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Excerpt: Catching the Story on Tape
Jeanne Hirota's students at the San Francisco Hearing and Speech Center are 5 to 8 years old. One way she helps them develop literacy skills is through their retelling of books using video. Students first read and discuss an age-appropriate book. (Jeanne generally selects books with more than one character and with some repetition.) Next, students focus on sequencing events and retelling the story using their own words orally, with pictures, and in writing. Then each student chooses a role from the story that usually has two or three sentences. Students type their lines into a computer and have the printed text laminated into book form. They use the text as a study aid to help them memorize their roles. Finally, students play their roles on video.
The students and Jeanne make about five or six videos each year, spending about two weeks on each, from beginning to end. The videos serve several purposes:
- Jeanne studies each video to identify areas in which particular students need more focused instruction.
- Children share their work with their families.
- Students are aided in recall and comprehension.
- Jeanne assesses students' speech skills over time.
- The class views the videos later in the year, when a story relates to an upcoming classroom theme, or just for fun.
| WGBH Educational Foundation