheets once they're done. Review them to assess their understanding.
Review and Closing (25 minutes)
- After the students have finished copying their sentences and illustrating the pages, they can help gather the pages together in order.
- Use a spiral binding machine with a clear plastic cover to make the book.
- When the book is ready, the students can present the book together.