Students in this seventh grade language arts class had just completed a novel study of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Today’s lesson centered on each child re-reading a section of text in the app and exploring the interactive features. Each child was randomly assigned a stave so that the entire text was explored. After reading, students wrote about the interactive features and how that feature enhanced the reading experience. They were then were asked to design an additional interactive feature they would like to see in the app and explain how it would deepen others’ understanding of the story.
I was so impressed with the ideas that were batted around the room. Students were reluctant at first to share, but once the first one or two shared, suddenly many hands were up and I could hardly keep order. The discussion included the imagery of the language and how students wanted to see certain pieces of it illustrated. Mood, tone, emotion, and period language were all brought up and dissected. The sound effects and music were lauded for adding to the “creepiness” of certain passages. I learned quite a bit about how my students approach reading a story and that, in truth, they do not want to see every last bit of the story illustrated – a refreshing surprise!