Tug of War–to ebook or not to ebook?
This week fifth graders and sixth graders experienced The Artifacts. Is it an ebook? An app? A different way of experiencing literature? All of the above? Whatever we want to call it, it was mesmerizing to the students and a great example of the power of this new medium. The Artifacts is the story of a 13 year old boy who loves to collect things. But when his parents move, they decide it’s time he stopped doing that. From then on, the collections are in his mind. The vocabulary is so rich, the interactivity so seamless to the narrative, this is by far one of the most successful ebooks I’ve used to date.
We used the Visual Thinking Routine, Tug of War, after the story to discuss the pros and cons of ebooks. Students were totally engaged in both the book and the activity. Our consensus was that like a tug of war, we are pulled in two directions on the subject of ebooks. We saw their advantages and their disadvantages. And in the end, we hope we never have to make an absolute choice between the two forms of literature.
Here is a YouTube Video of The Artifacts.
Also in the Library this week….
Kindergarten–After reading Muncha, Muncha, Muncha by Candance Fleming last week, we just had to read the sequel, Tippy, Tippy, Hide. Oh those three bunnies! They torment Mr. McGreely once again, this time getting into his house during the long, cold winter. Kindergarteners loved predicting what the bunnies were up to and to also find all the prepositions in the story.
First Grade–To correlate with their social studies unit, first graders heard Cold Spring School, A Long Time Ago. Over the summer I gathered many of our amazing artifacts, photographed them, and put them into an iPhoto book with simple text about the history of our school. First graders loved doing the math and finding out our school is 123 years old!!
Second Grade, Third Grade, Fourth Grade–Reference books are sadly becoming a little like dinosaurs as we move reference materials to the internet where they can be updated easily and often. But it’s not a bad idea to know what each reference book or website contains so this week students had a review of encyclopedias, atlases, dictionaries, almanacs and thesauruses. After looking at each book, we played “Name That Book.” Students drew cards from a hat with different reference problems on them and had to determine in which book they could find the answer.