Stories of Thankfulness
Sharing our stories around a table, class, or campfire is always a good thing do to. No matter where we share our stories, telling them and hearing them told brings us together in ways that are true. In the English language classroom, stories also allow us to work on language in ways that bring all the language skills together.
In this second activity sheet for my GalleryTeachers.com column Project File, I offer up a little project called Stories of Thankfulness that starts with learners thinking of the people who have recently done nice things for them or been helpful in some way. This thinking becomes a series of modeled sentences, and those sentences get step-by-step developed in structured ways. Before long we’ve built a story that goes on to get written, practiced, recorded, and shared. With a few simple modifications, this project works at almost all levels and with all age groups.
Once you know how the project works, it’s easy to have students work on different kinds of stories. Since I like to keep things positive I’ve mostly had learners work over the course of our time together on stories of thankfulness, happiness, kindness, and love. And yet, there’s no reason you couldn’t work on stories of heartbreak, loss, and fear if you wanted to do that. There are certainly times around the table, class, or campfire for those sorts of stories, too. In my experience, though, each story type seems to generate a different kind of energy in a group, so just keep that in mind. If you start with stories of thankfulness and share those around class, I’m pretty sure you’ll pretty quickly come to see what I mean.