Our wonderful librarian, Sharon Swarner and one of our fabulous ELA teachers, Carin Schramm teamed up to create a wonderful iPad lesson using ScribblePress. They have graciously allowed me to post their ideas for you to use and adapt. Thanks, Sharon and Carin!
The students were to be responsible for 7 of the “Canterbury Tales”. In past years, the teachers have found that the students really struggle with the language and become disengaged quickly. Carin has in the past asked students to be responsible for one of the seven tales and share with the class. In this way the students still learn and hear about all 7 of the tales but only have to struggle with the text of one of them, allowing them time to really understand the tale. They then share out to their classmates. In the past she has had them modernize the tale to make it more relevant and understandable to their peers when presenting on their tale. They have created posters and hand-drawn their illustrations. This has worked well in the past in terms of the students understanding, but she hears complaints from those students who feel they are not “artistic”. The time spent on the hand-drawn illustrations takes away from her goal of having them read, understand, and modernize the tale; which is really her ultimate goal for this particular assignment.
This year she enlisted her librarian and the iPads for help. The two of them together came up with a wonderful plan for the students. Working in 7 groups, the students were lead to “read and understand; modernize and write; and to create” a tale based on one of the seven required tales. Using the worksheet provided, students were guided to think about the characters, theme, tone, and setting to create their modernized version.
Additionally, groups were required to create some kind of written assessment for their peers to complete based on their tale. After they completed their modernized version, all groups presented to the class. Then groups swapped assessments and completed one of the 7 assessments.
Carin said she was surprised at how much they had learned from one another. She said they knew much more than in past years. The students found doing the assignment and watching the presentations interesting. Something she had not heard in past years. Carin was happy to tell me that she found that students had put forth more effort than in years past. She also mentioned that she felt like students who have complained about the artistic barrier with this assignment were able to better focus on the main objective of understanding the tales. She will definitely do this again.
Take a look at the sample from her students.
This is a screenshot of one page of one of the group’s work:
If you are interested in the handouts please take a look: