What began as a project topic for a grant turned into a full-blown extension of learning about the conservation of honey bees at Garrison-Pilcher Elementary School. Students are benefitting from the hard work of Speech Language Pathologist Patricia Taylor who applied and received a grant from Middle South Georgia Soil and Water Conservation District. The grant structured a narrative writing strategy around a conservation effort – saving honey bees.
Taylor attended a national conference in which a writing strategy was taught involving the brain by using a pattern from which to structure narrative stories. The writing strategy uses an acronym: SWBST – Somebody, Wanted something, But…, So…, Then. Each narrative story follows this pattern so that the brain can easily organize the narrative---there is a problem written from Somebody’s perspective, this somebody Wants something, But (there’s always the problem), So (somebody remedies a solution) and Then (the problem is solved).
Three classes at Garrison-Pilcher participated in the project by incorporating research and use of the SWBST strategies in various writing activities.
Students also visited Sweet Grass Farms to see honey bees and their hives and learn more about the importance of having honey bees. Josh Beaver, farm manger, and Cleo, his well-behaved four-legged assistant, taught students the importance of preserving honey bees.
The students asked a lot of questions and learned a tremendous amount in the interactive environment with Beaver.
“The students are excited about saving the honeybees and about using SWBST to bring their narratives to life,” said Taylor. “The field trip to Sweet Grass gave the students a wealth of information and hands-on learning experiences, not to mention a new appreciation for the importance of honey bees to our existence.”
The next leg of the project is to plant a pesticide-free flower garden at Garrison-Pilcher that will attract honeybees and to encourage students to write narratives using the SWBST method of structuring their stories.