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NarrativeExpository Peer InteractionReadingWritingPre-SchoolEarly ElementaryUpper ElementaryMiddle/High SchoolTechnologyParent and Professional Information

September 27, 2010


Setting Can be the Key to a Story

Shortcut by Donald Crews

My previous post discussed the narrative element of setting and the tendency of students on the autism spectrum (or with other language disorders) to leave out details about setting, causing listener confusion. One way to explore the importance of setting is to plan interventions using books with an integral setting- where the setting is key to the motivations of the characters and understanding of the plot.

One of my favorites in this vein is Donald Crews’ Shortcut, the story of a group of cousins who find themselves in unexpected danger after taking a shortcut home. Not only does the book serve as an excellent example of building suspense around a small moment in a personal narrative (great for students working on memoir), it also lends itself to being mapped both on a Setting Map and a literal, visual map to develop storytelling skills...

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April 27, 2010


MindWing Concepts and Instructional Technology

I have long had an interest in how technology can provide context within our interventions, much the same way a storybook can provide context.  In this approach to intervention, MindWing's tools have served as essential structure to help my students break down language, (as used with a website that provides information, for example) or organize and produce language (when used in conjunction with a creative “Web 2.0” resource that allows students to save and publish work). To focus on this latter "bottom-up" strategy, I suggest you check out Kerpoof, one of my favorite resources for its versatility and ease of use.

Kerpoof* is a free, interactive website recently acquired by Disney and is basically an online version of Kidpix Studio. Kerpoof's interface allows you to choose a background, characters and other setting elements, and add word/thought balloons and caption boxes (sounding promising?). You can create, share, export or print the resulting pictures or multi-picture story sequences...

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