Implementation of ‘You can’t judge a book by its cover. Or can you?’ (SOI-HR-229)


I decided to implement students’ activities according to the LS,  and adjust them to 16-year-old students. I started my teaching classes in person, and then transferred to online teaching because of the pandemic, so the adjustment was necessary. The activities were orientated towards motivating the students to read and write (encouragement to read).
Before the implementation classes, students were mastering the learning outcomes of the National Croatian language Curriculum: student is familiarised with literary genres and forms, student is familiarised with the epic as the literary genre, and with the structure of the literary forms starting with the simple forms, and progressing towards the complex forms (from myths, fairytales, fables etc. to short story, novel, travelogue, biography etc.)
. I implemented this scenario during 4/3 classes. I briefly familiarised the students with the possibility of using the materials from Europeana platform, and mentioned that we can follow the European principles of teaching together, as well as the knowledge from ICT and the large gallery with materials. I also talked about the copyright and the protection which the materials have.


Wordwall was used to connect terms related to the students’ acquired knowledge on structural elements of prose and poetry, they needed to determine which element belongs to prose, and which one to poetry. I asked them if they rather read poetry or prose (typing in chat on Zoom), the conclusion was that they prefer prose. The next task was to continue the story based on drama learning methods. I pronounced the sentence „Oh if you only knew how it was“ in a few different intonation forms using also the facial mimic, as well as hand gestures-as a sad expression, as a funny expression and as a dramatic(tense) expression. Students had to recognize which book cover matches which facial expression or mood they have recognised in my acting. Students were assigned to continue writing the story in any tone they found suitable while being guided by their own imagination. The students read their short stories. Students then did peer evaluation using rubrics-two stories were liked the most, the story called „Ena’s choice“ (love theme), and the travelogue story „Trans-Siberian adventure“.

Book cover 1.

Then groups of 6 (the class has 24 students), were assigned to make the book covers on A3 papers, and because of online teaching, the students chose the leader of the team who was the drawer, and the rest of the team was giving the ideas for the book cover and guiding the drawer (they could also choose the painting technique). They posted covers (Pdf) on Yammer platform, which is a place where our virtual classroom is situated.

Book cover 2.

Learning outcomes

Students were proud of the fact that they could solve Wordwall tasks as a revising method using the stories of their peers (in which they choose the story to practice on themselves, and then they need to mark structural prose elements and answer the questions about whether the narrator is in the first or third person, what prevails in the text; the descriptions or the events, are there more descriptions of the characters or the spaces, are there more imaginative elements or facts, etc.) By implementing this scenario, we also achieved the outcomes of the National Croatian language Curriculum: students form and speak descriptive and narrative texts, while coordinating their speech to communication situation, purpose and listeners, students express their opinion and explain their critical stance on the literary text, based on reading experiences and knowledge about the world, students express themselves creatively to their own interest, encouraged by different experiences.

Book cover 3.

Teaching outcomes

Considering the fact that I have planned to spend 4 classes for the implementation, this time I chose for them to draw on a piece of paper. I collected the book covers in this e-book programme, where I also added the stories in Word format. Next time, I could use the programme which colleague Katarzyna has used ( ) because her programme is more practical and imaginative, and I also want to master all kinds of similar possibilities in online teaching; while working with the scenario I came up with the idea of arranging video clips into e-books, which is a great motivation for me to continue learning to work with different programmes, because I have been inducing many motivations for reading and writing by using drama teaching techniques on which I base my literature and language classes, since I believe in pedagogues’ motto: experience, then learn.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario?

You can’t judge a book by its cover. Or can you? created by Katarzyna Siwczak

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CC0 1.0 Universal: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on
Europeana and has been provided by the Finnish National Gallery.


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