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Story Spinners

Respond to books by creating new story scenarios with this paper plate story spinner.

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Choose a book or story with multiple characters to read aloud as a class. Take turns reading by "Snaking It." With classmates, students choose a curvy path around the room to include everyone. Read one sentence and then the next person in the path reads. Continue until everyone has read, then begin again.
    2. Using Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils or Color Sticks, students divide a small paper plate into pie-shaped sections. Have adult assistance available if needed. Students write the name of a character from the story you read in each pie piece. Make the letters distinctive and colorful.
    3. Attach the small plate to a large paper plate by poking a hole through the center with a brass paper fastener. Secure the fastener on the back.
    4. On the rim of the large plate, students write the book title and author. Then add more lines with colored pencils or color sticks to divide the remaining space. Fill with events and actions from the story.
    5. With a small group of friends, children take turns spinning your story wheels and sharing the characters' new actions. Match characters with events and actions. Create new story scenarios to share with classmates. Turn favorite scenarios into original picture books written and illustrated using colored pencils or color sticks.
  • Standards

    LA: Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, oractions).

    LA: Read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, in the grade level text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

    LA: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.

    LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    MATH: Draw points, lines, line segments, rays, angles (right, acute, obtuse), and perpendicular and parallel lines. Identify these in two-dimensional figures.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Encourage students to add new story events and endings to the wheels by being creative, whimsical, and/or mysterious.

    Students create paper or electronic posters with pictures of a scene from the wheel depicting a character that possesses a new feature or action. Digital photographs can be uploaded to the electronic presentation format.

    Students write a poem that focuses on one of the characters from the shared story. Encourage students to use several descriptors appropriate for the character. Students also illustrate the poem and display it in the classroom.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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