Today we are winding back the clock to the early 1990s. While cleaning out her basement, Maryellen Rooney Moreau, creator of Story Grammar Marker®, found some really cool SGM® “mementos” from the early days of SGM® when she started this business in her basement.
To the right is Maryellen (today) standing next to the first-ever banner that was made for trade shows and conferences that Maryellen attended when she first published Story Grammar Marker®. It is complete with vinyl lettering and fancy, colorful decals. To Maryellen’s far left is the life-size custom cut-out of Story Grammar Marker® from last year’s American Speech Language Hearing Association Convention. WOW! There is quite a difference in materials and technology. The bullet points on the ’90s banner are very straightforward…
Of course, over the years we have added dozens of more products and uses for this incredible methodology.
The first place that Maryellen traveled outside of New England to do a workshop on SGM® was to Montana. Holly Fidrych, a colleague of Maryellen’s who was instrumental in the field testing of SGM® at the school where it was developed—as well as co-authoring the SGM® Manual—was the co-presenter of the workshop. Holly is originally from the Worcester area, and the Northwestern speech language pathologists who participated in the workshop got a kick out of Holly’s Central Massachusetts accent as she pronounced Story Grammar Marker as “Story Grammah Mahker.”
“Grammah” reminded some of “Grandma,” and a teacher with an artistic flair at Juniper Park Elementary School in Westfield, MA, drew a large poster of “Grandma Marker.” As you can see at right, the icons of the SGM® for the beginning of the story are depicted: the fuzzy pink Character head, the star patterned vest for Setting, the sneakers for Kick-Off, the heart for Feeling and the hand for Plan. How adorable!
Below is a sign with our original logo that Maryellen used to also used at trade shows and conferences. In this writer’s opinion, this was the BEST tagline for SGM® because Story Grammar Marker® really is the “missing link” in so many ways!
Presently, we have this more elaborate graphic to illustrate the concept of SGM® methodology being the “missing link.”
Lastly, we found the first big flyer/order form that we distributed via mailings and at conferences in the early 1990s. This was, of course, in “ancient” times before websites existed, so this was our only way of getting people to understand what Story Grammar Marker® represented!
The flyer contained current research as well as an explanation of the SGM® methodology. It also describes how SGM® works, why it works, where it works and statements about the fact that it DOES work for students as well as teachers and specialists!
On the back page above the order form, we share that, based on results through authentic assessment, there had been dramatic improvement in: (see below)
All of these improvements have been replicated by students thousands of times over since this was published. Below are samplings from this original flyer. It contains information that is very relevant 25 years later!
It was really cool to look at these SGM® “artifacts” and to see how far things have come from when SGM® was a single product made in Maryellen’s basement in Easthampton, MA! Now MindWing Concepts carries 16 publications and more than 40 hands-on tools based on the discourse level of language.
Our tools are in the hands of millions of children and educators in all 50 of the United States, in every Province in Canada and in 24 other countries around the globe. We loved winding back the clock and finding all of these original items and talking about the successes of the students and educators over the years who have benefited from Story Grammar Marker®.