Monday, May 12, 2014

Informational Text Features and Pic Collage, Erin McDonald, Nightingale Elementary School

My third grade students are currently studying the planets in their Science class.  I met with their teachers and discussed their unit and goals for the students. One aspect of reading nonfiction that the teachers really wanted help with was informational text features.  So I planned a unit around those features incorporating the planets and research as well.  

In the unit, the students created posters in Pic Collage demonstrating their understanding of informational text features and how they help the reader.  We were all extremely excited to finally try out our iPad skills by creating content!  

Students worked with a partner and were assigned a planet.  They used a nonfiction book about the planet to gather examples of informational text features, such as, captions, table of contents, index, glossary, photographs, labels, maps and more.  We had a guided discussion on how these features could help them complete a research project.  The students used the iPads to take photos of the different features they found in the books as well as some interesting facts they read.  The students also had opportunities to watch a Reading Nonfiction Brain Pop Jr. video and read ebooks about their planet through MyOn.

The next step was to use the app Pic Collage to create a poster displaying what they have learned about informational text and their planet while using all the creative features of the app.  Students added their photos from the camera roll, changed backgrounds, fonts, moved pictures around or changed their size, added text to the poster, added photos from the web, stickers and so on to make a beautiful poster.

Their favorite part of the assignment was the final stage of emailing it to me and their homeroom teacher.  All the iPads are set up to a library gmail account.  I have changed the signature on each one to match the number of the iPad the email is coming from.  The students learned how to email their poster from the Pic Collage app.  They had to type in the library gmail address, their teacher’s address and change the subject line to their names.  I projected an iPad while they were emailing so they could watch the emails come in.  This was super exciting for them as well as a good technology lesson in that you have to type everything exactly correct for the email to go through.

Posters that met all requirements on the rubric will be displayed on our library website.

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