Narrative writing is a major component of the Grade 2 and 3 curricula on a district and statewide level. It reinforces logical thinking and comprehension skills, empowering young learners to express themselves in both written and oral. In line with these requirements,
Listen to the Rhythm
includes a writing component.
The primary goal of this interactive writing component is to develop and strengthen narrative writing skills. The lesson duration for each writing activity is three, 50-minute sessions per week. Our primary focus is writing with emphasis on drafting, editing, and finalizing copy.
Through the use of provided background information and select non-fictional and folkloric tales, students have learned that the drum has served an important role in the lives of African, Cuban, and Puerto Rican peoples. They recognize that the drum often heralds various social, political, and religious aspects of everyday life. Based on this understanding, students will create an engaging short story incorporating the use of the drum as a major source of communication.
By implementing this activity, students will demonstrate their understanding of covered material through narrative writing and will recognize that non-fictional information often serves as a framework for fictional writing. Students will be encouraged to take care in creating, editing, and finalizing their written work. (They too are encouraged to remember the acronym,
apitalize, where needed,
rganize thoughts, using correct
unctuation, and be
entences syntactically make
Recognizing that young learners--particularly at Grade 2--eagerly embrace kinesthetic and tactile learning activities, each student will participate in a drum-making activity. Their drum creations along with the written work will be placed on display for viewing by the entire school community.
Before We Begin
Exposing young learners to diverse types of literature serves as a springboard to writing. To provide children to a sampling of how to incorporate our story theme (i.e., the use of the drum as it relates to aspects of everyday life in specific cultures) into their writing experience, begin with a read-aloud session, using Angela Shelf Mederas' exciting literary work,
The Singing Man
. (This work is a retelling of a Nigerian folktale that explains how the "griot" [pronounced "gree-yo" meaning "storyteller"] came to use music and the oral tradition to pass down the history of a people from one generation to the next.)
To make the reading activity kinesthetically interactive, have the children handclap a rhythm while you turn select pages during the read-aloud activity. Drum-playing can also be used as an alternative interactive activity to be used at strategic points in the text where drum-rhythms are highlighted (see Drum-making Activity).
Drumbeats: An Arts & Literacy Writing Assignment
Long, long, ago, throughout Africa, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, the drum was used to announce special events, to accompany specific ceremonies and rituals, and/or to explain things that happened in everyday life. Pretend you are a person who lived during this time. Envision an event that could have taken place (a wedding, the birth of a child, a warning to escape from the slave master's plantation…) Think of the characters included in and activities surrounding that event. Keeping the use and sounds of the drum included in your story, use words to paint a visual picture of what happened. We want to feel, taste, see, and hear your story! Come on! You can do it!
Objective: To create a descriptive fictional work that includes structure and organizational patterns.
Requirements: Students will use their imagination to create their own narrative work. The story creation should include an engaging beginning, a well-defined setting, and characters consistent throughout, a well-described series of events/problems, an engaging conclusion/resolution, and an attention-grabbing closing statement.
Scores of 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, or 1 should be applied based on the following criteria:
6 = student has included an engaging beginning, sentences are well constructed, organization, elaboration, and fluency are well-developed; overall storyline is well defined__
5 = student has included a somewhat engaging beginning; sentences are generally well constructed; organization, elaboration, and fluency are evident; overall storylines is well defined
4= student has included a descriptive beginning; sentences are somewhat descriptive but inconsistent throughout; organization, elaboration, and fluency are conveyed
3 = student has included a simple beginning, middle, and end; sentences are minimally descriptive but generally well constructed; organization and fluency are evident
2 = student has not included the beginning, middle, and/or end; sentences are minimally descriptive and are unorganized; fluency is minimally evident; storyline is vague
1 = no storyline is conveyed
Confer with students to review writing results based on achieved rubric score. Where necessary, have student revisit the story, editing and revising where required. Final product can be formally typed and illustrated by student for display. Retain original writing samples in student folder for future student self-evaluation, and to generally monitor student progress.