I chose LS “You can’t judge a book by its cover. Or can you?” to mark World Book Day with my students. Celebrating this day with a learning scenario was at the same time an eTwinning activity. Teachers and students of the eTwinning community were able to create book covers together. At the same time, my students were tasked with wrapping the books so that the covers would not be seen and so that potential readers would choose the book “not judging by the cover”. After that, we prepared a “blind date with the books” and displayed the wrapped books in the school reading corner. Students competences after the learning outcomes of the implementation were:
1. Critically understanding the visual presentation of books.
2. Applying information from the covers of the book and creating only “hints” (creativity, problem-solving).
3. Creating interesting information for potential readers using social entrepreneurship and creativity skills.
The Book Covers gallery at Europeana served us to analyze the visual presentation and the assumptions / stereotypes that people usually have when they look at the cover of a book.
- Preparation activity 1: The students were divided into groups of four. The students went to the school library and selected the books judging by how much they liked the cover. Each group selected 5 books. (20 minutes)
- Evaluation activity: From the Europeana Book Covers gallery I chose 2 covers: a) Alice in Wonderland, b) Leo Tolstoy’s “Peace and war”. Students had the task to evaluate: 1. the visual impression of the cover in the terms “dynamic, static, modern, traditional, appealing, repellent”, 2. to create a plot of 5 sentences that they would assume according to the cover. (20 minutes)
- Understanding activity: Using the presentation, in a few sentences, I told the students the plot of the selected books. The students then analyzed the facts of the plot with their impression based on the covers. They quickly evaluated how far they were from the actual plot judging books only by the cover and visual impression (15 minutes).
- Creating activity: After that, they developed the idea of how to attract potential readers. They wrapped the books in opaque paper and wrote “hints” on the covers. The goal was to attract readers who would not judge books by the cover. They created the activity “Blind Date with a Book” and displayed the wrapped books in the school reading corner (25 minutes).
- Simultaneous activity: At the same time, their peers on eTwinning created the covers of their favourite books using quotes, sayings and messages from writers.
With this activity we have achieved the following educational goals:
1. Evaluation of information, evaluation of visual presentation.
2. Application of information and critical thinking about them.
3. Analysis of prejudices, unfounded conclusions and the creation of notions based on unreliable information.
4. Creating quality and attractive content that would attract potential readers without depending on assumptions or impressions.
5. Use and application of digital tools during learning.
The goals strengthened the literature curriculum with an activity that linked creativity and social entrepreneurship.
During teaching, I used the following methods of work:
1. Teaching collaborative learning and project based learning.
2. The use of Europeana’s digital database and its application.
3. Cloud-Based learning.
Implementing of this learning scenario has strengthened my teaching competencies.
I learned and analyzed the application of digital tools in teaching and use of the innovative teaching methods which are designed to train our students with 21st century skills. I was especially motivated with the learning scenario because it allowed me to apply all my creativity in teaching and collaborate with other teachers- learning and practicing by their example.
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You can’t judge a book by its cover. Or can you? created by Katarzyna Siwczak
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