Digital novel studies give kids audio-visual experiences that paper and pencil just can’t provide. Take your students on a five-minute virtual field trip. Show a photo to illustrate a concept. Let them hear the sound an animal makes. Now, you can deepen and enrich your students’ novel experience with a click of a finger. Kids love the sensory smorgasbord of videos, photos, and sound clips.
Organizing Digital Novel Studies
Before I began my website, an organizational scheme was needed. Did I want one page for each chapter? What questions, vocabulary, and/or other literary skills did I want them to explore? I decided to include guiding questions, figurative language, vocabulary, and extensions on each chapter page.
In the extensions, I linked videos that would give kids a better look at pioneer life. But I wanted them to see more. Therefore, for each chapter, I added a visual dictionary.
When I was in school, the teacher always said, “Look it up in the dictionary.” But trying to interpret the definitions was tough. Often I didn’t really understand the word any better. A visual dictionary is different. Kids can actually see what the word means.
You can take a peek at the entire first chapter here.
Using Digital Novel Studies
Flexible Instruction Options
This format worked beautifully in my classroom. Depending on the day – or the group – delivery varied. For example, if I wanted kids to work in small groups, they could access the material on their Chromebooks and have a nice chat. When I thought they needed more guidance, I displayed the website and we discussed as a class.
The Paperless Classroom
As time went on, I realized that everything could be done online. When I inserted jpegs of student sheets into the background of Google Slides, kids could respond on their Chromebooks.
As a TpT seller, I know teachers like flexibility, so I included links to both printable pdfs and paperless Google Slides in a separate website for the teacher.
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