Smart Phone Literature Project Day One

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SWBAT articulate connections among literary works and modern culture through writing, imagemaking, and discussion.

Big Idea

"Eventually everything connects - people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se." ---Charles Eames

Lesson Overview and Note to Teachers

My classes are held in 100-minute sessions every other day.  Activities take about 80 minutes of four class sessions to complete. Over the four lessons for this activity, you will see Smart Phone desktops and narration videos for Lady Macbeth and Beowulf along with explanations of how student work evolves over the four-day period. 

The lesson below outlines Day One of activities.  Students complete a project in which they design two Smart Phone desktops (Assignment: SmartPhone Literature Project) to find and articulate connections among major literary works we have studied, and between literature and contemporary culture. 


Small-Group Collaboration: Smart Phone Literature Project

80 minutes

Since we have read a number of major works so far this year, I want to provide students an opportunity to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate their knowledge while relating it to their own experiences, readings, and modern culture. 

I explain that in small-groups they will create two desktops for the Smart Phone Literature Project (Assignment: SmartPhone Literature Project): (1) one for a character they choose from Macbeth and (2) one for a character they choose from Beowulf, the Iliad, or The Canterbury Tales.  I discuss that this project allows them to find and articulate connections among literary works and contemporary culture.  

Once all groups have both desktops completed in subsequent class sessions, each group will choose one Smart Phone to display on the document camera while presenting it to the class along with a clean sample of a song on the character's Smart Phone music app.

I explain that students may use existing apps (egs. Twitter, Instagram) or create apps their character can use.  

Students get into the groups they have become comfortable working in over the course of the school year.  They use copies of the literary texts and their own smart phones as resources. I supply printer paper, colored pencils, and markers. 

To successfully complete this project, students must explore:

  1. the plot of the literary work 
  2. their chosen character's depiction and relationship to characters in literary works, film, and popular culture
  3. what apps the character can best use according to his/her personality, motivation, and literary work.

One group creates a Smart Phone for Lady Macbeth (Video: Narration and Student Work Overview)(Student Work: Lady Macbeth Smart Phone)(Student Work: Lady Macbeth Smart Phone Written Explanation).  

Please visit the lesson for Day Four to view the presentation of this project.