Reader’s Workshop-Tech Adventure Style!

This last week I started a reader’s workshop unit with my 6th enriched language arts students. Once again, I didn’t quite follow the prescribed curriculum…….

The unit was originally to be a lit circles unit. I didn’t do lit circles for two reasons:

  1. There aren’t enough copies of books to do lit circles
  2. I don’t think lit circles give enough freedom of choice
    1. I have students in this class reading at grade level to 12th grade–how can I expect them to read the same book?

So, I decided to do a reader’s workshop model. I’ve taught reader’s workshop one time before, and it was focused around graphic novels. (That is another blog post–Ss read graphic novels and then drew their own! It was pretty amazing.) The objectives to be taught during the unit were focused around literary terms, so I set up my workshop around stations focused around literary terms. Students will go to two stations every class period, spending about 25 minutes at each station. There are 6 stations, and for each “rotation” (going through each of the stations one time) there is a literary term that is being focused on. So, here are the stations:

  1. Reading time
    1. Students read silently and then keep track of their reading in a reading log.
  2. Literary term work
    1. Students watch a video detailing a literary term. They then write a paragraph responding to a question dealing with the literary term.
      1. This is being done with a google doc with linked YouTube Videos. Students got the doc through Classroom.
  3. Reader’s response journal
    1. Students choose one prompt out of several to write at least a paragraph response to. The prompts focus on their reaction to their own personal book, but are also focused on whichever literary term is the term for that particular rotation.
  4. Makerspace!
    1. Students create something (I have several projects, but that’s another blog post)
    2. Students record a video reflection of their creation and post to our Google Classroom class for others to see
      1. Students are using YouTube’s feature of “my Webcam.” They then get the link and upload as a class comment to an announcement post in Classroom. If my students were older, I would probably have them create their own channels and post that way.
  5. Vocabulary
    1. Students find 5 words in their book that they didn’t know. They then fill out the definition and synonyms and antonyms for the words
  6. Grammar
    1. Students work on standards-aligned lessons on the site No Red Ink. They then go back to their writing from stations 1 and 2 to correct any grammar errors (focused on the concept from the grammar lesson).

We are doing 5 rotations; each rotation lasting approximately 3-4 days. At the end of rotations, students will write a book review of their workshop book (focusing on the 5 literary terms which have been studied). This review will then be published to the web (in a Google Doc format). We’ll make a short url for the review, and print off this link. Then, each link will be taped inside the actual book the student read in our school media center. Not only will this create an authentic audience, but it will also give useful information to other students in the school about what books to read.

So far, it is really going well. Some stations are more of a hit than others; some stations seem to be using more critical thinking (or different types) than others as well. Students are creating some really amazing things, and they are for sure loving the choice and ability to spend time reading something they love and reflecting upon it.


Author: karinhogen

I teach middle school language arts and run an Edtech company, DocentEDU, on the side. Every day is an adventure in my classroom with technology!

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