Previously on Wayside School...
This school year I have told many stories (62 so far) from different genres, such as folk tales, fables, legends, sagas, myths, children's literature,... as part of my pure Story Listening program. I love the variety this adds to the class and it let's me find out which kinds of stories my class like the most. A couple of weeks ago, I started reading the book Sideways Stories from Wayside School to my daughter and I thought, "my class would love this book." Not only is it written for the target age group 8-10, but it also has great attributes for Story Listening: naturally repetitive, short stories that play in school (play on students' world knowledge) and some students are familiar with the book.
Now usually I don't think using a book is a great idea for Story Listening for the same reasons Beniko Mason does not recommend continuing a story from one lesson into the next; students that were absent miss the beginning or the end. Either way this really takes away from the story. You have to redraw key elements and remind the students of important details in order to continue. However, in this book every chapter is a story in itself. Every one of the 30 chapters is about another one of the 30 characters. So it isn't a big deal if a student misses one chapter, because the next story does not build on it. Sure there is some overlap, but nothing that is necessary to ensure comprehension of the context.
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