In this lesson, we use the interactive voice recorder program Voki to summarize the story "Letters Home from Yosemite." I review with students our formula for writing a summary and explain that we will use the Voki program to inform and explain what the story was about. My students enjoy using the interactive voice recorder program, Voki, because it allows them an opportunity to be totally engaged in the lesson. They get to use their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills for a balanced literacy approach to learning, which will help them retain the content of the lesson more easily.
I allowed scholars time to write their summaries while working with a partner. I did this because I have a limited number of computers in my classroom and there is not enough for each individual student to use Voki. I have found partner collaboration is an effective and efficient way for my students to brainstorm, share ideas, and view multiple perspectives of their peers. Although my students are not working on this task independently, the focus is on results rather than on the means by which they gain the results. Peer collaboration is way for students to share responsibility for their literacy development. They are truly taking ownership for their learning and holding each other accountable.
We watch and listen to the Voki summaries as a whole class. In doing so, my students are able to hone their speaking and listening skills as well as their evaluative skills in viewing the Voki summaries of their classmates. This lesson is Common Core aligned in that it allows students an opportunity to use audio and visual displays to enhance and present the development of main ideas or themes of a text.