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Finch Tales

Tell a story with the Finch!

Lesson Level

Beginner

Programming Language

Snap! Levels 1-3, Snap! Level 4, Scratch

Subjects

Language Arts

Grades

K-3, 4-5

Teacher Materials

Materials available for teachers.

Standards

This activity is aligned with Common Core ELA anchor standards CCRA.L.1and CCRA.L.2 (proper conventions when writing), CCRA.W.3 (sequence of events), and CCRA.W.5 (revision). If the Finch is retelling a story, students will also meet CCRA.R.2 (summarize key points within a text). If students are creating an original story, they will also meet CCRA.L.3 (language choice for style), CCRA.R.4 (word choice to shape meaning and tone), and CCRA.W.4 (writing appropriate for audience).

In this activity, the Finch will act out a story. Follow the steps below to put together a presentation of that story for your classmates!

  1. Choose the story that the Finch will act out! You can write your own story, or you can retell a story that you have read.
  2. Think of a few key details and events that you will need to include in your story. Try to create between 3 and 5 different scenes. (Hint: Making an outline may help with this step.)
  3. Write the script for your story. Remember to include who is saying what, and also what your Finch will be doing.
  4. Make a list of props that you will need to create. Does your Finch have a costume to wear? What does the background look like? Are there other characters?
  5. Program the Finch to act out your story! You can make the Finch move from place to place, change color, dance, sing, and speak. Try to make what the Finch is doing match your script and tell the story as best as you can.

Things to think about: Will you make the Finch act out the story autonomously (on its own), or will you create a remote control so that one person can control the Finch while another narrates? Either way will require lots of practicing and revising! Will you have the Finch perform live, or will you record a video to present?

Check out some more examples! Special thanks to Jane Martellino from Bethlehem Elementary School in Connecticut for the video featured above.

You can even create very elaborate costumes for the Finch, as shown in this video from Andy Plemmons at David C. Barrow Elementary in Georgia.


Teacher Note: This activity will require multiple class periods; however, students can do much of the preparation for the project without the Finch. Story writing and prop making can take place before the students begin working with the Finch. You may also want to allow one or two class periods after completion of the project for the students to present and share their work with each other. This will give them the opportunity to work on their oral communication skills by presenting their project, asking and answering questions, and providing feedback to their peers.