WOW Stories Volume VI Issue 1

Volume VI, Issue 1
Editors’ Note
The Power of Literature

Prisca and Ray Martens (2018) introduce us to Storying Studios in this themed issue of WOW Stories: Connections from the Classroom through vignettes written by elementary school educators who are members of a long-standing literacy community. Their work focuses on literacy and art as language in Storying Studios. Robbie, a kindergarten teacher, explains:

Even though I read aloud to my students throughout the day, Storying Studio is a special time we set aside to read and discuss stories…Our daily Storying Studio lesson always includes reading a mentor text, discussing the story, and having a mini-lesson focused on an aspect of writing or art. Following the lesson, students have time to explore, write, and illustrate related to the mini-lesson focus.

Prisca, Ray, Robbie, Laura, Jenna and Michelle have been incorporating Storying Studio in primary classrooms to enrich and extend the grade level curriculum. The vignettes included in this issue provide a glimpse into their classrooms to see the ways these educators implement global literature into reading, language arts and social studies instruction. We transition with them from instruction to Storying Studio where we experience the different ways children use art to connect to the characters, setting and plot in the global literature selected by the teachers.

Kindergartners in Robbie’s classroom use art to make connections between themselves and the main character in Town is by the Sea (Schwartz, 2017). Laura uses Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah (Thompson, 2015) to enrich a language arts unit for students in her second-grade classroom. Third grade students in Michelle’s classroom read Ada’s Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay (Hood, 2016) and then create their own musical instruments in Storying Studio. Third grade students in Jenna’s classroom read and discuss Ghost Hands: A Story Inspired by Patagonia’s Cave of the Hands (Barron, 2011) and then create brochures about the Cave of the Hands as a way to extend their thinking about perseverance in Storying Studio.

Robbie, Laura, Michelle and Jenna capture students’ work during Storying Studio in photographs. Each vignette features colorful and creative photos of artifacts that exemplify the possibilities that can occur when educators expand their curriculum to include global literature and Storying Studio.

We at WOW Stories think you will enjoy reading about the lived experiences of educators and children reading global literature and participating in Storying Studio. We hope these vignettes inspire you to include Storying Studios in your own classrooms and we’d like to hear about your experiences if you do. Consider submitting a manuscript that shares your experiences using global literature and Storying Studio in your classroom.

Mary Fahrenbruck and Tracy Smiles, Co – Editors, WOW Stories

Barron, T.A. (2011). Ghost hands: A story inspired by Patagonia’s cave of the hands. New
York: Philomel Books.

Hood, S. (2016). Ada’s violin: The story of the recycled orchestra of Paraguay. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Martens, P., Martens, R., Doyle, M., Loomis, J., Fuhrman, L., Stout, R., & Soper, E. (2018). Painting writing, writing painting: Thinking, “seeing,” and problem-solving through story. The Reading Teacher, 71(6), 669 – 679.

Schwartz, J. (2017). Town is by the sea. Toronto, ON: Groundwood Books.

Thompson, L.A. (2015). Emmanuel’s dream: The true story of Emmanuel Ofosu
New York: Schwartz & Wade.