Saturday, April 27, 2013

Skype in the library and more literary cafes

I've always wanted to use Skype in the library.  This month we used Skype, not only once, but twice!  Last week, our students participated in a Poetry Slam via Skype with Michal Hope's middle school students as part of Poetry Month.

This week we used Skype to have our seventh grade Language Arts students meet author Diane Stanley and discuss her novel 'Saving Sky' which is on this year's SCJBA nominee list.  We met with Mrs. Stanley online twice for 30 minutes each time in order for all of our seventh graders to have a chance to "meet" her.  Mrs. Stanley shared with students background about the book and about her life as a writer from her home office in New Mexico.  Students had about 20 minutes for Q&A and they did a great job asking thoughtful questions.

The Language Arts teachers and students really liked the literary cafes we did for The Outsiders unit and for the myths/fairy tales/legends unit and wanted to do something similar for this project.  I set up different stations in the library where students learned about Japanese internment camps, concentration camps and the US Patriot Act.  Students wrote journals about their reaction to what they read/watched at each station.  I pulled books from our shelves and from the public library to create the following stations: 

  • poetry books with poetry written by children & adults in Japanese internment camps and concentration camps. 
  • picture books about Japanese internment camps & concentration camps. 
  • nonfiction books about Japanese internment camps & concentration camps.
  • articles from DISCUS about the US Patriot Act
  • Discovery Education videos about the US Patriot Act
  • Discovery Education videos about Japanese internment camps 
Our literary cafes have been a hit this year with seventh grade.  I'm hoping to get sixth and eighth grade classes in next school year to try it out now that they've had a chance to see it in action a few times.  Another nice thing that happened this year is that I've had a chance to work with many of our student teachers during these literary cafes.  One student teacher told me on Friday that she will make sure to become best friends with the media specialist at her new school.  Yea for collaboration!!!

Please share any projects you've done using Skype!

1 comment:

  1. These sound great. I've used Skype for two author visits but it was difficult to get permission to use it from IT so I haven't done it again since. I should try again though.