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Second Place

9-12 | Reading & Language Arts | Other

Station WBIQ in Alabama

My Classroom Innovation

This project was a pre-reading activity for a novel study of To Kill A Mockingbird (TKM) for 9th grade students. Students were divided into jigsaw NUMBER and HOME groups to save instructional time and give students a means to collaborate and communicate as they engaged in this inquiry-based learning activity. In jigsaw grouping, each student is essential for the group to learn all content. Each student was assigned to one of four NUMBER groups to research one of the following four areas: (1.) author, (2.) personal perspective, (3.) historical perspective, and (4.) setting. Students paired up at computer workstations and googled "btwikilmc" to access the TKM wiki page. To become an "expert," students used graphic organizers to write three key concepts they found from the wiki links. Then the students met back with their class and HOME groups to share their three concepts. To "hardwire" content the students may have missed or content that the teacher felt was important for comprehending the novel, the teacher told the students "You may want to jot this down in your notes." The historical perspective group used the PBS website: The Rise and Fall of Jim Crowe @ (as seen in the video)to get their facts. Although TKM was written in1960, the setting was 1930. The PBS Jim Crowe site helped the students create a mental timeline and connect TKM with the Scottsboro Boys and the Great Depression as well as transfer this knowledge when they wrote their culminating essay. Students used the FLIP IT! research model by Alice Yucht to Focus, Link, Interpret, and Produce. They produced a one pager. The students met in their NUMBER groups to design the one pager. One pagers are a one page visual that includes a title, three key concepts, a visual, a question and a quote. The IT! (Intelligent Thinking) in FLIP IT! was when the students walked around the library and discussed the one pagers they had produced. The one pagers gave the students a visual means to cement what they learned and teach their classmates the key concepts they learned in their research.

How Students were Engaged

This lesson engaged students in conversation with their classmates as they used the following 21st century skills: - critical thinking (research/finding key concepts/essay), - collaboration and communication (jigsaw grouping), - cross-cultural understanding (Jim Crow/PBS/novel) , - creativity and innovation (one pagers), and - computing (wikis/websites/ebooks/ReadWriteThink Crossword Puzzle) . Students synthesized and evaluated what they learned to write an essay on "What Makes A Hero?" This project enabled me introduce meaningful library resources such as the PBS Jim Crow site to 9th grade students while meeting my goal of building confident library users and fostering learning4life.

PBS Program/Content Used

The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow