RETELLING A STORY – Creating and Using Props

Students use markers, crayons and Model Magic to create a triarama that shows the setting and a character in a story they have read.

Required Time

160 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 3 to Grade 6

Subject

Art Techniques
Language Arts
Visual Arts

Vocabulary

3-dimensional characteristic colour crayon resist space triarama

Materials

Scissors Bristol Board 30 cm x 30 cm (12"x 12") Paper Clips Card Stock Crayola Model Magic Markers Plasic lid Paint Brush Water Container Masking Tape Drinking Straw Pipe Cleaners Crayons

Steps

RETELLING A STORY – Creating and Using Props - Step One

Step One

Begin with a square of Bristol board 30 cm x 30 cm (12" x 12"). Fold the Bristol board in half diagonally from one corner to the other. Make a firm crease. Open the Bristol board up and fold it diagonally in the opposite direction. Make a firm crease.

RETELLING A STORY – Creating and Using Props - Step Two

Step Two

Make a dot in the centre of the Bristol board where the two folds meet. Cut along one of the folds and stop at the dot. 

RETELLING A STORY – Creating and Using Props - Step Three

Step Three

Mark an X on one of the flaps. This side will be tucked under the other. Do not paint on this flap. Fold the Bristol board up and let one flap go over the other. 

RETELLING A STORY – Creating and Using Props - Step Four

Step Four

Remember not to paint on the flap with the 'X'. Use crayon and marker to colour the details of your setting. Draw some marker onto a plastic lid. Paint into the marker with water to liquefy it, or colour with it directly. 

RETELLING A STORY – Creating and Using Props - Step Five

Step Five

Use a scrap of paper to test ideas with marker and water. Remember to include all the important elements of your setting.

RETELLING A STORY – Creating and Using Props - Step Six

Step Six

Use Model Magic to create props and characters for your part of the story.

RETELLING A STORY – Creating and Using Props - Step Seven

Step Seven

To make a finger puppet, begin by sticking a small piece of masking tape on a piece of cardstock 4 cm x 8 cm (1.5" x 3"). Make sure the tape hangs at least 3 cm over the edge of the card.

RETELLING A STORY – Creating and Using Props - Step Eight

Step Eight

Wrap the card around your finger and secure it with the masking tape.

RETELLING A STORY – Creating and Using Props - Step Nine

Step Nine

Flatten a small ball of Model Magic between you fingers and thumb. Wrap the flattened Model Magic around the tube. Be sure to cover the top as well as the sides. Add a head and other details to complete your character.

RETELLING A STORY – Creating and Using Props - Step Ten

Step Ten

You may need to use a pipe cleaner, drinking straw or soft wire as an armature to support tall, thin objects until the Model Magic dries completely.

RETELLING A STORY – Creating and Using Props - Step Eleven

Step Eleven

Attach all 4 triaramas together using paper clips. Make sure they are in the correct order from beginning, middle, middle, end. Take turns retelling your story, gently turning the settings as the story proceeds. Use the props to help you remember important details.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • create a triarama to represent the setting of part of a story;
  • create 3-dimensional objects to represent props and characters of a story;
  • determine what is important to tell when retelling a story;
  • work with others to retell the events of a story in sequence;
  • tell a story expressively in their own words; 
  • retell a story with correct facts.

Extensions

Have students:

  • draw their triaramas in a graphic representation of the story;
  • draw a sequel to the story that takes place ten years later;
  • discuss how the characters will have changed over time, and why;
  • invite students to tell their stories to the class.

Prepare

  1. Prior to this lesson you may want to have students explore the Water Plus Marker technique lesson available on this website.
    Water Plus Marker Technique
  2. Prior to this lesson have students read/study a novel or story.
  3. Place students in groups of four.
  4. Have students practice retelling and summarizing the story in their groups.  
  5. Have them determine the importance of elements of the story and decide which details are most important. Ask them to divide the story into 4 parts – beginning, middle, middle and end. Ask each student to choose one of these parts to work with.  
  6. Download the SPACE poster available on this website.
    Space Poster
  7. Cut Bristol board enough for one piece per student.
  8. Create a sample triarama.
  9. Gather two books with the same or similar subject matter and illustrated by different artists, for example, D is for Dinosaur: A Prehistoric Alphabet, by Todd Chapman (Author), Lita Judge (Illustrator) and The Dinosaur Alphabet Book, by Jerry Pallotta (Author), Ralph Masiello (Illustrator)
     

Introduction

  1. Introduce the idea of retelling a story to the class. Guide students through the process of determining what details in the text help 'paint the picture' of the story.
    - ask students to close their eyes as you read a passage from the book
    - ask them to form an image in their mind's eye of what they have heard
    - list things they heard that help describe the setting or character
  2. Explain that they will be creating a 3-dimensional model of their part of the setting. They will need to create the picture the author described.
  3. View the illustrations for two books of your choice to show how different illustrators interpret text/subject matter differently.
  4. Introduce the challenge.

Activities

The Challenge

  1. Create a triarama to represent the setting of your part of the story.
  2. Create 3-dimensional objects to represent props and characters in your part of the story.
  3. Determine what is important to tell when retelling the story.
  4. Work with others to retell the events of your story in sequence.
  5. Tell the story expressively in your own words.
  6. Retell the story with correct facts.

The Process

  1. Ensure that everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Demonstrate how to fold and cut the Bristol board.
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work.
  5. Encourage them to share and expand on each others' ideas as they explore the materials.  
  6. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.

Sharing

  1. Have students in each group attach all 4 triaramas together using paper clips.
  2. Remind them to make sure the triaramas are in the correct order from beginning, middle, middle, to end. Ask students to be sure to:
    - Begin with an introduction.
    - Include where and when the story takes place.
    - Tell about the main character.
    - Tell about supporting characters.
    - Tell about the problem.
    - Tell how the problem was solved.
    - Tell how the story ends.
    - Summarize by telling your group's opinion about why the author wrote this story
  3. Have students practise taking turns retelling their story, gently turning the settings as the story proceeds. Remind them to use the props to help them remember important details. Provide enough time for students to feel comfortable and ready to share their stories with the class.
  4. Place students so that everyone can see the presenters.
  5. Have groups take turns retelling their stories.
  6. Ask the audience to respond to the stories and the artworks after each retelling.
  7. Ask students to tell how they felt about doing this activity.

Assessment

  1. Observe students as they work  – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting
  2. Observe students as they discuss the art works – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the artwork and from personal experience.
  3. Use a checklist to track progress. (Download - RETELL_tracking.pdf)
  4. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Download - RETELL_self-assessment.pdf)