Even before I joined the world of education, I loved children’s books and getting a good laugh. Chapter books had too many syllables, no pictures, and made me sleepy. Then I finally got into the classroom and had the incredible opportunity of sharing these stories with students and build their love for picture books. However, as you can tell by my font (Roboto Mono), it represents my lovely monotone voice. Which as an 8-year-old engaged in a story, might get a little bit bland and boring over time. I wanted to create a new and unique way to bring these stories alive and that’s where #WORLDReadAlouds came alive with the growth and popularity of Flipgrid as well. Why have one reader or one YouTube video for a story, when you could have a story read by people, educators, and classrooms from around the world, one page at a time?
Over the time, as the read-alouds have grown and finished, it has been a fun experience to share with my students as the pages come in. The students are eager to see where the next pages are coming in from, which we can then explore and research the different locations and go in-depth according to what they might be studying at the time. As the student grade gets older, you can continue the research and take it a step further and have them research the distances the pages have traveled between readers (over 630,833km, which is 246,433km past the Moon!). Depending on the type of story, the project can really bring grades and classes together and see them take pride and excitement seeing their chosen stories come alive through Flipgrid. Even if we might only have 5 pages (the last 5 of a story) they are excited to watch and see where they are coming from. The one story that was exciting to put together was “Rosie Revere, Engineer” by Andrea Beaty. This story was different and even more of a challenge as each page was translated and read in educator’s native languages from around the globe. As I’m teaching in an international school, my students’ first languages are quite vast. This made it fun as pages and languages came in from where they were from, which allowed them to be my translators and let me know if they did a good job with their readings. The looks on their faces when they heard their languages made the project totally worth it!
When the stories conclude, they can be viewed in two different formats, which can provide different ways of reading the story. With the prompts and videos coming in backwards, you can check out the book and play the videos from the beginning and they can enjoy the physical book and follow along. They can also enjoy the story through the addition of Book Creator, which features the actual pages of the story and videos embedded within.
These types of read-alouds are fun and easy to setup, which can be put together using just your class, your school, or even using your PLN to bring different readers together to create a fun and unique way to read a book. Definitely feel free to check out the Flipgrid page which features the finished stories, ongoing projects, and to a look at how to possibly set up your own projects.
American School of Milan
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