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Video Biographies and Character Scrapbooks We don’t have students write biographies or complete character analyses because they will be doing this for a living, but rather to help them learn to think critically, analyze information, and communicate effectively through storytelling. Rather than completing another worksheet or writing another 5 paragraph essay, give student work more authenticity (and meaning) by connecting their work to products they see in the world around them. Many students have seen documentaries on television. Asking students to take information and transform it into a compelling story for a video biography script lets them “play” with words and gives them insight into how authors choose words to communicate viewpoint. This improves student motivation to write and information sophistication. Instead of assigning a worksheet to analyze character traits, have students create a scrapbook for this person. Many kids today have parents who have been documenting their lives with scrapbooks. What students choose to put in the scrapbooks will indicate their knowledge about the character and their actions. Digital scrapbooking lets students collect images and explore the use of visuals to tell a story without the headache of scissors, glue, and construction paper. In addition to being less messy, digital scrapbooking promotes valuable organization and management skills. These digital collections also make it easier for teachers to drop into the process, check in on student learning, and facilitate high-level thinking. Digital Portfolio Development Identifying important information by collecting and publishing scrapbooks builds skills students can apply to their own work in a digital learning portfolio. A learning portfolio is a collection of student performances over time. Today’s technology tools make it easy to include performances as attachments, images, videos, text, and audio. By asking students to “collect and reflect” on their learning, you celebrate their success, help students see progress, and build their metacognitive skills. Building a portfolio also provides students an authentic opportunity to practice reading and writing without focusing on rote drills. Digital portfolios can be a collection of links to student work posted online. A digital portfolio can also be a comprehensive multimedia presentation that showcases learning over time. Regardless of the format, digital portfolios encourage students to start thinking about and reflecting on their learning. 17

Profile for Literacy Special Interest

Literacyspecialinterest number2  

Literacyspecialinterest number2  

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