(Adopted from Tamil Amuthu by Mr.G.Rajendran)
How to develop the necessary skills to help children write a story? The pragmatic linear approach asks us to detail the necessary steps to master the skill of writing story. But telling children like – “Do you know how to write a story? First you have to…” doesn’t work.
There is another way of looking at. “There should be an interest to write story – a need to write one. A child shouldn’t be conscious that she/he is learning to write the story. They themselves should discover the necessary characteristics in making a story.” If we are working under this paradigm how can we teach children about writing story? We know that if we give them the knowledge of how to write a story, it will stay as information and it may go away. But if there was an opportunity for the children to discover it for themselves, the knowledge gained may be deeper and will help them apply in new situations.
So let us see how to make that happen:
- Narrate a story and stop the story in a place where it peaks their interest [Suddenly there was a knock at the door… And the running race started…]
- Ask the children to predict what happens next in the story and ask them to write it. ‘Do you know what happened next?’ ‘Can you guess who won the race?’ ‘Can you write what happens next?’ [Here the children write the story without knowing steps to write one. They are writing on their own as they wish]
- Now to check who has written properly, we can introduce the story which will have all the essentials of writing a story.
- Let the children read the ‘exemplar’ story
- They compare their story with this story. Then, give them chance to correct their own stories based on the ‘exemplar’.
- Can help others evaluate their stories so as to improve it.
- If we repeat this exercise two or three times, the children get the nuances of writing a story without being taught.
Here, the children had taught themselves how to write a story, the teacher merely facilitated the process by providing a situation for that. (Remember: To create an interest in a concept/ subject of discussion should be the main aim of a teacher.)