The stage notes. It’s the one you would want to print off and read from in class



Download 52.5 Kb.
Date12.07.2018
Size52.5 Kb.
My students love this! The idea for it came to me one morning while I was on the treadmill. My students were still having trouble understanding the relationship between the main idea and the details. I wanted a way to make the concepts more concrete. I wrote a short skit (no small trick on the treadmill!) to help them understand the relationship between main ideas and details, and to understand the structure of a paragraph. The activity not only makes the concepts concrete, it makes them memorable. For the props, visit a toy shop.
The first version has stage notes inserted in the script. They indicate the sound effects, etc. The second version, which follows the first, is the script without the stage notes. It’s the one you would want to print off and read from in class.
The time you spend debriefing the class after the “play” is very important. You may be surprised at how much students gain from this activity. It’s a fun activity, and their involvement will be high. Although aimed at serious learning, approach this with a light touch.


  • From your students, you’ll need to pick out a King and 3 Supporting Details. Each has a placard-type sign that attaches to a ribbon that goes around the neck. The King’s, needless to say, is adorned with lots of gaudy trim. He also gets a crown replete with fake jewels and a scepter. My sound effects come from a “microphone” I bought at a toy store—the same place I bought the crown and feather boa—that makes four different rhythms and sounds. I also have some chimes and a whistle. I wear the feather boa because (as I tell the class), hey, when else would I ever get to wear one?

  • Before you begin, outline on the floor a roughly 4’ x 6’ shape of a paragraph. You can use string or masking tape. I like the low-adhesion the painter’s tape. It comes in a variety of colors.

  • In the stage notes version, the narrative is in regular type; my comments are in italics in brackets.



[STAGE NOTES VERSION]

Dr. E’s Story Hour [boa, star wand]

Presents [chime]
King Stated Main Idea and His Loyal Supporting Details
Once upon a time, there was a place called PARAGRAPH.
It was a wonderful kingdom—small, but wonderful—because it ran so smoothly. Every resident of Paragraph knew exactly what his or her role was, and each had an essential role in Paragraph’s well-being.
There was a king, who was called KING STATED MAIN IDEA [sign/crown/sound-effects], and he was the most important person in Paragraph. He had many titles, of course, such as Your Royal Majesty. Some of his titles included words and phrases such as “Thus,” “Therefore,” and “The point is.” These made it very easy for anyone visiting Paragraph to identify King Stated Main Idea.
Now in Paragraph, besides the king, there were also the ordinary (sorry about that) citizens. There were loyal subjects who always supported him. For that reasons, they were called SUPPORTING DETAILS [other signs/other sound effect]. Many of the Supporting Details had interesting names, such as “For example,” “First,” “Second,” “Then,” “Next,” “Last,” “Finally,” “Moreover,” and “In Addition” [sound effect after each one—I like the cymbal sound]. Some even went by numbers, and some went by alphabet letters. There were also those who preferred dots to help make them stand out from each other. [I stick large, day-glo Post-it type press-on dots on each “Supporting Detail’s” forehead. The rest of the class loves this.].
Together, King Stated Main idea and his Supporting Details functioned happily and well. Other people who visited Paragraph could tell exactly who the king was. This was convenient because if they need the most important information, they went directly to the king. If they needed some specific bits of minor information, they went to one or more of the Supporting Details.
Occasionally a visitor to Paragraph would get confused, usually because they weren’t paying attention. They’d go to a Supporting Detail for the most important information, but the Supporting Detail could never provide it. Or, they’d go to King Stated Main Idea for some minor bit of information, which he couldn’t provide, of course, because, hey, he’s the King. He deals only with the most important stuff, and can’t be concerned with minor stuff.

Everyone in the kingdom loved to parade through Paragraph. King Stated Main Idea was a very good king who loved his Supporting Details, and so he always participated in the parades. Sometimes he walked at the beginning of the parade and the Supporting Details followed. [Will need to be repeated until the “cast” realizes they’re supposed to be doing this. I explain that this is the “action” part.] Sometimes he appeared in the middle, with the Supporting Details all around him. [Give them time to regroup and parade.] Sometimes he even appeared at the end of the parade, with all of the Supporting Details coming before him. [Give them time to regroup yet again and parade.] But no matter where he appeared among the Details in Paragraph—at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end—he was still the king.


Now one day, King Stated Main Idea had to go away for a while—I know, it’s a sad story [I hand out Kleenix to a couple of Details and to a couple of people in the class]—but it was for a good reason. [May have to repeat the line “One day, King Stated main Idea had to go away” until the King leaves the “kingdom.] He had agreed to be part of a Summary in another, bigger kingdom that Paragraph was part of. Well, the loyal Supporting Details didn’t know what to do with themselves without King Stated Main Idea. They wandered around aimlessly. [Repeat, with eyebrows raised expectantly, until they begin the circle aimlessly.] They felt there was nothing holding them together. They felt that there was just no point to their existence.
[Gee-whiz whistle] But, hark! There was good news: King Stated Main Idea finished his role in the Summary, and Empress Thesis Sentence allowed him to return to his own, beloved Paragraph. The Supporting Details were ecstatic. [Repeat last line, if necessary, until the Supporting Details show “ecstatic” behavior]
Alas, as luck would have it, King Stated Main Idea had only been back in Paragraph a short while [give him time to get there] when he had to send his loyal Supporting Details on a mission: a student in Dr. Elder’s reading class needed them for a test. Well, without the Supporting Details to support him, King Stated Main Idea was left all alone. He was sad. Paragraph just wasn’t Paragraph any more. Sure, there were some details from other places that dropped by, but they didn’t really belong in Paragraph. They just didn’t fit. They couldn’t relate to King Stated Main Idea, and he couldn’t relate to them. Paragraph just wasn’t the way it should be.
[Gee-whiz whistle again] But, hark! There was good news: The loyal Supporting Details returned home (The students, by the way, all made hundreds on their test).
To prevent future problems when the King or the Details left Paragraph, they considered several options:


  • They thought about having TWO king Stated Main Ideas, but you can imagine how confusing that would be.




  • They thought perhaps one of the Supporting Details could just take the place of the King, but no, that would be wrong.




  • They thought about just using some part of the king—his crown or his scepter—to represent him while he was gone, but they concluded that, no, using just part of the Stated Main Idea would never work.

So King Stated Main Idea and the loyal Supporting Details decided that, forever and ever, they would always stay together, with each fulfilling his or her own essential role. Paragraph never again had any problems, and they all lived happily every after.


[Applause!]


Once we are finished, I take a few minutes and we process what they’ve learned about stated main ideas and supporting details. There’s a lot of information incorporated in the skit. I also briefly discuss major and minor details, pointing out that if the “Details” in the play had “children,” they would be “minor details.” The minor details would support their “parents,” the major details. All of the details, however—-major and minor—-support their “King” (Main Idea).
The activity is wonderful because during the rest of the semester, I can talk about other paragraphs they’re dealing with in terms of King “Stated Main Idea” and the “loyal Supporting Details.” They instantly remember and “get it.”

Dr. E’s Story Hour

Presents

THE KINGDOM OF PARAGRAPH

(Home of King Stated Main Idea and His Loyal Supporting Details)
Once upon a time, there was a place called PARAGRAPH.
It was a wonderful kingdom—small, but wonderful—because it ran so smoothly. Every resident of Paragraph knew exactly what his or her role was, and each had an essential role in Paragraph’s well-being.
There was a king, who was called KING STATED MAIN IDEA, and he was the most important person in Paragraph. He had many titles, of course, such as Your Royal Majesty. Some of his titles included words and phrases such as “Thus,” “Therefore,” and “The point is.” These made it very easy for anyone visiting Paragraph to identify King Stated Main Idea.
Now in Paragraph, besides the king, there were also the ordinary (sorry about that) citizens. There were loyal subjects who always supported him. For that reasons, they were called SUPPORTING DETAILS. Many of the Supporting Details had interesting names, such as “For example,” “First,” “Second,” “Then,” “Next,” “Last,” “Finally,” “Moreover,” and “In Addition”. Some even went by numbers, and some went by alphabet letters. There were also those who preferred dots to help make them stand out from each other.
Together, King Stated Main idea and his Supporting Details functioned happily and well. Other people who visited Paragraph could tell exactly who the king was. This was convenient because if they need the most important information, they went directly to the king. If they needed some specific bits of minor information, they went to one or more of the Supporting Details.
Occasionally a visitor to Paragraph would get confused, usually because they weren’t paying attention. They’d go to a Supporting Detail for the most important information, but the Supporting Detail could never provide it. Or, they’d go to King Stated Main Idea for some minor bit of information, which he couldn’t provide, of course, because, hey, he’s the King. He deals only with the most important stuff, and can’t be concerned with minor stuff.

Everyone in the kingdom loved to parade through Paragraph. King Stated Main Idea was a very good king who loved his Supporting Details, and so he always participated in the parades. Sometimes he walked at the beginning of the parade and the Supporting Details followed.


Sometimes he appeared in the middle, with the Supporting Details all around him. Sometimes he even appeared at the end of the parade, with all of the Supporting Details coming before him. But no matter where he appeared among the Details in Paragraph—at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end—he was still the king.
Now one day, King Stated Main Idea had to go away for a while—I know, it’s a sad story—but it was for a good reason. He had agreed to be part of a Summary in another, bigger kingdom that Paragraph was part of. Well, the loyal Supporting Details didn’t know what to do with themselves without King Stated Main Idea. They wandered around aimlessly. They felt there was nothing holding them together. They felt that there was just no point to their existence.
But, hark! There was good news: King Stated Main Idea finished his role in the Summary, and Empress Thesis Sentence allowed him to return to his own, beloved Paragraph. The Supporting Details were ecstatic.
Alas, as luck would have it, King Stated Main Idea had only been back in Paragraph a short while when he had to send his loyal Supporting Details on a mission: a student in Dr. Elder’s reading class needed them for a test. Well, without the Supporting Details to support him, King Stated Main Idea was left all alone. He was sad. Paragraph just wasn’t Paragraph any more. Sure, there were some details from other places that dropped by, but they didn’t really belong in Paragraph. They just didn’t fit. They couldn’t relate to King Stated Main Idea, and he couldn’t relate to them. Paragraph just wasn’t the way it should be.
But, hark! There was good news: The loyal Supporting Details returned home (Dr. Elder’s students, by the way, all made hundreds on their test).

To prevent future problems when the King or the Details left Paragraph, they considered several options:




  • They thought about having TWO king Stated Main Ideas, but you can imagine how confusing that would be.




  • They thought perhaps one of the Supporting Details could just take the place of the King, but no, that would be wrong.




  • They thought about just using some part of the king—his crown or his scepter—to represent him while he was gone, but they concluded that, no, using just part of the Stated Main Idea would never work.

So King Stated Main Idea and the loyal Supporting Details decided that, forever and ever, they would always stay together, with each fulfilling his or her own essential role. Paragraph never again had any problems, and they all lived happily every after.



© Janet Elder





Share with your friends:


The database is protected by copyright ©dentisty.org 2019
send message

    Main page