The practice of providing model narratives in order to scaffold personal narratives from students is one that is supported in our literature. Pamela Hadley (1998) describes conversational mapping, or “give a story to get a story,” as critical in language sampling, and these principles can be extended to intervention activities.
Westby and Culatta (2016) suggest similar procedures: “Clinicians can model the telling of event narratives and ask children to relate their own experience about a similar event. One clinician told of a time when she did not close the door on her hamster's cage, and the hamster escaped and was never found. The telling of that experience elicited a child's story about a time when he had pet crickets in a cricket cage and the family cat got into the cage and ate the crickets.”
We should remember that not every model needs to be a Complete Episode, although I realized after a recent trip to Utah’s National Parks that I had a complete one ready-to-go. Additionally, the model below also demonstrates the synchrony between Story Grammar Marker® and Zones of Regulation®.
Both Story Grammar Marker® and technology tools can provide important visual supports to make these models more salient scaffolds for students. I like to use selfies and other photos as supplementary visuals; they also make you more relatable to students and stimulate their use of questions and comments. You can present these right from your photos app, but tech tools provide some nice ways to package your photos into instructional material in a “space,” so-to-speak. Here are 3 examples:
Pic Collage (free for iOS, Android, Windows): Handy if you want to simply place some text, a doodle (see here the Character icon) or another image on top of your image. Easily export to Camera Roll for use elsewhere.
Book Creator (free for Chrome Web Browser and to try as Book Creator One app for iPad or Android, $4.99 for full mobile app): a nice choice if you want to group a few photos together as a “book.” Also allows for adding of emoji through text keyboard, multiple images as with the SGM icons here, added as images. Additionally, this tool has stickers including word and thought balloons, so you can hit all aspects of the Critical Thinking Triangle.
Google Slides: an instructional staple. Everyone has it, including your students! Use Google Slides to combine photos (including web-searched photos like the poles here) text, drawings, and again thought balloons within the Shapes menu.
As mentioned above, we can use photos for simpler (at Descriptive, Action, Reaction, Abbreviated Episode Levels) as well. I enjoyed sharing this story of preparing a vat of iced coffee for a trip to Maine and then accidentally dropping it down the stairs, so I needed to give the hall a good cleaning (Reaction).
Do you have any visually supported model narratives you have shared with students? Share them with us in the comments!