Friday, October 10, 2008

Exploring Books Together

Today my students and I had "Book Celebration Day." This is one of my favorite days each quarter because we spend the whole period talking about the books we read for our regular choice reading and whether others should read them. I have added a few things that have made this an even better day.

1. LibraryThing: My students and I are part of a class group, and we each post a review of our books before class. Then, as each of us is talking about our books, I project up the reviews. We can see how many stars the reader gives the book plus the overall average star rating of all LibraryThing users. When students are choosing their next novels, they can go back on and reread any reviews of novels that peaked their interests. It is a great way to collaborate even more with what we are reading.

2. Creative Technology: I also updated my suggestions for the creative responses to their novels. I added voice and video options as well as keeping more traditional models and creative writing ideas. I really want the students to explore with this assignment -- we do enough literary analysis as it is for all of our other assignments. Today I got a recording of a speech putting Napoleon from Animal Farm on trial, a musical and image collage about Paradise Lost, a Google Earth exploration of the airports from Fight Club plus a beautiful painting of a clock inspired by Clockwork Orange and a model of The Road.

My students and I now have a load of new books our classmates have told us we must read.

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