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.
With just a little knowledge of Google Sites, I created a digital novel study for Little House in the Big Woods. If I can do it, you can too!
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.
Google Sites Modernize Teaching and Learning
With Google Sites, it’s easy to direct learning. In addition to novel studies, you can create independent learning modules, webquests, PBLs, and eBooks. Sites provide a great platform to supplement learning, organize research, present homework, and even flip your classroom. What are you waiting for? Time to get started on a Google Site today!