One new tool I would like to use is Blogger for the summer reading assignment or any other novel. See the assignment below (in red). Students would also be able to make comments on each other's blogs.
SUMMER READING BOOK PROJECT
For this activity you will be creating a “webpage” for a major character from your book. Pick a major character from your book. Then pretend YOU are the character. Create a webpage blog for your character. Use Google Blogger or another other free blogging website to create your webpage.
Include the following requirements to demonstrate your understanding of the text.
****Remember: Pretend you are the character**** Be creative!
______Web address that includes the title of the novel.
______ “About Me” section: Describe the character. What do I look like?
_____ “What’s happening?/ Events/What’s on my mind?” section: This section is where you will blog. A blog is like an online journal where you share your thoughts about what is going on in your own life or around the world. A blog allows others to see what’s going on in your mind. For this section, write a blog that you think the character would write. Possibilities: topics your character cares about, major events that happen to the character, problems/challenges the character has to solve. Make sure to use text evidence.
______ “Words of Wisdom” section: You will describe the overall theme of the book in this section. Theme is the main point of the entire story. What life lesson does the character learn by the end of the story? What life lesson can your character share with others? Do not use “The theme of this story is…”
______ “Photos” section: Find words/images that represent the important details of the character and story.
_____ Add one EXTRA section of your choice/details that make your webpage personal and unique. Some examples, but not limited to: Favorite recipe with picture, Favorite musical group with link, favorite quotes, link to another blog or website, Question and Answer section- where people write in to ask you as your character for advice, travel advice/recommendations, favorite charity description and link for donation
_____ Make sure to write in 1st person p.o.v. where it is applicable. EX: I can’t believe I’m grounded again!!!
______Overall look of the website, (borders, layout and design, colors, photos, quotes etc.) correct spelling and correct capitalization
______ Creativity and Visuals
______ Keep track of your sources – we will use that source list to create a NOODLE TOOLS document
Another tool I could start using is Today's Meet. This would be a great way to get immediate feedback on whatever topics we are focusing on- theme, characterization, predictions, vocab., etc... This would also allow students who may not be as vocal a place to reveal their thoughts without the fear of being harshly judged (I'm thinking of my very shy students). I've included a sample of a warm up question I could present to kids at the beginning of class as a follow up to a class discussion.