A “monster” of a good time with Storia
By Guest Blogger on October 8th, 2012
A few weeks ago, fourth grade teacher and literacy advocate Victoria Jasztal told you about how she uses Storia in her classroom. (Storia is our new, free ereading app!) She’s back today just so she could explain how she’s using specific titles on Storia in her classroom. Thanks, Victoria!
This week, I am focusing on using Monster Plants by Barry Rice, which is an informational book jam-packed with sensational text features. In my classroom, I have five paperback copies of the book as well as copies of the book on Storia. As you most likely know, Scholastic Storia is an ereader for the iPad that includes features such as highlighting, “sticky notes,” and a dictionary. It is also available as a computer program, which can be installed on desktop computers and laptops in the classroom.
Monster Plants caught my eye on the Scholastic website. I had never heard of the book, but as soon as I saw what it looked like, I really wanted to download it on Storia. The author informs the reader about “monstrous” plants in a very unique manner, and the book caught my students’ interests immediately when I had them make brochures about what they noticed in the paperback copies. I also had them make Fact or Fiction sheets with Post-It notes.
Soon, my students will be using Storia in partnerships while meeting with me for small group instruction. I am going to focus on how the author uses language to present the different plants. Students will use the highlighting feature to click on phrases that capture their interests– examples of voice, figurative language, and adjectives. They will first work in partnerships and communicate with the other team(s) they meet with.
This is a wonderful lesson for connecting reading and writing as well because my students are beginning to learn about using voice in writing. In the near future, I will let you know how this lesson was received by my students and what they learned about Barry Rice’s use of descriptions/leads using Storia’s wonderful tools!
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