Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Video Games...Inspiration for Narrative Writing?

Students have been cordially invited to continue their impressive narrative writing throughout the year by publishing their very own "series" of stories (like chapters in a book) on (our online classroom) where they can not only post their writing, but invite their classmates to read and comment on their writing.  Several students have already embraced the challenge and have written two or three 1000+ word narratives within their very own series!  On top of this, who would have thought that video games could be their inspiration for outstanding narrative writing?  Yes, I said it!  Video games can be a twisted sort of way!  Hector G., 7th grade D.A.T.A. author, has proven this to be true with his riveting, heart-pounding, suspenseful "Army Logs" narratives each told by a different point of view--American and Russian so far--about a fictional, yet hauntingly real-sounding World War 3!  They are cleverly written in dramatic and heartfelt point of views, creatively include world languages using Google Translate, and literally keep readers at the edge of their seats...almost like watching a movie, but better!  Not all series are based on video games, but this one is a true testament to students' creativity and how accessing students' passions can ignite talent and continual learning!  Enjoy the sneak peeks of Hector G.'s "Army Logs" series on ThinkQuest below:

THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING OF A 2056 word Chapter 1!

THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING OF A 2195 word Chapter 2!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Reading and Tweet-ing!

Students use their social networking skills to create book reviews Twitter-style!  This assignment called "Reading and Tweet-ing!" is an option for their weekly reading log.  Below are some examples of Twitter-like pages devoted to characters from novels students are independently reading at home.  The characters use the first person point of view to enlighten us about their daily lives based on evidence in the text.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"Mini Me" Character Project

Students practiced indirect characterization by describing themselves using the five methods of indirect characterization:  appearance, action, speech, thoughts/feelings, and other characters' reactions.  Then, students began their creations of "Mini Me" poster cutouts of themselves displaying their written descriptions (on back) and colorful interpretation (on front) of their five categories of indirect characterization.  See some samples below:

Excited to use the e-cam on his netbook as a base for a self portrait!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Muslim Contributions iPADs - Ready to Operate!

Today, students finished creating their iPads on the contributions that Muslim scholars gave to the world.  Below you will see pictures of finished student example iPads with explanations in between.  Students made their iPads interactive by linking their "apps" to slides (on this PowerPoint) with information about each contribution and to interactive web sites such as games, translating web sites, research web sites, interactive maps, and more!  For example, since the Muslims invented algebra, you will see algebra game apps.  Students also enjoyed each other's iPads, which were posted on ThinkQuest (our online classroom) where they were able to download and interact with their classmates' iPad apps! Enjoy!

Above is an example iPAD a student created with a couple of pages once clicking on the "apps" (below).  Her bottom three apps link to the interact to interactive sites such as an "Algebra Game", "Writing in Arabic", and "Periodic Table":

The student (above) used his knowledge and study of the Arabic language from his "Languages" elective class (studying Arabic this quarter) to create an "app" on specifics of the Arabic language (see left below).  He also linked to internet web sites, including "Muhammad" (research web site) and "Islam Spread" (interactive map).

Besides having her apps link to slides below, this student included apps that linked to the internet for interactive sites based on Islam (see "Color a Mosque" and "Algebra" game app above).

 Besides having her apps link to slides below, this student included apps that linked to the 
 internet for interactive sites based on Islam.

 Besides having her apps link to slides below, this student included apps that linked to the internet for interactive sites based on Islam (see Period Table of Elements song and Hear the Arabic Alphabet Song)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Arab Merchant Advertisements

Students put themselves in the shoes (or should I say "sandals") of Arab merchants trading goods in or around Mecca, Arabia.  After researching and taking notes on Arab merchants' roles in society, the goods they traded, and places they traveled, students created advertisements persuading buyers to purchase their essentials! Here are some creative ads below:
Incense advertisement

Camel advertisement

Rice advertisement

Perfume advertisement

Spices advertisement

Spices advertisement

Herbal medicine advertisement

Water canteen made of animal skin advertisement

Fruits (often dried fruits in the desert) advertisement

Camels and spices advertisement

"Flying" carpets advertisement

Sugar and Candy (often boiled candies) advertisement