The wiki story goes this way? or That way?

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Yesterday, on my last day with my students (before I head off to the Massachusetts New Literacies Institute), most of them finished their Make Your Own Adventure Stories. I’ve written about this project for a few days but we used Chris Van Allsburg’s Mysteries of Harris Burdick as a writing prompt and then we used our classroom Wikispaces site to create stories with “branches” that the reader chooses. I have noticed that this writing activity has really sparked some critical thinking skills and basic Internet skills, too, such as how to useĀ  a wiki and how to create hyperlinks and navigation of text.

I wish I had two more class periods with them (note to self: this project takes about 5 or 6 class periods to accomplish) because I could tell a good number of students really needed a bit more time. They were all working so hard on their writing yesterday, which is something to see at the end of the year for 12 year olds.

I now wish I had been able to have them move the images from the prompt they chose (the Mysteries book is a series of illustrations and captions, and the stories are “missing”) into their stories. Right now, it is all text driven. Another cool possibilities: what if they could have added a podcast (of the story or a mysterious introduction?) or a video? Some things to ponder for the future.

Anyway, here are a few of the stories that did get completed:

Peace (in the many branches of imagination),

  1. “what if they could have added….”
    This line really hit me. We have invested a lot of time in creating the engaging classroom experience. So much of what we have taught them is intended for use in the long term. You have taught the students how to use their heads and literacy tools/strategies to keep the momentum going. Why does it have to stop? What can teachers do to help the students transition into a summer that keeps the skill development going?
    We won’t need a longer school year if we can keep the students engaged through the summer months. Access to a computer is a critical piece and most have that. Those that don’t might find the local library useful.
    Should we wrap our heads around planning for independent study with contact through email etc? Just a thought.

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