Thursday, June 23, 2011

Somebody, wanted to, but, so...

I mentioned in a previous post that I spent all morning at a professional development. We discussed several strategies on how to get our ELL students from a very structured and modeled environment to working more independently. One of the activities used was the infamous Somebody, wanted to, but, so.

I love this activity, but it can get boring if all you use is your graphic organizer. Also, what do you do with students who are not writing and are not ready to be independent? Here are some variations that were discussed.

Dramatic retelling:
Split your class into 4 groups, then have each group come up with an action for their section. Then students act out each section, as they say what happened in that section.

 Hula Hoops:
For this version you will need 4 Hula Hoops. Each Hula Hoop is a different section, ie: your first hula hoop is labeled "Somebody", your second "wanted to", etc... You get it right? The students then hop into the hula hoops laying, in order, on the ground and tell the story as they jump through the hula hoops.

Do the same thing as the hula Hoops, with floor mats.

 4 Square: 
Instead of using the the regular graphic organizer that writes the sentence horizontally, have students fold paper to show 4 squares and write each section in one box. This works better for my students who have a hard time writing in narrow columns.
Summary Bounce:
Make 4 squares on the floor with masking tape. Label each square with the 4 sections, somebody, wanted to, but, so. Have students stand around the square and bounce the ball in each square in sequence while orally state the section correctly. I can actually think of different ways to do this I just can't seem to explain it. I think I will have to think about it longer.

I am sure I did a poor job of explaining these. I got so excited I don't seem to be thinking clearly. Please feel free to ask questions for clarifications. I would love to hear any other variations you have used in your room.


  1. What great ideas! Thanks for sharing your creative thinking.

  2. I can see this working with my ADHD students as well. Thanks!


  3. Switching it up from a graphic organizer is a great idea! Thank you! :)

  4. These are great! Thanks for sharing :)

    Mrs. Thompson

    Adventures in Teaching

  5. Thank you for talking about these strategies. I love the hula hoop one for kinder. What about wearing the words on a headband "somebody" etc. and holding a prop on a stick to help sequence the story with a visual scaffold. It is like a physical flow map! My class loved this and were pretty successful with it. This was a great post for me. Thanks!


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