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Impact II: Projects & Lesson Plans: Just So Stories

Just So Stories

HOW IT WORKS
Just So Stories is an interdisciplinary, interactive student-centered program that taps into the Multiple Intelligence philosophy and allows students to excel in a variety of activities. Students read and discuss Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling, an English writer well known for his unique style and originality of ideas. Spending most of his childhood in India, the author was always fascinated by its amazing fauna. This program invites children to study animals of our continent and create original stories with accompanying poems and illustrations done in Kipling’s style. It starts with a trip to the museum and continues in the classroom where, with the help of technology, groups of students conduct research on selected animals and produce reports featuring these animals. They also study Kipling’s biography and analyze his prose, poetry, and art. Then, working with a partner, students create and illustrate their own original stories. Sharing, editing, and peer- and self-evaluation take place simultaneously. Finally, the students publish their stories and make their own books.  Using technology as a tool and a resource enables students to achieve remarkable results. The software applications Animals, San Diego Zoo, and Animals in their World, as well as web sites related to the specific topics, enable students to find information in an efficient, productive way. A camera and a video camera are desirable components of the program since they help document the steps of the learning process. The photographs and videos are great illustrative additions to the written and verbal reports and presentations. 

THE STUDENTS
This program was initiated in grade five of a dual-language gifted class, but students of all grade levels with varying technology back-grounds and learning styles can participate. Groups, individuals, or full classes can work throughout the school year. 

THE STAFF
Karina Maceczek has been teaching bilingual and ESL classes at P.S. 200 for nine years. She is currently teaching the Globe Program, which is designed to meet the intellectual, social, and cultural needs of gifted Russian bilingual students attending District 20. Karina is presently involved in curriculum writing for the Globe Program and for the Board of Education. She also contributes to the Action Research Project and the D&D Project conducted by Brown University. 

WHAT  YOU NEED
The program requires a class trip to the Museum of Natural History. In the museum, students will need worksheets for note taking, paper for drawing (12” x 24” in order to make pages for a Big Book), and charcoal pencils.  A camera and video camera are a plus for documenting the steps of the creative learning process. A class set of Just So Stories is also required, and students need access to research software and at least one classroom computer and a printer. This project can be also done in cooperation with the school computer lab. Software applications include Grolier’s Encyclopedia, Animals, San Diego Zoo, and Animals in Their World. 

OVERALL VALUE
This program offers a great opportunity to teach students how to create original fictional stories and poems, and how to illustrate and publish them. The close links between subject areas make the learning process meaningful and valuable. The program exposes the students to innovative strategies and methods of teaching and learning.

View the Curriculum Unit/Dissemination Packet

CURRICULUM AREAS
Language Arts
Technology
Social Studies
Art
Science

GRADES
1-8

MORE INFORMATION

Karina Maceczek
Benson Elementary 
P.S. 200
1940 Benson Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11214
Phone: (718) 236-5466
Fax: (718) 232-3428
kmaceczek@aol.com

Principal: 
Sylvia La Cerra

IMPACT II Catalog 2001-2002

 

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