Creating A Collective Through Reading A Novel (Or Any Text), Using Social Media, Blogging, and the Storify App
1 Selecting The Text
Teacher selects and assigns the reading, either to be done in class or at home. Additionally, if it is a longer piece, the teacher creates a reading and tweeting schedule with due dates for students to follow for the length of this project.
If students are choosing their own texts, teacher can also put out guidelines and criteria to be used as students research and selct text for the project.
2 Setting Focus- Essential Questions - The Lens
Teacher comes up with 4-6 essential, overarching questions (depending on length of text) that will become the focus and purpose for the reading assignment. For example, if students are reading a novel, there will be six questions that keep students focused on the structure of the text, characters, conflict, themes, and author'r craft of the novel.
Create bookmarks with the assigned essential questions printed on them and hand them out to students so they are in front of students as they read. Questions will be labeled Q1, Q2, etc.
3 Weebly Site Creation
The teacher will create a teacher account on Weebly and then create individual student accounts for students that will link directly to the teacher Weebly account.
Teacher helps students to create their own free Weebly accounts by going to www.weebly.com and following the instruction for creating accounts.
Teacher will then assist students in setting up their Weebly sites by walking them through how to set up a Welcome or Home page and also a blog page. Teacher will show students how to access the various themes and styles for their blogs, encouraging them to create a site that reflects their personality, preferences, and interests. Teacher will show students how to add/choose images to add visual appeal to their sites.
Each week students are assigned to write one blog post that addresses that week's reading- in particular, addressing the assigned essential questions.
Students are also assigned to read and give feedback on the websites of two of their peers each week.
4 Setting up the Twibe
Teacher will show students how to create a Twitter account and assist them in creating their own if they don't have one already. Teacher will go over social media netiquette, and ask that the Twitter account only be used for the purposes of school. Students will make sure their Twitter accounts are public, and tweets are not protected (for the purposes of this project)
Students will find and follow each other on Twitter
Teacher (maybe with help of class) will create a class hashtag (#) that students will add to the end of all of their tweets about the text so that the tweets will be easy to find.
Teacher will assign students the task of sending out a minimum number of tweets (4?) per week in regard to their insignts, observations, questions, connections, aha moments, etc, and as they pertain to the assigned essential questions. When students are addressing one of the questions they will begin their tweet with A( question #). For example, a student tweeting in regard to Q1 will begin the tweet with A1.
Teachers will also assist students in setting up a Tweetdeck from www.tweetdeck.com. Teachers will assist students in setting up a column that will allow them to filter their Twitter feed for the class hashtag. This can make viewing the tweets and following the hashtag easier.
As students read, blog and tweet, they can respond to each other's tweets, giving each other feedback, answering each other's questions, and taking the conversation of the text to a deeper, richer level using social media.
5 Final Storify Project
Teacher will assist students in setting up an account on Storify at www.storify.com.
Teacher will also teach students how to install the Storify extension from the Chrome store, which will allow students to select tweets and put them directly into Storify.
The assignment is for students to locate all of the tweets by their peers, using the class hashtag (either on Twitter or Tweetdeck) and to peruse them, selecting a minimum of four tweets for each of the six essential questions that, together, along with their own commentary about each tweet, will ultimately answer each of the six questions. Students will be required to also add images to their Storify, and to save it as a slide show to embed on their Weebly blogs.
Most completed Storify slideshows will contain a minimum of 70 slides.