The African Storybook website and Grade 3 students – using the story circle idea

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If you are a teacher from South Africa, Lesotho, Kenya or Uganda  reading this we would like to tell you about a writing opportunity and a free online writing course that is coming up with SchoolNetSA and Saide as part of this amazing African Storybook project and website that has been developed for Africa. Find out how to join the course here. (The course can be done using any device platform – PC, Apple Device, iPad, Android, Windows phone etc.)

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Submitted by Fiona Beal

In this post I report back on introducing the African Storybook website to a Grade 3 class. We used a fun method which I have called ‘The Story Circle’  Students always love it when a game-like activity is used in a lesson.

A discussion about the African Storybook website

After discussing the amazing African Storybook website and its stories and looking around the website I instructed the class to each choose a different story from the category First Paragraphs. I had written out the name of the story I wanted each person to look for and distributed these on pieces of paper.

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Reading the stories as a story circle

I set a timer and we begin reading for 3 minutes. When the timer rang, we stopped reading and moved to the next computer on the right. We then read that story. We followed this prpcedue until we had each read at least four e-books.



Reporting back on a story

In our report back session each student reported back on the last story they had read  I used this lovely idea ‘Retell Rope’ idea’ found on Pinterest. This was a fun way to reinforce the different aspects of a story. Students were able to help each other if part of the story couldn’t be recalled.

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This great idea comes from the post ‘Five for Friday

The students enjoyed the activity and asked if they could do it again sometime.

Warning: If you use this method, be prepared for moans and groans when the timer rings and students have to move on without completing the story.

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