Using Technology to Enhance Lessons

Digital Drafts created by Carly Caneparo Iseman

The lesson summaries below both use technology to create a digital learning experience for students and teachers alike.

Creating Dialogue and Stories Using the Google Story Builder App

Focus Question: how do authors use dialogue for characterization?


Learning Targets:

  • I can create fictional dialogue between characters

  • I can present my dialogue to peers for reflections and review

  • I can utilize technology to enhance my learning experience and presentation of work to others


Materials:
  • Computers (1 per group)
  • Guided reading books
  • Mixed grouping chart (3 students per group)

Lesson Summary:

The teacher will begin the lesson by asking students what they know about dialogue. Students can turn and talk with their partner before a whole class share out of ideas. Following a quick discussion about dialogue, choose a section of a novel that all students are familiar with to analyze (could be from guided reading books, articles, trade books, etc.). Read aloud some dialogue and ask the students what the dialogue reveals about the character's personality. After this quick whole class activity, the class will move towards talking about characterization. There are two types of characterization (information about characterization). Be sure to touch upon the main points of characterization. Students will then move onto authoring fictional dialogue between characters of their choice using the Google Story Builder App Website. The dialogue should have at least


Through the dialogue created on this platform, peers will be able to analyze the traits of characters based on what the characters do/say. When students have completed their dialogue sequence, the teacher will create a google form (similar to this one) for students to submit their "skits" to the teacher. This will create an organized spreadsheet of all the links needed to present the students work. It will also give teachers a quick snapshot to collect formative assessment data to see if learning targets are met. When it comes time for groups to present their digital dialogue, it will be helpful to have a form set up for audience members to critique the presentation. The audience members will analyze the presenting groups work using a form similar to this one. The submission spreadsheet can be shared between the students so they can see the feedback from their peers.


Interdisciplinary Connections (how to incorporate this lesson in different subject areas:

  • ELA: novel study, skill study - create fictional dialogue
  • Social Studies: analyze primary sources about historical figures, create a dialogue about a historical event
  • Science: a tool for project publication - students can create a digital discussion about vocabulary words to display mastery of subject matter
  • Arts: can be used in drama to analyze tone (authors have the option to change the background music in their published story)


Differentiation:
  • Leveled grouping - lower level groups have support of teacher sitting in on the brainstorm process
  • Google Talk to Text - Students that are unable to write their stories can draft in a google doc using the talk to text feature - whatever they say will be typed into a google doc. Students can then copy and paste the text in their story builder app
  • Discussion Board Questions - using the digital classroom, students can post questions that the teacher and/or peers can help to answer


Basic Standards Addressed:

RL.3 - analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact

RL.6 - analyze how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text

W.3 - write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details and well-structured event sequences.

W.6 - use technology, including the internet, to produce and publish writing.

SL.2 - analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under the study

SL.5 - include multimedia components and visual displays in presentations to clarify claims and findings and emphasize salient points


ISTE Standards Addressed:

1 a, b - Creativity and Innovation

2 a, b, d - Communication & Collaboration

3 a, b - Research and Information Fluency

4 b - Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, Decision Making

5 a, b, c, d - Digital Citizenship

6 a, b, d - Technology Operations and Concepts


Support Synopsis:

The Google Story Builder App is a fun, interactive way for students to create their own dialogue based scenes. The story builder app is designed to look like different characters collaborating on the same google doc. Students can choose the character names, write what they want each character to say, and add as many interactions as they like. In addition, they can choose the background music for their published stories, which sets the tone for the scene. This app gives students a creative outlet for a simple assignment. They can customize their work using this digital platform in a way that cannot be accomplished if creating a hardcopy. The use of music, and the video playback of their script provides a learning experience for viewers so that they can interpret the interactions between the characters.


To use this technology effectively, students should be grouped (2-3 students) and have one common computer to work on in the group. They will need to brainstorm fun and interesting interactions between characters in order to make readers believe the characters are a certain way. Students do not need a google account to create the story, however, they should be familiar with google tools (forms, and docs) since the platform is based off the idea of collaborating on a google doc and because students have to fill out forms to submit their work and analyze their peers creations. It would be helpful to have a digital classroom (edmodo, google classroom) to deliver instructions and important links to students. Please view this tutorial on using Google Story Builder to quickly familiarize yourself with the platform.

google story builder

Facilitating Discussions and Debates on a Digital Platform: Tricider

Focus Question: Should students be required to wear a school uniform? (or any other debatable question about any subject area. Can also used to evaluate essential questions for any unit/subject area)


Learning Targets:

  • I can create an opinion based off a question prompt
  • I can support my opinion with facts, reasons, examples
  • I can discuss ideas and theories from other participants and indicate agreement and/or counterarguments


Materials:

  • Computers (one per student)
  • Essential Question (or guiding question to facilitate the online discussion)
  • Tricider


Lesson Summary:

Students will begin the lesson with a proposed debatable/researchable question from our Word Generation topic of the week. Students have been working with the topic in all subject areas for the week, with a focus on specific tiered vocabulary words. The teacher will facilitate a quick review of best practices when debating a topic - review sentence starters (accountable talk), parts of a debate (opinion, argument, evidence, counter argument, rebuttal). After this, the teacher will provide a quick introduction to Tricider, and explain how to use the platform. The teacher/facilitator will have the question created prior to the beginning of the lesson and will share the link to the webpage in their digital classroom or through email (click here to see sample about school uniforms). Using this website, students will be able to share their ideas and opinions about a topic virtually with classmates and teachers. Students will use the following posting guidelines to complete the virtual discussion:


  • Must use all five tiered vocabulary words of the week. They can all be used in 1 post, or they can be used throughout all posts
  • Must submit at least one idea with a description and/or picture (by clicking the green "Add Idea" button) - must indicate your name to receive credit
  • Must add at least 1 pro and at least 1 con to a peers post - with evidence and a link to a credible source


During the last 5-10 minutes of class time, pull the website up on the smartboard to discuss some key points and noticing from the submissions. If needed, give students extra time at home to complete the assignment. If all guidelines are met, ask students to share one original idea they provided AND one idea they liked from a peer aloud - this will create a linguistic discussion based off the digital collaboration.


Interdisciplinary Connections (how to incorporate this lesson in different subject areas:

  • Post essential questions for any subject area and make the page live for the duration of the unit of study. Students can post their ideas/opinions and reactions to their peers over the course of the unit. The teacher can create posting guidelines for student accountability
  • Social Studies: Great for discussion on current events, debates related to unit of study
  • ELA: Share ideas for writing topics, post a question related to reading and have students submit answers on this platform
  • Science: post lab question - students submit their findings and theories on this platform
  • Math: use as a way for students to submit project proposals - facilitator can go in and add pros/cons to their submission and suggestions


Differentiation:

  • Different questions can be created for different groups of students
  • Posting guidelines can be adjusted to scaffold submissions (change the minimum number of submissions, share a list of digital resources to guide submissions, etc.)
  • Google Talk to Text - Students that are unable to write their stories can draft in a google doc using the talk to text feature - whatever they say will be typed into a google doc. Students can then copy and paste the text in their story builder app
  • Digital classroom can be used as a Q&A forum to assist with submission questions and provide guidance
  • A document with common sentence starters and transitional words for sharing ideas can be provided to students that need assistance


Basic Standards Addressed:

RI.1 - Cit several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

RI. 8 - Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims.

RI.9 - Analyze how two or more authors writing about the same topic shape their presentations of key information by emphasizing different evidence or advancing different interpretations of facts.

W.1 - Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

W.4 - Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purposes, and audience.

W.6 - use technology, including the internet, to produce and publish writing.

W.8 - Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.

SL.1 - Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade appropriate topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

SL.2 - analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under the study.

L.1 - Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.


ISTE Standards Addressed:

1 a, c, d - Creativity and Innovation

2 a, b, c, d - Communication & Collaboration

3 a, b, c, d - Research and Information Fluency

4 a, b, c, d - Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, Decision Making

5 a, b, c, d - Digital Citizenship

6 a, b, d - Technology Operations and Concepts


Support Synopsis:

Tricider is an online collaborative tool that allows multiple users to share their ideas and/or opinion digitally and interactively. Teachers can type in a question that they would like their students to explore. Once the question is submitted, the facilitator can share the access link with the group. The user that created the question can customize the page where responses will be collected. They can create a deadline for posting by choosing the amount of days students have to submit their work. The option for time adjustment is useful for discussing essential questions that are meant to be addressed over the course of a unit, or for a quick check in to discuss a learning target for a day.


When students access the question using the shared link, they can click "Add Idea" to add their opinion on the topic and their name. Once ideas are added, more options are available for participants to engage with one another. Students can click on an idea submitted by someone else and add a pro or con to that idea. This option is a great way for peer evaluation and feedback. In addition, students can vote on an idea - which serves as data for an overview of student's opinions.


It would be helpful to have a digital classroom (edmodo, google classroom, schoology, etc.) to post the link to the debate platform. In addition, it would be helpful to provide posting guidelines (include a link to a source, formal written post, etc.). You do not need an account with the website to access the platform, however, here are screenshot directions on registering for the website and developing your first post.

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tricider - online voting and decision making
How can you use Tricider?

Complete this form to submit other ways Tricider can be used in the classroom!