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Saturday, November 2, 2013

"The Tell-Tale Heart" - Analyzing Plot (Updated 11/3)

As much as I love to entertain my students, I always struggle with a way to make plot analysis interesting (although I can never be too serious no matter how hard I try). This is a tested skill that my students generally struggle with, but I know that I have to capture their attention in some way. My solution: lots and lots of graphics! 

I ran across a plot analysis handout  online that I used as a model for taking Cornell notes. As an AVID school and AVID classroom/site team member/mentor, this is a requirement for my AVID students (and the rest just have to suffer). We have not worked on this skill in some time, and the kids are due for a refresher. 

For the presentation, I began by adding animated gifs. Until this summer, I did not realize I could even place these in a presentation, but they save and insert like any old picture. You can search for just about anything and add "+ gif". They make relatively dry material a bit more light-hearted. 

I also added a teacher character to my presentations as I often do. This time, I used DoppelMe to create my mini-me. DoppelMe is also good for students to use to create Edmodo avatars. Rather than setting up an account, I created my character and then used the Windows Snipping Tool to copy and save the image.

I have also used a lot of graphics to guide the note-taking. I could have typed up all the notes for the kids to copy. Instead, I am using the pictures to help them identify the pieces. This way, they are still working. They will add those thoughts to their notes as we discuss them. 

We will see how everything goes Monday. If I get a couple of laughs and quite a few groans, I know that I have done well. 


Update: Stop the presses! Another blogging teacher posted an entry about an app called Tellagami. It's cute, it's fun, and I'm playing! My apologies to my mini-me, but my DoppelMe had to go. My Gami is now posted on slide 3. The more of these I can make, the more I won't have to speak. 

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