If I could save one book...

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SWBAT develop arguments in support of their "favorite" books and develop commercials in support of their selections.

Big Idea

If you could only save one book, which one would you choose?

Latin Roots Warm Up

10 minutes

This is our daily warm up, wherein students work with two or three Latin roots per day.  The resource that I use to get my roots is Perfection Learning's Everyday Words from Classic Origins.

Every day, when the students arrive, I have two Latin roots on the SmartBoard.  Their job is to generate as many words as they can that contain the roots, and they try to guess what the root means.  After I give them about five minutes, we share words and I tell them what the root means.

The students compile these daily activities in their class journals.  After every twelve roots, they take a test on the roots themselves and a set of words that contains them.

Opening Question

10 minutes

At the beginning of the lesson, I show the short video.  The video asks,  "If you could save just one book, which one would you choose?"  I ask the students to think about a book that is special to them, one that holds meaning or just represents something of importance.

This idea came out of the "One Book" project that was created by the Toronto Public Library.  I came across this video, and it inspired this project:

I then introduce the project and allow students time to find partners (if they want them) and to decide on books.  I try not to be too prescriptive about the books that they choose, but if students try to take the Dr. Seuss option (for the wrong reasons,) I steer them away from that idea.  Generally speaking, the students made good, thoughtful choices -- after all, these choices were to be the basis of their projects.

Working with the Ideas

30 minutes

To introduce this project, I show the PowerPoint that I have attached.  Then, the students work together to create their storyboards.

Teacher Notes

This Powerpoint is packed with information.  The students take notes on my presentation (though I will post all of the information so they can refer to it as the project progresses.)

We go over all of the elements of the project, and I take questions.  This is kind of time consuming.  Then, I circulate the sign up sheet and students work with their partners to develop their story boards.  Some students go to the library to check out the books on which their projects are based, but mostly the students are working together to plan their video.

The trickiest part of the video planning process is the requirement that students include three arguments for "saving" their chosen book.  The arguments should relate to the text.  So, if students say that the book teaches about the "value of friendship", then they should refer to a specific scene in the book.  This could involve acting out the scene, or reading an excerpt.

NB:  I do several video projects throughout the year, and they usually end up driving me crazy.  The kids, generally speaking, love the medium, and I think it is a great springboard for thinking and discussion.  However, the technology can be challenging.  In every class there is a budding Francis Ford Coppola, but there is also at least one kid who can barely turn on a computer.  I offer the students the use of Flip video cameras, and they can use their iPods, phones, etc.  The only rule that I have is that the video must work on my computer on the day of performance.  Inevitably, at least one group has a crisis.  But, we survive.