Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Photo Reader's Theater - A Fun Online Teaching Activity!

Teachers, how's that online instruction coming along? Do you wake up with that same excitement for teaching that you did before cover-19 took over our lives, and the news, and the supermarkets, and ... our classrooms? Or, if you're like me, is the task of trying to provide the best educational experience for your students on a completely different format starting to wear you down and squeeze some of the joy out of teaching. 

If so...READ ON!

The time is ripe for a fun activity that will allow your students to show their creativity and enjoy their classmates' creativity. I have an idea on how to make that happen for your students!

This week my daughter, (in-law.. but she's way too precious to officially add that to her name), who, by the way, is the most amazing elementary art teacher that exists ❤️, shared pictures of an art assignment in Facebook that she made for her students. When I saw the pictures I immediately started thinking about how I could use this with my students. 

On the right is a screenshot of her post from Facebook.

For the assignment, her students need to find a famous artwork, or one that they like, and recreate it in photo form using the materials they have at home.

Currently my Sp4/5 students are reading a book as an ecourse on Fluency Matter's website. They are reading Bananas, written by Carrie Toth. I grabbed my hard copy of the book and paged through it, looking at the illustrations and BINGO!...the idea of Distance Learning Photo Reader's Theater started to formulate in my mind.

What is Distance Learning Photo Reader's Theater? Whatever book you are reading with your students, ask them to recreate one of the illustrations that are in the book. I was careful to instruct them NOT to ask their friends to help, but they could have family members join in.

(Reminder: Don't post the illustrations from the book unless you have written expressed consent from Fluency Matters! I checked with Fluency Matters before publishing this post on my blog to make sure I could use the illustrations.)

The first photo I received is a recreation of an illustration from Bananas in which the younger brother is chasing after his older brother. The student's photo is of him chasing his older brother.

Other photos are rolling in this morning and, I have to say, this is making my day! I love that the students have the chance to do something super easy and creative and fun related to the text. This is exactly what both they and I needed after 3 1/2 weeks of online teaching.

Here are some other photos from today. This is from chapter 2 of Bananas

This next photo is from chapter 8 of Bananas. I like how well the dogs are cooperating in the student photos!

This last submission really hit it out of the PARK with the attention to details - the clothing articles and colors, the arm placement, the expressions, even the detail of the table and the background. BRAVO!

My Spanish 1 students are starting Fluency Matter's ecourse Brandon Brown quiere un perro today. That book has loads of illustrations that will be a snap for students to replicate such as the illustration shown below. Students love sharing pictures of their pets and this will give them that opportunity. If they don't have a dog, they use what they have available - a cat, a turtle, a stuffed animal - all of them are possibilities!  

If you live in an urban area, tell the students the pictures do NOT have to be outside. For example, they could replicate the illustration from Bananas (on the right) INSIDE their homes and it gives the parents a chance to get involved in the assignment too. If they don't have a younger sibling for the picture, use a teddy bear!

There are several ways the teacher can then use the photos after they receive them. (But Remember: You have to get the parents' permission to share the photos!)

1) Share them on your Learning Management System and let the students SIMPLY ENJOY the photos of their classmates!

As far as I'm concerned, that's as far as you need to go, but...if you want other ideas or your administration will want more than that, you could...

2) Put the photos on Google Slides or PowerPoint and during a live online class using Zoom or something similar, use the photos to retell parts of the story and provide additional comprehensible input about the story.

3) Make a matching activities with the student photos and sentences from the book or sentences that you create.

4) Upload the photos to Kahoot and use them during a live session on Zoom. For example, the Kahoot page will show a photo and you can have the students choose which answer..
- correctly describes the photo
- is the only sentences that does NOT describe the photo
- is the thoughts of one of the characters
- is an event that happened immediately before or after the photo
4) UPDATE: Here is a photo of my zoom Kahoot game with students on Thursday. Some ideas for questions: 

Upload the student photo in the question box and..
- type the titles of 4 chapters from the book; ask which chapter title best matches the photo  
- type four events in the book; ask which ONE event happened before (or after) the photo
- (this can be a photo as pictured below with thought bubbles); ask which is the most logical thought that the character has at that moment OR which answer would NOT be a logical thought
- type four events related to the photo; ask students to order the events
- write four descriptions; ask which description best describes the photo
- write four names; ask which person(s) are shown in the photo
- make 4 captions of the photo (new ones that YOU create); ask which would be a good caption for the photo many possibilities 😀

5) UPDATE 4/20/20: I made a google slide presentation and assigned it through Schoology (similar to those that have Google Classroom). Students click on the word “text” and a text box appears for them to write what they think are the characters’ thoughts. See examples below:

You don't have to limit the student created photos to the illustrations in the book. You could direct students to the page number of one of the illustrations and ask students to create a photo of an event that happened after that illustration; or give them a chapter and ask them to create their own photo.

The goal is to give your students the freedom to be creative and share that with your classmates. It will be a fun assignment for them and they will appreciate it. Some...may even thank you.  😊