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Professional Learning
Services
Pixie Icon

Pixie

Software for student publishing and creativity.

Wixie Icon

Wixie

Online student publishing and creativity platform.

Frames Icon

Frames

Create animations, digital stories, and stop-motion.

Share Icon

Share

Create web sites, epubs, and presentations.

Tech4Learning Blog
Tech4Learning Blog
Tech4Learning Blog
Tech4Learning Blog

Using Wixie in Sixth Grade Language Arts

Posted by Melinda Kolk on Jun 18, 2015 5:10:42 PM

Wixie provides students with tools to combine original artwork, images, text, and voice narration to create a range of products including how-to instructions, digital stories, ebooks, comics, and more.

In sixth grade, students are transitioning from thinking like a child to thinking like an adult. They are capable of dealing with conflict and complexity, and should be asked to create products for use by other people that challenge their abilities. Work in Wixie should involve lots of writing and creativity as they explore the new boundaries of their thinking.

Here are a few ideas drawn for the Common Core State Standards for Grade 6


Social media profiles and pages for literary characters  

Authors provide details about characters in a story through descriptive sentences, events that directly involve the character, and what other characters think and say about them. Have students take the viewpoint of a character in a novel they are reading and use Wixie's MyBook template to create a social networking page for them.

In a MyBook lesson like this, students read the text and draw inferences from the story about the character to use for status updates. The use specific language from the text to draft and support comments and complete the character profile. They select pictures the character would include on their page about places they have been or activities they have been involved in. Once finished, ask a classmate reading the same book but focusing on a different character to add responses to some of the status updates.

For example, Wendelin Van Draanen’s Flipped tells a story from two points of view, Julie and Bryce. After reading the story individually or as a class, talk about how an author’s use of first-person and/or third-person point-of-view can have an effect on how a character or event is perceived. Have students create a Facebook-style page for Bryce or Julie, showing their perspective on a specific event and citing evidence from the test. 

 

 

This style of project helps students meet 6th grade CCSS like:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.1
    Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.6 Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.

Character Scrapbooks

Novels provide details about the main character through descriptive sentences, events that directly involve the character, and what other characters think and say about the main character. We don’t have students complete character analyses because they will be doing this for a living, but rather to help them learn to think critically, analyze information, and communicate effectively through storytelling.

One way to lend relevance to character analysis is to have students create a digital scrapbook to show what they know about the main character in a novel. Many kids today have parents who have been documenting their lives with scrapbooks. When students complete a Character Scrapbook lesson like this, the contents of their scrapbook indicate their knowledge and comprehension about the character and their actions. 

It’s important that a scrapbook is not merely a list of bullet points about a character. The entries in a character scrapbook should evidence the student’s analysis of motivation and insight into that character’s actions. You could assign the Wixie Character Scrapbook template (Activities tab) to provide structure for their work. This template includes pages for students to write fictitious letters between characters to show their relationships.

 

 

This style of project helps students meet 6th grade CCSS like:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.1
    Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.3
    Describe how a particular story's or drama's plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.

Scrapbooks for Historical Figures

You could use a similar format to help students better understand historical figures. Ask students to develop a scrapbook that highlights and describes events from the person's life. Depending on the person they are studying, students may be able to find primary sources material, like letters, journals, photographs, and maps that connect to events in this person's life using sites like the National Archives and Library of Congress.

 

 

As they work to collect and organize resources for the scrapbook, ask students to consider the composition of images, the use of text and narration, and sound effects. Discuss how the use of multimedia elements can change the impact of a scrapbook.

This style of project helps students meet 6th grade CCSS like:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.7
    Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.

Personification Stories

Personification is a literary device in which human qualities are given to objects, animals, or ideas. Nursery rhymes, fairy tales, fables, and children‘s stories commonly personify animals. Read a few examples of personification with students, such as the work of Lewis Carroll in his poem The Walrus and the Carpenter.

Work as a class to personify an object in your room. Begin by brainstorming human traits that can be applied to it. Ask students to imagine they are the object and answer questions like: What am I afraid of? and What do I hate to do?

 

 

Personification can make writing much more interesting. In a Personification Stories lesson like this, students choose an object to personify and give it feelings or fears to develop conflict that will drive their story.

This style of project helps students meet 6th grade CCSS like:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.6.5
    Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.6.5.A
    Interpret figures of speech (e.g., personification) in context.

Wixie is blank-screen software you can apply in many subjects and contexts. If students are organizing notes about a topic, exploring vocabulary, creating how-to instructions, or reporting data and evidence, they can use Wixie as a digital notebook to make their thinking visible.

 

Topics: Wixie, 21st century classroom, authentic task, comprehension,, secondary

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