Saturday, February 17, 2018

Build a Book Report Website

I have been enjoying using the new Google Sites for creating websites with students. It is much simpler to use than its predecessor and the students like learning how to create a website without any hassle. We are a Google Apps For Education district so all students have access to the GSuite of creation tools in their Google Drive.

For this project I created a sample website to model the expectations and to give students a reference point in case they needed something to refer back to. I choose the book Me and The Pumpkin Queen.

This project was done with a fourth and fifth grade book club group. Prior to starting the book the teacher had me come in and explain the technology component of their club. I showed them my sample site and walked them through how to set up their sites. During that meeting they started the outline of their site by making the home page and all the sub-headers across the top. Under the chapters tab they created sub-pages with a grouping of chapters. Even though my book was short it had 38 chapters so I grouped them in sets of five (you may want to consider that).

The idea is that students would add to the site after each book club meeting. Under the chapter's tab they would write a short summary of each chapter, as they went, and include a picture that represented their write up. The idea is at the end of the club they would have a website they could share with their peers/family once they published it. Having them do it along the way gave them something to look forward to and kept the project from being one of these overwhelming things they had to do AFTER the book was read (they simply had to tweak formatting and proof the final version before publishing).

This was my first time using Sites with students and I definitely could see more applications going forward. 

If it is your first time using Google Sites check out these tutorials that will help you get started.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Free Resource for Black History Month

One of my favorite sites is for social studies and science articles for kids but it also has a section for biographies separated into categories. 

One of the categories is African Americans which links to biographies of notable African Americans through history. 

If you are having students conduct research for Black History Month you may want to consider this site.