Compelling Question: How can I use blogs to increase student engagement and facilitate analysis of characters in To Kill a Mockingbird? The Last Book in the Universe

How can students show their understanding of characterization in The Last Book in the Universe by using Toondoo and Glogster to create an online character poster?

Possible tools:
Movie Maker
Voice Thread
flip cameras

Unit: The Last Book in the Universe

Read Chapters 1-9 and complete characterization charts to gain understanding of how authors develop characters
Teach Static and Dynamic Characters; Flat and Round Characters

Group heterogeneously by current seating chart tables (5 characters per table- limit one character for each member of group to prevent overlap-Spaz, Ryter, Little Face, Billy Bizmo, Lotti Getts, Lanaya, Bean

Students will meet with common character groups to share notes, brainstorm ideas, respond to situations from novel from character's POV, etc. before creating Glogsters

As a culminating project, students will create a Glogster illustrating their analysis of their character. Work on while reading the novel.

Teach them ToonDoo and Glogster
Check Glogster for Animoto Ability- doesn't work
Photostory does but decided to limit technology to two components

  • character name
  • ToonDoo character
  • bio-poem
  • 2 visual symbols
  • video/Animoto
  • 2 elements from characterization chart
  • type of character (static/dynamic, flat/round)
  • character quote
  • appropriate Glogster elements (wallpaper, background, font, etc.)

Video Interview Questions
Before: what is characterization? what are different ways authors present characters?
During: What are you discovering about your character during this project?
How did creating the ToonDoo help you visualize your character?
What did you learn about your character from writing the biopoem to include on
your Glog?
After: What did you learn about your character through creating his/her Glog?

Written Report notes:
1. Lesson Rationale:

new literacies- tools/skills (gaming, social networking, video technologies, search engines, web pages, blogs, etc.
TPACK- new tools ToonDoo & Glogster, content characterization, pedagogy characterization charts, group discussions, whole class discussions, biopoem
literacy/learning theory- ?
new tool- ToonDoo & Glogster
student learning- characterization- gaining a deeper understanding of their assigned character through interacting with the text to incorporate the various aspects of characterization. Based on text; inferences;

2. Lesson implementation: describe lesson and steps of activity

3. Challenges & Successes:
Challenges: difficult to keep some students on task, students just guessing what a character looks like, despite repeated requests and examples of how to find textual evidence, some students worked on it at home and finished MUCH earlier than everyone else, ToonDoo sometimes has problems loading or working, some students felt limited by the ToonDoo features to accurately portray their character, students who haven't really read the novel wanting to just create a "surface" Glog for their character, students creating a Glog based on their understanding of their character with an isolated incident from the novel, numerous occasions students saved Glogs but they weren't there the next day? Students who refused to read the project sheet and asked over and over what they needed to put in their Glog.
Successes: students highly engaged in creating ToonDoo character and Glog poster, eventually delved deeper into the text, improvements on identifying inferences about characters, one student said, "I love this. Learning something new that we've never done before. I'm so sick of doing PowerPoints. Every teacher wants to give us a PowerPoint and now it's boring." End results from students who truly read and worked hard on understanding their characters were fabulous.