Literature Ladders: Linking Books and Internet Resources
This page was designed to accompany a workshop presentation titled Literature Ladders: Linking Books and Internet Resources.
Use the navigation bar on the left to go directly to specific pages in the Literature Ladders project.
Use the links below to focus on the materials presented in the workshop.
Literature and Technology
In order to address the diverse needs of today's students, we need to think of literature as more than simply words in a book. How can we reach all young people by providing a variety of ways to experience a work of literature as well as a variety of instructional materials to differentiate instruction?
Explore issues and ideas related to literacy in today's world at Literacy Across the Curriculum for Today and Tomorrow.
Books & Technology. Mercy Watson to the Rescue by Kate DiCamillo is a book for young readers. Although some children will excel by simply reading the book. Other children will benefit from listening to the The Mercy Collection on CD Audio.
Book Information. At the Candlewick Publisher website, teachers can download great materials (PDF) from the Candlewick Press website. Go to Amazon or Barnes and Noble for reviews, background information, and interviews. Check out Oh Mercy Me for classroom activities.
Author Information. Check out Kate DiCamillo's page. Read about the author, explore FAQs, check out her journal, learn about writing, and read her favorite links such as Wordsmith.org.
Activities. Use the Interactives: Elements of a Story project from Learner.org to help learners identify the elements of stories. Then, use the Story Map from ReadWriteThink to help students create a Storymap and Plot Diagram for one of the Mercy books. Students use the Animal Inquiry organize information about an animal. Students use a PowerPoint starter (PPT) to create a class ABC book for their animals. Student use a PowerPoint starter (PPT) to practice writing directions. Children get the chance to take Mercy home. The Mercy bag contains the book, digital camera, journal, and other materials. The project is shared on the class blog such as Mercy and Me.
Ladders of Your Own
Let's explore ways that you can connect books and literature. Learn to find your own book-Internet connections. This Ladders of Your Own section provides links to book awards, authors and illustrators, book pages, lesson plans, search tools, and other useful websites.Use the following process.
- Example: Explore the resources at Ms. Hogue's Online English Resources.
- Example: Adapt the resources you find. You might start with books containing fractured fairy tales. Then, adapt the resources at Scholastic's Fractured Fairy Tales. Read and tell family stories using photos. For more ideas, go to Caldecott: Visual Storytelling for more ideas.
Go to Step 1: Select a Book.
- Example: Read The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Is this a picture book, illustrated book, or graphic novel? A growing number of authors and illustrators are integrating more visuals into their work. Read Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian or The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain. How are illustrations used in these books? How are they like and unlike? For more ideas, go to Graphic Novels. It focuses on the potential of comics and graphics novels in teaching and learning. Go to Great Graphic Novels for Teens for a great list. Children of the Sea is a popular book from the 2010 list.
- Example: Go to Comics, Graphic Novels, and Sequential Art for lots of ideas. The Knight and the Dragon by Tomie dePaola is an example of a picture book that uses a sequential art approach.
- Example: Set up a LibraryThing account. Go to Annette Lamb's Library Thing. Explore GoodReads for books and book club ideas.
Go to Step 2: Search for Author and Illustrator Information . Check out the websites of Jan Brett's, Will Hobbs, Nancy Calson, Deborah Hopkinson, Eric Carle, Patricia Polacco, Peggy Rathman, Jean Craighead George, and Todd Parr (Todd Parr Blog).
- Example: Explore the website of author Kevin Henkes.
Go to Step 3: Search for Book Information and Lessons. Explore Literature-based WebQuests. Explore an inquiry based approach to literature-technology connections. Also check, Dive into WebQuests: Reading, Writing and Web 2.0. Also go to Newberys & the Net and learn to integrate web resources with award-winning children's books. Go to Caldecott Connections and explore Internet connections for visually rich children's literature.
- Example: Explore Tall Tales, Fairy Tales, Folklore, and Myths.
- Example: Thinkfinity is the place to start. Do a search for a book or topic. This website includes links to the best lessons from the national education organizations. Do a search for "To Kill a Mockingbird" or "Very Hungry Caterpillar."
- Example: Many historical fiction books have interesting foundations in fact. Help young people make those connections. Read Bread and Roses, Too. Download the PowerPoint Scrapbook (PPT) starter.
- Example: Many cultures have flood stories and deluge mythology. The most famous is Noah's Ark. Each illustrator images something different when they think about Noah's Ark. Compare the images at Wikipedia, Wiki Commons, and other websites. Also compare the images found in other picture books.
Go to Step 5: Develop Meaningful Activities and Learning Experiences. Go to Collaborative and Interactive Projects and explore ways to bring reading alive through sharing and communicating with others. Find many examples of using Google Earth in reading at Let's Go! and GoogleLitTrips.
- Example: Students are reading A Single Shard and use Google Earth to identify the locations.
- Example: Students are reading books related to the Great Depression (i.e., Grapes of Wrath, Esperanza Rising, Buddy, Not Buddy, Out of the Dust) as use Google Earth to compare the movement of people in the stories and speculate on "what if" the characters interacted.
- Example: Students are reading Tar Beach or Al Capone Does my Shirts and use Google Earth to explore the setting of the book.
- Example: Read Flat Stanley. Explore examples of Flat Stanley adventures. Read other books related to communications such as Dear Mrs. LaRue, Letters from Felix, A Letter to Amy, or The Armadillo from Amarillo.
- Example: Read stories then use technology tools such as Pixton and GoAnimate to write stories.
- Example: Students are reading Henry's Freedom Box or Elijah of Buxton. Let's try an interactive websites about the underground railroad such as Scholastic's Underground Railroad or Pathways to Freedom.
- Example: Use starters found in PowerPoint Sidekicks: Book Blasts such as the Step into Reading sidekick (PPT).
- Example: Read Cracks, Crevices, Caves: Explore Mammoth Cave with Stephen Bishop - Literature WebQuest with the book Journey to the Bottomless Pit by Elizabeth Mitchell. Explore other ReadWriteThink tools like the Letter Generator.
- Example: Read a story. Ask students to think about a character and share their understandings by making Social Network profile using ReadWriteThink Profile Publisher. Check out sample profile for the character Ikarus Jackson in Wings by Christopher Myers. You can also use a word processor to create a Facebook Profile. Check out the Google Docs templates 1 and 2. Also look at the MacBeth Project for ideas.
- Example: Students read Officer Buckle and Gloria. They use Inspiration to share their understandings of safety rules.
Eight Ways to Bring Back the Joy
- Take Flight. Read the graphic volume series Flight. Go to the Flight blog. Explore the webcomics. Or, read the book Tar Beach about flying over Harlem. Then. write your own flight stories.
- Fun with Science. Read Stiff by Mary Roach. Try the HBO Interactive Autopsy. Younger children might read Gone Wild, In a Small Small Pond, or What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? by Steve Jenkins. Create your own Photostories based on facts.
- Wonder about Wonders. Read The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs by Berry G. Birney. Learn about the ancient wonders of the world and new wonders of the world. Use your digital camera to records your own local wonders.
- Experience Disasters. Read Escaping the Giant Wave by Peg Kehret. Team with other disasters for a literature wiki called Catastrophe. Explore FEMA for Kids.
- Haiku with DogKu. Read Dogku. Download the Dogku PowerPoint Sidekick (PPT) and create your own.
- Vampire Connections. Read the Twilight series. Connect with others through Stephenie Meyer's author website activities. Get younger kids into the vampire spirit with Bunicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery by Deborah and James Howe. Ask students to evaluate the Wikipedia page. Also, check out the Bunnicula WebQuest, Jeopardy Game, Chapter Resources, and Quia quiz.
- History Comes Alive. Read Good Master! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz. Go to YouTube, TeacherTube, and SchoolTube for re-enactments. If you want to use YouTube and it's blocked, use SafeShare. Create your own community historical re-enactment! Teach about professions through using video and Google presentations. Go to Philosophers. Check out the Introducing the Book for fun. Create a Build a Kingdom project.
- Spanish Through Comics. Read the graphic novel, Learn Spanish with Superman 1: Up, Up, and Away from Berlitz. Create your own comics in Comic Life.
- Civil War with a Technology Twist. New Kids of Books - Read the graphic novel, Surprise Attack! The Battle of Shiloh from Osprey Graphic History, Wikispaces - Civil War Wiki, Comic Life - Biography of Albert Sidney Johnston, Primary Source Documents - Find the Facts in the Battle of Shiloh, Podcasts - Civil War, Videos - Reenactments, Slide Shows - Gettysburg
Read my column in each issue of Teacher Librarian.