With as fast as the definition of “literature” is evolving and expanding, I have been looking for ways to inject relevant, current high interest texts into my Contemporary Literature and Writing classroom. Here is an assignment I’ve tried once and now tweaked (for a second go-around) for this class. I am going to model this for them tomorrow and then each student will have his or her chance to present an article once before the end of third quarter and second time during fourth quarter. We are using, not only Zite for this assignment, but also either Twitter (which MOST students have) or email (for those who have not yet made the TweetLeap). Last semester, I used this assignment, but made the silly mistake of NOT modeling what I wanted to see. This time around will be different. Tomorrow, my students will see me presenting exactly what I expect of them (or at least one variation of it). This assignment works well in an ELA classroom, but I could see it working in ANY classroom (4th grade and up) really because Zite is so customizable and a teacher could give students a specific category in which to search to narrow the focus to the subject matter being studied. Feel free to use this assignment in your classroom, with or without attribution. If you use it though, let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear some feedback on how to make it better.
ZITE SHARING ASSIGNMENT
1. Read through some articles in your areas of interest on Zite.
2. Select an article that you find interesting, relevant, and timely.
3. On the day of your presentation, TWEET a link to your article ~ (You can do this directly through Zite, if you connect your Zite account to your Twitter account, or you can copy/paste the URL into a tweet or a URL shortener like bitly.com.) ~ OR you can send the link via EMAIL, if you are not a Twitter user. (If you use the email option, just REPLY TO ALL to an email I sent out to the class, to ensure everyone in the class gets the link).
4. When you present the article to the class, we will project the article from your iPad onto the screen in my room, so make sure you have your iPad here AND charged. If you don’t, this will result in a deduction of your grade and you will have to reschedule your presentation, which will throw off the entire class’s schedule. Be courteous, and be prepared.
5. During your presentation you MUST do the following:
A. SUMMARIZE the article. GIve us a nutshell summary of what this article is about (since most of us will not have read the article.
B. EXPLAIN why it is IMPORTANT and RELEVANT enough to share with the class.
C. PROVIDE your OPINION on the subject matter. (For example, if it is problem, provide a solution or talk about the root causes of the problem. If it is a human interest story, discuss why you believe it is so appealing. If it is about a scientific discovery, discuss how you believe this may change how we currently do things. These are just a few things you could discuss during this portion of your presentation.)
D. BE PREPARED for QUESTIONS from Mrs. M. and your peers. Feel free to ask your peers and Mrs. Morgenson their opinions as well, to encourage discussion.
When you are an audience member, please think of questions to ask the presenter. Everyone should participate in this. Some article shares may even result in a roundtable-style discussion. Prepare to respond in writing to each person’s article as well either via Twitter or email.