One of the literary “big ideas” that we have been focusing on during our read alouds is that we can retell the sequence of events in the story. Last week we used the book “Mushroom In The Rain” and learned that we can retell a story by recalling the order characters appear in a story. To do this, we made character puppets and acted out the story multiple times throughout the week. This week, we are using the book “Stone Soup” in order to further work on this skill. However, instead of using the characters to retell the sequence of events, we are using the problem and solution to retell the story.
I orally told my students the story on Friday (to build schema) and informed them that on Monday they could bring in a vegetable to help make the “magic soup” in our classroom. This morning, they were VERY excited to show me the vegetables that they brought in to help make the soup.
They entered the classroom and found a table set up for chopping!
They placed all of their vegetables into the large bowl and sat down on the carpet to listen to the book, Stone Soup. They sat mesmerized, taking in the plot. After the story ended, I asked my students if they would like to help make the soup. Of course they all wanted to help! I gave each student their bag of “good fit books” and told them that I would call four students at a time to help me chop while everyone else read.
Using crinkle cutters and child-sized cutting boards, my students helped me chop all of the vegetables that were brought in. We had quite the assortment: broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, potatoes, garlic, and onions!
After my students chopped up their vegetables, we added the pieces to our crock pot. It took about 30 minutes to get all of the items diced and added to the pot. (Which ended up being perfect for the reading stamina of my students. Each student read for about 15-20 minutes and chopped for about 10 minutes.)
I then re-read the book to my students. I told them that their job this time was to listen for the problem of the story. After I finished reading, they turned and talked to their neighbor about what they thought the problem was. They also discussed how the problem was solved.
To better illustrate the point that the problem in the story was solved by the soldiers teaching the peasants how to make a soup made out of stones, we added a magic stone to our stone soup. I told my students that when we ate our soup, whoever got the stone in their bowl got to make the first “wish/prayer” on the rock.
Our day proceeded as normal and then, at 1:45, we set the tables and got ready to feast. We talked about how all the villagers brought out their very best for the meal and decorated our tables with flowers.
We then prayed over our meal and enjoyed a feast of stone soup and delicious bread!
My students raved at what good chefs they were and emptied their bowls!
When we all finished, we sat down on our carpet and all took a turn saying a “wish/prayer” on the “magic” stone and then got to work writing about our fun activity!
It was such a fun day and a very easy activity to complete. Tomorrow we will listen the story again but this time we will write out the sequence of events. We will also use vegetables to create (math) story problems! I hope that you will try it! My students LOVED it!!
In case you want to make the soup in your classroom, here’s the recipe:
The night before the activity, I chopped up a yellow onion, 2 cloves of garlic, and one large (pink lady) apple. I sautéed them until they were translucent and transferred the ingredients into a tupperware. The next day at school I put the ingredients into my crockpot, filled it 3/4 the way with water, and added a teaspoon and a half of “better than bouillon” vegetable base. (You can use a vegetable bouillon cube.) Then add whatever vegetables your students bring in! (Salt and pepper to taste.) We cooked the soup on high for about 4 hours and enjoyed it with rolls!