Make Cycles

Our course is organized by two week “make cycles,” a term I borrow from Connected Learning. We will read, discuss, and make things based on the children’s books we’re reading. You can find the “weekly work” for each cycle in the drop down menu above.

Google+ Community

We will share most of our work in a Google+ Community. We can upload images, respond to each other’s ideas, and share links and artifacts here.

Weeks 8 & 9 (Make Cycle 4: Free Verse Novels)

Weeks 8 & 9 (Make Cycle 4: Free Verse Novels)

image of four booksMake Cycle 4: March 11-15 & March 25-31 (spring break in between: March 18-22)

Free Verse Children’s Novels

(The Crossover, Inside Out & Back Again, Enchanted Air, OR Brown Girl Dreaming)

We’re reading children’s novels written in free verse for the next couple of weeks. The language is beautiful and I hope you’ll share with us some of your favorite lines from these books. I encourage you to think about how the form and structure of these books might influence how you read: does it slow you down, speed you up, challenge you in some way?

We’ll also read Donalyn Miller’s chapter 3 and check out her site The Nerdy Book Club. I find this site incredibly useful for finding books for me and for kids. You should check out the Nerdies Award winning books for great recommendations.

For those of you reading The Crossover, or really any of you who want to think about the use of hip hop in teaching, here’s a pretty cool video showing how hip hop is used in school with Kendrick Lamar

Make 4 (with spring break in the middle) in a nutshell:

  • FRIDAY, March 15: Two part prompt for Miller Chapter 3 & Free Verse Novel (only one response this week, but notice it asks you to do a number of things)
  • Tuesday, March 26 (after spring break): Prompt about resources and teaching with your free verse novel
  • Friday, March 29: Notice that your picture book resource is due the week we return from spring break too. You can get it done anytime before March 29. LINK TO YOUR ASSIGNED AUTHOR AGAIN HERE
  • Sunday, March 31: Make 4!

Week 8: March 11-15

By FRIDAY, March 15:

Part I: Read Miller Chapter 3: What are take aways for you from Miller’s chapter 3?

a) Point to specific places in the chapter that you find interesting, puzzling, eye opening.

b) Then, check out Nerdy Book Club, a site that Miller launched to celebrate and support children’s literature and one of the online reading communities she highlights in this chapter. Choose one of the blogs to read and tell us about it (you might do a search of the site for the “Nerdies” and check out the book recommendations).

Part II: Get started on your Free Verse Novel (The Crossover, Inside Out & Back Again, Enchanted Air, OR Brown Girl Dreaming).

c) What is the book about so far? Share a couple of favorite lines with us too.

d) What is the experience like, reading a novel in free verse, for you? What are your initial thoughts? How does it change your reading (or does it)?

Post in G+ Week 8: Miller Ch 3 & Free Verse Discussion. So no Tuesday response this week, but notice all the parts to this response… 😉 Then, have a great spring break!

Once we return from spring break: Week 9: March 25-31

By Tuesday, March 26:

Check out the resources on these pages for your book/author (just need to check out ONE of the links below…the link for your book):

Prompt: How you could work with the book from the resources on your link? What other resources for teaching your book can you find? How might you incorporate this text in other subjects, like history, for example? Use the resources and this prompt to think through how you might teach with your free verse novel.

Post in G+ Week 9: Resources & Ideas for Teaching Free Verse

Keep in mind that your picture book resource is due on Friday, March 29, or anytime before. Check assignments page. You were assigned a picture book author.


By Sunday, March 31: Make 4 (Free Verse Novel Make)

The goal: share your book in a creative way with others so that perhaps they too can get excited about reading the book. Another goal: use the make as a way to think about the ideas/themes/characters in the books we are reading. Try out making something that you might ask your future students to make.

You can create a piece of art, a book trailer or short film, write a song, write fanfiction, create a game, create a lesson plan or class activity…lots of possible ways to share. You can upload an image of your artifact, share a link, share a video, etc.

As always, once you create your “make,” you will also write a brief artist’s/writer’s statement explaining what you were attempting to do with this make: how did you approach this artifact? what worked? what did not work out as planned?

Post in G+ Week 9: Free Verse MAKE