Category Archives: Disciplinary Literacies

Teen Tech Week 2017

ttw17The Young Adult Library Services Association sponsors Teen Tech Week to draw attention to the importance and availability of various technologies in libraries. Besides offering technologies such as audiobooks, DVDs, electronic games, computers with Internet access, and more, libraries also have librarians with expertise in using many of these resources effectively. This year, Teen Tech Week (March 5-11) celebrates the teen-selected theme: “Be the Source of Change.” The 2017 theme encourages teens to take advantage of all the great digital resources offered through the library to make a positive change in their life and community. Here are resources to support that change:

Teens as Change Agents
Books featuring teens as change agents call attention to young people who are lobbying for change in their schools, communities, and the larger world. Tune in to this podcast episode to hear about teens who work for change by participating in political campaigns, defying social hierarchies, and even going to war.

Making Memories: An End-of-Year Digital Scrapbook
Students reflect on their school year, creating a digital scrapbook consisting of images and text to present to their school community.

Exploring Plagiarism, Copyright, and Paraphrasing
Students investigate issues of plagiarism, fair use, and paraphrasing using KWL charts, discussion, and practice.

Copyright Law: From Digital Reprints to Downloads
Students investigate how and why copyright law has changed over time, and apply this information to recent copyright issues, creating persuasive arguments based on the perspective of a particular group.

Copyright Infringement or Not? The Debate over Downloading Music
This lesson takes advantage of students’ interest in music and audio sharing. Students investigate multiple perspectives in the music downloading debate and develop a persuasive argument for a classroom debate.

Digital Reflections: Expressing Understanding of Content Through Photography
Striking images can leave lasting impressions on viewers. In this lesson, students make text–self–world connections to a nature- or science-related topic as they collaboratively design a multimedia presentation.

How will you recognize Teen Tech Week?

The 100th Day of School

100The 100th day of school is celebrated in schools around the country, usually near the month of February. The 100th Day of School is usually filled with activities, crafts, and math exercises based on the number 100. Here’s an idea for combining the school celebration with history.

Invite students to investigate what life was like 100 years ago. Using multiple sources, have students read and talk about the clothing that was worn during that time, who was President (or Prime Minister, King, or Queen), what inventions weren’t around then (computers and television, mobile devices, hoverboards, video games, etc), how many states were in the United States at that time (and what the US flag looked like then). Ask the students to find and share other surprising differences between now and 100 years ago. They can record their discoveries using a Venn Diagram.

To take this idea a step further, engage students in researching various aspects of a setting’s decade.  Then using the information they have gathered, students communicate their findings via a presentation tool. Through the sharing of their findings, all students gain an understanding of the historical decades. This understanding can be transferred to historical novels or other studies of history. After all students have presented, students will write a paragraph explaining which decade they would have like to have experienced firsthand.

How do you celebrate the 100th Day of School?

Using Advertisements in the Classroom

macOn this day in 1984, the “1984” commercial launched Apple’s Macintosh personal computer in the United States. The 45-second ad, which aired during a break in the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII, was declared the best ad of the last 50 years in 1995. Directed by Alien and Blade Runner director Ridley Scott, the advertisement cost $1.6 million to produce and was aired only once. How can you use advertisements in the classroom?

Begin by checking out one of these lesson plans from ReadWriteThink.org:

After finishing one or more of the lessons on advertising above, have students create original advertisements. Begin by having students review the advertising techniques they’ve studied (propaganda, advertising fallacies). Next, have students identify a subject for their ad, such as a favorite television show, album, or product; an upcoming event; or a political figure. Then, ask small groups to create advertisements designed to persuade others to use a product, hold a viewpoint, or participate in an activity.

How else can you use advertisements in the classroom?

ReadWriteThink.org Rewind: June

With the arrival of July, let’s take a look at what resources folks used the most on ReadWriteThink.org in June.

Our student interactive tools and mobile apps have been hot this summer! Here’s how people have been using them:

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How did you use ReadWriteThink.org in June? What are your plans for July?

rewind

ReadWriteThink.org Rewind: May

rewindSince another month has come to an end, I thought I would take a look at what resources folks used the most on ReadWriteThink.org in May.

Timelines were hot this month! A huge percentage of users used the online tool or the mobile app. The Timeline tool allows students to create a graphical representation of an event or process by displaying items sequentially along a line, organized by time of day, date, or event and labeled with short or long descriptive text.

This summer, invite children into creating family timelines. Children can interview family members and make an illustrated timeline of the most important family events and memories.

Folks used the Printing Press in the last month as well. The interactive Printing Press is designed to assist students in creating newspapers, brochures, and flyers.

During the break from school, have children and teens continue writing. We know that children enjoy sharing their thoughts, ideas and opinions in talking with others. Encourage them to write these down and more to share in a neighborhood newspaper!

It’s no surprise that the Cube Creator was popular last month – it’s so versatile! The interactive Cube Creator offers four options:

  • Bio Cube: This option allows students to develop an outline of a person whose biography or autobiography they have just read; it can also be used before students write their own autobiography.
  • Mystery Cube: Use this option to help your students sort out the clues in their favorite mysteries or develop outlines for their own stories.
  • Story Cube: In this cube option, students can summarize the key elements in a story, including character, setting, conflict, resolution, and theme.
  • Create-Your-Own Cube: This version allows teachers and students to generate their own questions or topics. The saved file can then be shared with students to enter in their responses.

Using the Story Cube, invite children to invent a story starring superheroes who have summer super powers.

Another highly visited tool was the Letter Generator. The Letter Generator is a useful tool for students to learn the parts of a business or friendly letter and then compose and print letters for both styles of correspondence.

The summer is a great time to write letters to friends and familyInvite young adults to write letters to classmates, postcards from travels, and e-mails to family and friends.

Folks found the Resume Generator in May. This tool guides teens through the creation of a resume that can be saved and edited. Written and audio tips provide extra support.

It would great for students to use as they apply for summer jobs! This activity will help teens create a professional resume that effectively presents their skills and talents to future employers.

How did you use ReadWriteThink.org in May? What are your plans for June?