The blogging has been tremendous this week! Students have been discussing The Things They Carried via cyberspace at a breakneck rate. This style of book discussion is the best I have seen in any of my time as a classroom teacher. Those shy voices in the classroom are strong online. The commentary back and forth has truly grown in depth and insight over the last couple of weeks. They seem to thrive on the fact that I blog and respond to their posts. I had a student today tell me “This is so much better than the journals we did last year. We just turned those in at the end of the 9 weeks and you knew nobody read them.” They were just grades not opportunities for authentic discussion.
I also modeled a Flickr characterization project today. I picked 2 characters from the novel and chose quotes that revealed characterization. I then chose two objects that I thought visually represented what I wanted to say about the characters and photographed them. I used the Piknik program to edit the photos and add the quotes. The students really liked the idea that they could express characterization creatively and I will follow this up with a character analysis essay where they can expound on their ideas and develop them further.