What’s the problem?

One of my favorite parts of our day is story time. We read a variety of stories with silly voices and animated expressions. We take the students along in the adventure of reading a good book. But what makes a story great? What needs to be present in order for the story to make sense? This week, we have started discussing how many stories have a problem and a solution. Sometimes stories have one problem that needs to solved, while others have multiple problems.


Yesterday, we read a book called Mine-o-saur by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen which tells the story of a dinosaur takes toys from all the other dinosaurs. The students decided that the problem was that the Mine-o-saur does not know how to share his toys. He continually takes them from the other dinosaurs, and as a result, no one wants to play with him. He solved his problem by giving back the toys he stole and apologizing to the other dinosaurs. In this story, there is only one problem, but the problem repeats itself until he realizes how to solve it.


Today, we read a story called Pigsty by Mark Teague. The story follows a boy name Wendell and his very messy room. His room is SO messy, that pigs start to show up! The students decided that the main problem of this book is that his room is too messy, but there were several smaller problems as well. Each of the smaller problems happen because of the main problem. His basketball gets squished by one of the pigs, his baseball cards get chewed up, and his mom gets upset. The class felt that the solution was pretty simple. Wendell needed to clean up that pigsty!

While both of these stories have problems, they are presented very differently in the way they are written. For the rest of the week, we will investigate other stories with problems and how those problems are solved. What stories do you know of that have a problem and a solution?

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