In this activity, learners use creative online applications to exhibit their understanding of a text they’ve been studying. We’ve used the software below to help learners understand a range of texts from Shakespeare to Jane Austen to Philip Pullman and many others.
Why not… Ask learners to brainstorm on www.wordle.com all the words that come to mind when they think of the text.
Introduce learners to www.prezi.com it’s free to set up an account and you can either set up one for the school or have learners set up their own. Explain to them that they are going to create a Prezi presentation to outlining their understanding of the text. Here’s a great one on Macbeth http://virtuallearning.ca/index.php/work/culminating-assignment-for-macbeth/. Explain to them that before they start they will need to plan and collect the information, videos etc. that they want to use in their presentation. Once they’ve logged in, learners will be offered a tutorial. If they haven’t used Prezi before they should click on ‘Show me how’. They will need to add at least 6 items before they are allowed to organise their presentation but explain to them that they will probably need a lot more than this to do the text (and their understanding of it!) justice.
Why not… ask learners to create their own stories and stories inspired by texts they’ve read using www.dvolver.com.
Allow several lessons for them to add content to their presentation. They play their presentation and return to edit it as many times as they like.
Why not… ask younger learners, to recreate a short scene from the book using www.storybird.com.
Ask volunteers to present their Prezi to the class.
Why not… Use www.twitter.com to role-play characters from the play or book. Examples for Macbeth might be #mactwitter x2x2 T&T fire burn+cldrn bbl.
#mactwitter@hecate try www.newtfrog.com 4 gd recipe
Unless they work in pairs or groups, learners will need a computer each. However, there is no reason at all that the bulk of the presentation (especially after they’ve got the hang of Prezi) couldn’t be done as homework. Study notes may be useful for all learners, but especially lower ability learners.
This will appeal to learners that are not overly fond of writing essays. Having said that, it also encourages very academic learners to be more creative, thus enabling them to ‘think outside the box’ and to express themselves freely.
Also good for…
Geography, history, science…. Almost any subject!