How Can You Change A Story?

Posted by Big Universe on Jan 30, 2013 1:43:56 PM

book pagesThink about a book you have read recently or your favorite book ...

Think about the characters ...

Think about the setting ....

Think about the events ...

Now think about how that story could be different ...

If you changed the setting ...

Would that change the characters?

Would that change the details?

Could that change the events?

Have you heard of the Story Innovation Strategy?

Here is what I found on

Story innovation takes a text and allows the students to change characters, setting, and story elements to make a personalized version of the story. The story is then read aloud to reinforce the student’s fluency skills with a now-familiar text. The students then compare and contrast their story to the original. The story innovation strategy allows for many different adaptations for subject and grade. Pick your favorite story, and have your students adapt it in any way that you choose.

On the ReadWriteThink Standards Tab, you can choose your state and grade to see which Common Core Standards this lesson/activity meets!

Let's say we started with a story on Big Universe: When I Visit the Farm by Crystal Beshara

Setting: Farm

Characters: girl narrator, animal friends, cow, duck, baby chicks, chipmunk, robin, hen

Think about how this story would change if we changed the setting from a farm to a rainforest (or what your class may be studying in Social Studies)?

How would the story change if it had a boy or animal narrator?

If the story was in a rainforest or a desert, would the characters still be farm animals?

That may require some research and looking at other books to figure out what animals to substitute into the story. That would be introducing and supporting new vocabulary!

Are there other vocabulary words in the story that would need to change?

What would the narrator see? touch? taste? smell?

How would the illustrations change?

Students could work individually, with partners, or even in small groups to create a different version of the story ... changing it but keeping some parts of it the same!

There are all kinds of extension activities that could go along with using story innovation that include some form of compare and contrast to identify differences.

I think they "why question" is just as important as identifying differences since it jumps to a different level of thinking ....

Photo Credit: fanz via Compfight cc

Topics: Classroom Ideas, Literacy

Big Universe Free Reads