Students responding to books


Uploaded Flickr on 04102007 by lynxhoney

At this time of year teachers can start to become a bit more tired a bit more jaded. They are coming into the final part of the school year and are getting ready to write reports. I have been lucky as student work in the past two weeks has really energised me.

I have been working with another teacher to make podcasts of some radio interviews that the year 8 students have prepared. In their groups, and after they had read their literature circle books, the boys each created character profile for a character from their books and one for an interviewer. Each group then wrote an interview script. The interviews were recorded and then everything put together using audacity. The boys were taught how to get the most out of this piece of software, adding music and other sound effect as well as how to alter their own voices. They have been having a lot of fun, the scripts are great and the interviews are starting to really take shape.

The second lot of great work comes from boys who have been working on book trailers. A couple of boys put together some really well thought out stills, sound and teaxt to create some 30-40 second trailers. One of the boys likes to call his a “book teaser”. Today I was given a DVD for a trailer to Nemesis: Into the shadows. The two boys who worked on this used a digital video camera to enact some sections of the book, put together a great musical background and added some poignant text and dialogue. They used Audacity for the sound and Ulead VideoStudio for the rest. This was much more complex than the earlier trailers and was just over a minute long. It held the year 8 class we showed it to spellbound and Daniel recieved a round of spontaneous applause when it ended.

In both these types of presentations the student showed that they had undersood the books they were reading. They had all analysed what they had read and then showed that they had evaluated them so that they could construct new situations, extrapolate on what might happen at another time and find sound and or music to enhance the story and its themes.

The literature circle class students proved that they had understood settings in their books and he characters in the books enough to feel that they could “become” the characters for the purpose of the interviews. The book trailers had to give enough of a glimpse of the novels so as to make others want to read them. It was all very exciting and I had done none of it, but just helped out when asked.

I can’t wait to show/play them in the library.


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