At November’s ASHA convention in Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to present several sessions that integrated Story Grammar Marker® and Thememaker® with technology resources for narrative development, and wanted to share some of those ideas across a couple of posts (too many for just one)! When preparing to present in the “city of stars,” I thought about incorporating the theme of storytelling and movie-making, which was a great fit. I considered Hollywood’s penchant for sequels, and how that sometimes ultimately goes quite wrong in execution. However, when it comes to picture books, sequels and series are often a hit within language interventions.
In my session “Pairing Picture Book Series and Apps for Contextualized Language Intervention,” I presented many supports within our literature that reinforce the use of books in therapy:
When it comes to picking book series, it is all about context! Using books in a series or multiple books by an author also involves several research-based and practical strategies:
One key concept I wanted to advance in this presentation was that stories are everywhere and can be told or scaffolded in multiple ways with SGM®. Exploring the plethora of bad sequels produced by Hollywood was one way to demonstrate this!
Take 1983’s “Staying Alive,” the sequel to the colossal hit “Saturday Night Fever,” the premise of which can be represented with the Critical Thinking Triangle®:
Participants enjoyed that I included a clip from the film (below). The fact that it was dubbed in Italian made it all the more fun! In the finale, Tony attempts a dance move that his cast mates view as dangerous, but it succeeds (this could be represented as a complete episode). Play from about half way through—hilarious, and great body language!
I also mentioned the film “Speed 2,” a dreadful sequel hampered by the fact that it’s very difficult to make it look like cruise ships are moving fast. The narrative of this film can be analyzed in many ways, including as a Six-Second-Story™ (described in MindWing’s Facilitating Relationships, co-authored by Gwynne McElhinney).
As fun as these analyses were, they also point to practical teaching ideas that can tap into children’s interest in film:
...Which can be represented as a Complete Episode:
Character: Gru, a supervillain
Setting: His office
Kick-Off: He is trying to sell an idea to an investor, but the kids have inserted an unexpected sketch of him into his presentation
Internal Response (Feelings): surprised, embarrassed
Thought Bubble: Knows that the investor will think him disorganized and unable to control the kids
Plan: To try to keep the investor interested in his proposal to shrink the moon
Attempt #1: Tries to get the noisy kids to quiet down by pushing them in the closet
Attempt #2: Promises them pizza when they continue being noisy
Attempt #3: They burst out of the closet and shoot him with the freeze ray
Direct Consequence: The investor decides to ditch Gru, who clearly is not in control of things
Resolution: Gru needs to work on managing the kids’ behavior and keeping them amused so he can “work”
Clips such as these can be found on YouTube. Where the trailers app is good for discovering new stories, it’s best to know what you are looking for when you go to YouTube. Try also searching Pinterest for “children’s movie clips.”
Let’s go to the movies! Next month I will be telling you more about some pairings between book series and apps.
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