PART A: Global Project Design Essentials

Project Name
A "Novel" Experience
Curriculum Idea and Alignment
Reading and Language Arts
Guiding Question and Project Aims
How can you connect conflicts and problems from a classic novel (Where the Red Fern Grows) to current issues in your personal life today? How are these problems still relevant? How can you connect with others using the novel?
Prerequisites and Skill Level
Digital Literacy: Edmodo and IPad use
Digital Citizenship: Etiquette and respect
Standards Alignment

R6.2.1 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

R6.3.1 Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution

R6.6.1 Explain and determine how author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.

Student level/age
This project is appropriate for any grade 5/6
Focus Questions
1. How does the main character compare to you?
2. How does the main character change in the novel.
3. How does the time era impact the story and conflicts in the novel?
4. How does the theme of the novel change throughout the novel?
Working Mode: Individual and Team Structure
Groups were set up randomly between 2 houses and 5 classes in the same grade level to offer opportunities for students to collaborate even when they are not in the same house.
Required inputs
Students will handshake in their groups through the chat group. They will collaborate in their discussions on the prompt presented. Each student will complete a video clip of their final connection made to the book which will be shared with other classes.
Optional inputs

Required outcomes and Learning Experiences
Students will be expected to:
1. Respond to prompts completely, connecting ideas to the novel.
2. Reply to responses from others in their group using the rubric as a criteria for appropriate and complete response.
3. Collaborate in a group vocabulary activity demonstrating their understanding of the content through 3 approaches (or any other approved approach). The three activities included a skit, a rap or a comic strip. This will be recorded and uploaded to Edmodo.
Optional outcomes
There may be variables between different staff members and their understanding of technology that may impact the outcomes.
This project can take place at any time throughout the year but it needs to be done at a time when a novel is being read.
Rubric based assessment on response to prompt as well as response to others in the group.
Evaluation will be based on a discussion rubric handed out to students prior to starting this project.

PART B: Seven Steps Design Principles and Teaching Strategies

  • Edmodo - students are given a code to join Edmodo between the two "houses".
  • IPads - Facetime to connect classes
  • Flipcams - share videos and upload to Edmodo
• Students will communicate and discuss prompts in Edmodo. Staff involved will be able to monitor discussions in Edmodo.
• Discussions between students/teachers in Edmodo will be asynchronous. Students were able to go home and continue their discussion. Synchronous discussions occurred between classes when holding discussions and lessons about being a digital citizen. Lessons were held on proper netiquette and appropriate discussion. A separate chat room was set up in Edmodo for students to have appropriate off topic discussions within the guidelines.
Students were allowed to set up avatars for their personal profiles. Discussion and guidelines were given as to appropriate images. The district policy was also brought to students attention about what can be displayed. Avatars were given in the program. Students could select creative commons or photos that they have taken. Students were able to add a quote and add their learning style which was helpful to the teachers.
Contribution and Collaboration
Students were expected to respond weekly to the prompt as well as to another student's entry. Guidelines were discussed in what were effective prompts. The purpose of the responses were to encourage deeper understanding and critical thinking skills.
Students had a choice in determining the type of approach they wanted their group to use when demonstrating understand of vocabulary terms. Groups needed to present a skit, a rap or a comic strip that will be recorded and uploaded to Edmodo for all students to see.
Rubrics were set up for evaluating responses on Edmodo. Vocabulary groups will not be evaluated because these will be part of the learning and sharing experience. The final product will be a Voicethread discussion and presentation. Students will discuss and share how the problems that Billy faced 20 years ago are still relevant today in their lives.
The celebration will involve spending time watching each others videos and commenting on the successes they had with the project.