Once Gary wrote all of his favorite TV shows, he started naming some animals he’d seen at the zoo.
Again, he was usually able to spell these on his own, needing help only when I suggested he add “elephant” and “giraffe” to the list. When he decided to title this list “Zoo,” he needed a little guidance about how to shape the “Z” – he instinctively went the other way, like an “S”.
After filling six pages with words, we started from the beginning and read back over everything. Gary was usually able to read the words, but sometimes he knew them only from memory, or from hints I’d give about the TV show.
Working with Gary on basic reading and writing skills as opposed to the creativity of telling a story was really interesting to me. I’m sure my teaching methods weren’t the best, because I have no experience with this, but it’s definitely something I’d like to explore. It’d really help the storytelling project become much more than what it currently is.