Getting Students to Relate to Classic Work

Even contemporary work is “sold” to its audience using media, so with the idea that late is better than never, I wrote a prequel to the 17th century classic play, Life Is A Dream (La Vida es Sueno), using Google’s StoryBuilder. To be completely immodest — it worked like a charm. 3rd grade students from a Title I school spontaneously began to read it aloud from the smart board. Here’s a link:

My nonprofit, BIG FUN Education, filmed 3rd graders watching the prequel for the first time. One child can be heard saying, “How did they type that fast!” They were engrossed and had taken a huge leap into the world of the play within seconds.

Later on, some students used StoryBuilder to write their own texting sequences between characters. This texting tool works so well with drama, of course, since it’s all dialog. I can see exploring structure with it . . . “What if X and Y had had smart phones? How would that have changed the plot?”

StoryBuilder is a marvelously flexible tool that appeals to students through its modernity and yet lends itself to creative literary thinking.