“A book is a device to ignite the imagination.” – Alan Bennett
Students struggle to read books and classic literature. One reason is that the language might be too archaic. Not only does no one talk like the characters do, but no one sounds like the way the authors write. Even if some of the language is relatable, many words now have been redefined and mean something completely different than what they did when the book was written. Another reason is that many books we teach take place at a time our students can’t relate to, because the world they live in is connected and has technology and that has vastly transformed the world. However, classic literature has themes, motifs, plots, and characters who have invaluable lessons for our readers as long as they can make a connection. Below, is a slideshow and resources to engage learners with books. If you like these ideas then be sure to check out my new book, Hacking Digital Learning Strategies: 10 Ways to Launch EdTech Missions in Your Classroom.
Tips and Resources
Let them pick the book!
- Literature-map.com– type in your favorite author’s name and a list of other authors appears.
- Slime Kids– video book reviews by students
- 60 second recap– video book reviews in 60 seconds
- Book Trailers for Readers– book trailers by learners
- Digitalbooktalk– book trailers, summaries, and has a list of books searchable by grade level and genre
Websites with reading strategies
Digitize literature circles
- Digitizing literature circles
- Digital Literature Circles
- Almost Paperless literature circles
- Literature circles meet the iPad
- ARC, Fourc.ca/the-evolution-of-arc by Tyson Seburn
Literacy websites with quizzes, activities, and more!
Digital book clubs
Virtual Trips, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality
- Try any of these websites and tools! Google Lit Trips, Google Earth, World Wonders Project, Google Expeditions, Skype in the Classroom Virtual Trips, and History View
Create a virtual world
- Sandbox games like Minecraft
- Minecraft for Education
- Cospaces.io to create worlds with virtual reality technology
Book trailers instead of book reports
Visualize with a comic
- In pairs, students text to each other a conversation characters from the chapter might have
Book discussions on VoiceThread
Check out the Trading Cards iOS/Android app by Readwritethink.org
Check out my post with more activities and mobile apps! Once Upon a Device: 20 Reading Activities & Apps
Challenge: Try any of these tips to engage readers digitally.