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Story Stick Medallions

Make up a story or tell one you already know by illustrating it on recycled CDs! Students create a traditional Sioux story stick with an environmentally friendly twist!

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Invite students to think of a story/legend they know or make up one. What are the three most important events, one each in the beginning, middle, and end of the story? Figure out how one could illustrate these three events on recycled CDs. For example, you may want to show the sun in the morning when the story begins, in the afternoon when something else happens, and then the moon shining as the day ends.
    2. This is one way for students to create a prop-- much like a Sioux story stick--to retell their stories. Select Crayola Premier™ Tempera Paint colors. Consider how one or more Crayola Tempera Mixing Mediums (Texture It!, Pearl It!, Glitter It!) would enhance the scene. Glitter might add sparkle to the sun or moon while soil or rocks would look great with texture.
    3. Students cover their painting area with recycled newspaper. On a small paper plate or other palette, students use a brush to mix small amounts of the paint with the mediums you chose. Dab the paint on the CDs for a thick, dimensional look! Air-dry the CDs overnight.
    4. To add details, students gently scratch off designs with the end of a paintbrush. Cut yarn with Crayola Scissors into 3 different lengths. Tape yarn on the back of each CD with masking tape. Tie CDs in the correct sequence to hang down from a stick, either one found or a dowel stick.
    5. Students tell their stories by explaining what is happening in each picture. Remind them to be certain to provide details about in-between events that only words can express!
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    SCI: Use models to evaluate how environmental changes in a habitat affect the number and types of organisms that live there; some remain, move in, move out, and/or die.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    SS: Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others.

    VA: Select media, techniques, an processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of choices.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Students work in small groups to illustrate a well-known story. Use construction paper and Crayola Colored Pencils to sketch scenes for the illustrations. Transfer those illustrations to the Story Stick Medallions. Use as many CDs for the illustrations as you can comfortably fit on the sticks.

    Students view other groups' Story Stick Medallions and identify the titles and authors of each story by reviewing the major events illustrated.

    Small groups of students select a story and create a mini-play to perform for classmates. Use recycled materials to create costumes for the play.

    In place of the Story Stick, students use mobiles to display the CD illustrations. Two CDs can be sandwiched together to allow for two-sided illustrations, or CDs can be hung horizontally on the mobile.

    Encourage students to investigate additional information about the Lakota, Nokota, or Dakota tribes, all part of the Sioux Nation who live on the Northern Plains of North America. Organize research into an electronic format for presentation to classmates.


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