Project ideas for literature

September 29, 2014 – 04:23 pm

Retelling is a key indicator for comprehension. Pixie provides opportunities for students to retell using a combination of text, visuals, and oral language.

favorite animal

Retelling stories through the comic genre is a lot more exciting than a worksheet! The visual nature of comics helps students cement ideas through nonlinguistic representation. If students create multiple pages in Pixie, they can print 4 to 6 pages per sheet to share in comic form. Because of the limited space for text in a panel students must summarize, helping them learn to analyze the content of the story and evaluate which information is critical to share, an instructional strategy backed by research. (Marzano et al., 2001).

For students at early stages of language acquisition, simply have them summarize with pictures or one word labels. Move to more complex conversational grammar or sentence descriptions for students at intermediate and advanced stages. Pixie also includes activities for summarizing with the 5 Ws and Beginning, Middle, and End in the Language Arts activities.

Books with repeating patterns (a hallmark of literature for emerging readers) like Mary Wore Her Red Dress by Merle Peek are perfect starting point for young authors. As you read the stories, the cadence of your voice and intonation will help them feel the pattern. Explicitely identify the pattern, and have them customize their own page.

You can even start with a template, like this one my son came home with in Kindergarten. Combine files or shared projects into a class book.

If you think your ELLs have good comprehension skills, have them participate in the adaptation of a story.You see this in the common teacher practice of reading Cinderella stories from around the world or when students modernize a fairy tale.

Melissa Aspinwall's 2nd-grade class at Taylor’s Creek Elementary in Hinesville, Georgia used Jan Brett's The Mitten as a model for their class story called The Adventure Hat, which showcases student learning about the animals and habitat in their region of Georgia.


1. Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

4. Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.


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