F.E. Bellows Students Craft Authentic Fictional Stories

F.E. Bellows Elementary School students, who are learning how to craft fictional stories and develop characters as part of their English language arts classes, were treated to a special visit from Jenna Gavigan, a writer and an accomplished Broadway and television actress.

During the interactive workshops, Gavigan assisted the students in creating an authentic story by developing a list of character traits, settings and plots, which required their characters to resolve a conflict or accomplish a goal. Using examples from books they’ve read on their own and in class, the students learned about the important elements of storytelling and character development as they worked together toward a common goal.

"Understanding how stories are constructed and why characters act the way they do in a story is important for students to understand as they learn to write these stories themselves,” said William McKeon, the library media specialist at the school. “Jenna used her life experiences and career accomplishments as a tool to help our students understand the importance of character development in creating a story.”

As a conclusion to the lesson, Gavigan, who graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing, will provide the students with a book that contains the story they created together and ask them to illustrate it, which will further enhance their creativity and critical thinking skills.

Gavigan’s visit was generously sponsored by the PTSA.