Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Storybird Character Analysis

We did a project with Storybird.com where students did a character analysis from the book Reservation Blues. To show their understanding of character motivations, students created an original scene involving the character. They needed to use literary devices similar to those in the book and reveal something new about the character.

A few students recorded their storybirds. Here are a few examples of students who met all of the requirements:

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This was a really fun project, and students at all levels enjoyed it. Plus, the teacher accounts at Storybird make it really easy.

Social Justice Research Project Graphic Novels

For this unit on Social Justice, groups of students in my Freshmen English classes hand drew graphic novels in which they presented thier research by creating a story of a person who has suffered some form of prejudice or stereotyping in their lives. In each story they focused on how these characters could be rebranded as heroes.

We then scanned the drawings, inserted them in a powerpoint, published as a pdf, and uploaded to issuu.com for the final presentation. See all of them at the project blog.

Raisin in the Sun Character Analysis

As a form of literature analysis, my American Literature class created graphic novels using Make Belief Comix and Issuu. In the project they included thoughts from the characters that were not represented in the play itself as well as a prediction of where the characters would end up ten years later--after the civil right movement and the reactionary rise in incarceration. All graphic novels can be seen in this blog.

This worked, but was not perfect. I think the project was confusing as students were unclear about how to represent what the characters would be thinking about outside of the scenes that were happening in the play itself.

If I were to do it again, I would have students jump into the site early on to get used to how it works. Maybe I would have them simply represent what was happening in a scene they enjoyed and then send the slides they create to my evernote account just as a way to monitor comprehension while we are reading.

Then, the final project could be more focused on creating a well developed graphic novel scene to represent their character analysis. I would probably leave it more open as to where they place the scene. Could be a deleted scene from the book, or it could be a scene set in the future. Regardless, they would need to reflect on one character, and then show how the events in the book shaped their life in some way. This is where the real analysis could shine through.

Glogster Gender Studies Research Project

For this project, my Freshmen English students created a magazine cover that incorporated their understanding and research of gender studies. We used Glogster to create and display them. You can see the full sized versions with the drop down menu from the Glogster Logo. The top one incorporated research on Disney's use of gender bias, and the bottom one reflects research on the issues surrounding women fighting on the front lines.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Research News Article via Blog

I was invited to participate on Youth Voices, a student blogging site created by the National Writing Project in New York, and excitedly created a project for my Media Studies classes.

Students created a list of questions they were interested in, researched this topic from two sources from the internet, and created a News Article to present their information. Then, they uploaded their work as a blog discussion.

Paul Allison, the director for the site, liked the project, and allowed me to created a Mission from it for other teachers to use. All student's work from the project is featured and linked on the left side of the page.