Reading and Creating in the 21st Century: a Lesson Plan

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Creating enthusiasm around reading is one of the aspects of school librarianship that brings me the
most joy.  Daily, I have the privilege to connect students with an author, series, or genre, which motivates them to read, thereby building their skills as readers.  However, when I witness students telling their peers about a book that was recommended to them, and an entire grade level becomes captivated by Margaret Peterson Haddix’s Among the Hidden series for example, I know that I have fulfilled my job at a deep level.

Over the past month, I have been working with a 5th grade class during the English Language Arts portion of their day.  Students have been reading books in groups of 2s and 3s.  In collaborating with the classroom teacher, as well as other librarians in my district, we discussed how students could share what they had learned in their reading partnerships. Since I’ve been enrolled in CEP 810, and have recently been reflecting on learning competencies for our digital world, I developed a plan for an iMovie book trailer lesson, and look forward to sharing it with my team.

One of the competencies outlined by Renee Hobbs in her book Digital and Media Literacy: Connecting Culture and Classroom is that of creation.  In this digitally connected world, students must learn and practice creating content, which will communicate their learning to a specific audience in an appropriate manner (Hobbs, 2011). This competency also fits with Thomas and Brown’s reflection in their book A New Culture of Learning.  Due to our networked age, learning environments succeed when students are able to demonstrate their learning through the creating of content (Thomas and Brown, 2011).   In the creation of a book trailer in this lesson, students will reflect on the story elements and key themes of the book, develop a trailer with images and movie clips that best represents the ideas in the book, and then share that trailer with an authentic, wider audience.  This learning experience will allow students to design, create and share a product, with the end goal of inspiring other students to want to read those books.  They will be able to choose images and themes that represent their book, and play with the story elements to best hook a future reader.  By sharing the movies with other 5th grade classrooms within our building and across our district, students will be able to impact reading practices of a wider audience, as well as get recommendations from their peers.

Hobbs, R. (2011). Digital and media literacy: Connecting culture and classroom. Thousand, Oaks, CA: Corwin/Sage.

Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, Ky: CreateSpace?.

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