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Example of a Parallel Story

Updated: May 26

Let’s create a parallel story for a book from a popular children’s book series: 🐚 There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Shell.

In this story, the old lady builds a sandcastle by swallowing seven items needed to build a sandcastle (e.g. sand, bucket), as well as beach related items (e.g. seagull, crab).

1️⃣ In order to create a parallel story with a similar plot line, the student is asked to think of a character and something they would like to build.

2️⃣ Then, the student is asked what items they need to build it and things that may be related in order to generate a list of seven things that the character will eat.

You can utilize a graphic organizer to plot out the elements.

3️⃣ Then have the student tell you the parallel story using the graphic organizer (as needed) while you write it down and prompt (as needed).

4️⃣ Review the original story (e.g. The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Shell) to incorporate target vocabulary, add missing information, add a similar rhyme scheme, and/or add more detail to incomplete ideas.


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