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Reflection: Engaging Young Learners through VoiceThread

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Engaging second graders in creative writing can sometimes be a challenge for classroom teachers.  The pencil and paper approach doesn’t reach all of today’s 21st Century learners and pull them in.  The good news is that there are digital tools that can encourage creativity, model the writing process (drafting, editing, revising), and captivate different types of learners who may otherwise be losing out.

I created a digital production called “The Three Big Pigs and the Puny Puppy: A Fractured Fairy Tale” using VoiceThread. This digital production was made for a fictitious second grade class to serve as an example of the culminating project students will get to partake in.  This tool is a great way to encourage collaboration, introduce technology, reach different types of learners and create a product that students can share with others.

Using VoiceThread to create fractured fairy-tales in small groups enhances the instruction students will have already received on fairy-tales, folklore and fables.  Students can draw upon their prior knowledge of well-known tales and create something new based on their collaboration within their groups.

Tools such as VoiceThread enable marginalized students to shine by drawing upon their artistic, interpersonal, visual and/or technology skills.  This example and proposed lesson is evidence that teachers and media specialists can engage even our youngest learners with technology!

For more information about the objectives and relevant AASL, Common Core and Frederick County Public Media Standards that are addressed by this lesson, click here.

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Author: Kate Ardinger Flynn

Three years ago, I plunged back into graduate school at McDaniel College to pursue a career as a school media specialist. I will graduate in December 2014 and begin searching for a position as an elementary school media specialist. I am an avid reader of fiction for all ages. I enjoy helping young readers find books that take them on an adventure and potentially hook them as life-long readers. I am the mother of two daughters--both "book worms" in their own right. I live in Maryland with my husband, daughters, and collie, Scout.

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