Bonfire Stories Sizzle and Spark!Posted by Ariel Warshaw
Throughout the month of October, our fifth grade writers worked tirelessly to create descriptive, autumnal, and creative stories to share around a bonfire. We began our writing process by exploring “fall sensory bins.” Students got to smell the spices of the season, feel smooth and bumpy gourds, and crunch vibrant leaves; they wrote down descriptive details and what memories the items conjured up for them. We learned about the five key story elements – plot, character, conflict, theme, and setting – and how to develop a meaningful plotline, and got to work!
We then collaborated with Mrs. Engelke’s 2nd graders, who were writing fall-inspired personal narratives of their own. Our 5th graders taught their younger buddies about “Story Mountains” and how to identify the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution of a story. Together we read a spooky tale, and plotted each part of the story on a Story Mountain. The 2nd and 5th graders shared their rough drafts with one another and offered compliments, suggestions, and corrections. In order to highlight the importance of telling an engaging, descriptive tale that would be enjoyable read aloud, Ms. Karen from Acting Out visited to share her story, A Friendly Ghost Tale. Both classes had the chance to act out various characters – it was a wonderfully active and engaging experience.
Finally, our big day arrived on October 26th – Bonfire Night! Earlier in the day, the 2nd and 5th graders reconvened to consider how to share a story around a campfire. “What should it sound like?” “How should you read your story?” “What tips could we share with one another?” The students practiced reading their final drafts with their buddies. That evening, three bonfires burned as 36 storytellers read their tales to admiring family and classmates. Guests nibbled on fresh popcorn (adorned with chocolate chips and marshmallows!) and sipped on hot apple cider. Our storytellers engaged their audiences with descriptive details, figurative language, and dramatic plotlines. It was a truly special evening – one our 5th graders won’t soon forget!
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