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Storypath:A Practical Approach for Culturally Responsive Instruction

Supporting English Language Learners


Margit E. McGuire Seattle University
mmcguire@seattleu.edu

S torypath uses the components of story-setting, character and plot--to organize curriculum into meaning and memorable learning experiences. It is more than reading a story, it is living the story guided by the teacher as learners create the setting, become the characters and solve the problems presented through the plot.
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Storypath is based on humans innate ability to remember and make sense of their world through stories.

Student engagement Memorable through the lived experience Student efficacy Problem solving Use of academic language in context

S torypath

provides rich exposure to English; structures experiences so they are comprehensible to students; provides scaffolding to support language acquisition;

provides opportunities for meaningful interaction;


levels the playing field; and affirms learners contributions.
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Families in their Neighborhoods Storypath


Episode 1: T he N eighborhood Episode 2: Families Episode 3: Understanding Families Episode 4: Finding the W ay Episode 5: Litter in the N eighborhood Episode 6: Speeding Cars Episode 7: A N eighborhood Celebration
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Families

Character Biography
Characters name Family role Age Place of birth J ob Fun things character likes to do Favorite foods

Assessment: T he biography is appropriate to the family.T he figure of the character matches the biography.

Episode 3: Understanding Families


Family Crest Activity Family N ame(s) W hat families do together H oliday celebration Family heritage/tradition Family values

Imagination affirms that each student has something to contribute. Each student has an experience that connects to the story. S tudents come together to work on a common problem.
S Project GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design), http://www.projectglad.com/. Cruz, Barbara C. and S ee tephen J Thornton, . The Process of English Language Learning and W hat to Expect, Teaching S ocial S tudies to English Language Learners. (New York: Routledge, 2009), 9-16. Pransky, Ken . Beneath the S urface: The Hidden Realities of Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Young Learners K-6. (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2008).

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