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Subject: Language Arts, Social Studies

Grade Level: 3-6

Materials: Multicultural picture books and chapter books, computers, word processing program, handouts. Web publishing program if possible; teacher can also post book reviews to a blog or wiki if they do not have a web publishing program.

About: WORLD CAFE BOOK CLUB: Cultural Stories: Author Studies and Book Reviews as a Response to Literature In this activity, students read and share books from different cultures through author studies and book reviews. Students will brainstorm the meaning of "culture" and complete family trees to find out about their heritage. Students will be required to make inferences about their heritage and interpret stories from their own or other cultures. Students will create online book reviews to be shared with the community. The online review will consist of a summary of the book, something about the author, and an illustration of the book reviewer. Reviews will be posted on our World Cafe Book Club website along with an image of the book cover.

The purpose of this project is to encourage children to accept and celebrate their differences. We want to help all children develop a positive self-concept and feel proud of whom they are. If this positive sense of self and others is allowed to flourish, today's children will become adults who accept and affirm differences, identify unfair situations, and strive to eliminate racism of any sort. Storytelling encourages creativity, promotes problem-solving, embraces diversity, addresses different learning styles and improves the classroom climate as it deepens and grows into a community of caring students that are exposed to the different viewpoints of their peers. The activities designed for this project hope to promote the ideas: • That “my story” is “our story.” • That we are many cultures but one community.

Standard 4. Gathers and uses information for research purposes Uses strategies to gather and record information for research topics (e.g., uses notes, maps, charts, graphs, tables, and other graphic organizers; paraphrases and summarizes information; gathers direct quotes; provides narrative descriptions)
Language Arts
Speaking and Writing- 2. Speaking and writing for literary response involves presenting interpretations, analyses, and reactions to the content and language of a text. Speaking and writing for literary expression involves producing imaginative texts that use language and text structures that are inventive and often multilayered.
Educational Technology
NETS Standard 4: Technology communications tools Students use telecommunications to collaborate, publish, and interact with peers, experts, and other audiences. Students use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences.

Day 1:
Betty Doll, by Patricia Polacco
Interviewe Release Forms
Read Aloud: Read Betty Doll, by Patricia Polacco. Explain that this is a memoir and that often in memoirs there are objects that are "memory keepers". After reading, ask students:* Who are the two important characters in the story? What did the doll symbolize? Teacher - share a 'prized possession' with your class. Why do you treasure it? What does it symbolize for you? Have students pair and share their important possessions. Explain to students that they will interview a family member to find out the story behind an important treasured object. Hand out guide and tell them their assignment is to read the guide with their parents and decide on the object and who will be interviewed. Go over guide with students to make sure they understand their assignment. * These questions are garnered from Betty Doll Activities on Patricia Polacco's website. Please visit the site for more information.
Introduce the Digital Storytelling Project. Tell students that you will interview a person or persons in your family. You could interview parents, grandparents, brothers/sisters, or maybe an aunt or uncle. This kind of research is called oral history as it involves listening to people's stories and recording them. It's also called material history because it deals with objects and the reasons why they are important. Hand out Interview Release Forms and instruct students to bring them home and have parents read them and sign them.
Hand out Guidelines for Students. Go over guideline with students.
Students should have the interview release form signed by a parent and brought back to school the next day. Students should bring home the Guideline for Students and Parents. This should be read over by both students and parents. Students and parents should decide on WHO will be interviewed and WHAT the object will be.
Check for understanding: students should discover the importance and symbolism of the doll in the story. They should be able to answer the question, "What does that particular possession represent? "

Day 2: Cultural Marker Exercise
To identify and report on an item (object, photo) that serves an important role in your own cultural (ethnic, family, regional) identity.
To practice asking good interview questions.
Tell students to think about an object or photo that they feel helps define who they are and/or where you are from. Write at least one paragraph about the item’s significance. (For instance, think of a trophy you won, a special photograph) Be prepared to give a three-minute presentation about this item to the rest of the class. Guide students in asking questions about the object.
1. Check for understanding: students should discover the importance and symbolism of their most prized possessions. They should be able to answer the question, "What does that particular possession represent? " 2. Check for understanding: after this session, students should have a clearer idea about what kinds of questions they can ask when they do their interview.

Day 3: Formulating Interview Questions
Students will create a list of interview questions.
Using Microsoft Word (or other word processing program), students should create a document that includes the following information: 1. Their name 2. The name of the person they are interviewing 3. The relationship of that person to the student 4. The "treasure" Next, the student should brainstorm a list of questions about the treasure, trying to focus on its history, its significance, what makes it special, why does the interviewee treasure it, cultural meaning, etc.
Students should bring home the questions they generated in class to use as a guide for interviewing the family member. Tell students they have one week to complete the interview as well as to bring in the object (to be photographed by the teacher and then sent back home) or a photo of the object that can be scanned onto the computer. Optional: have students bring in a photo of the person they are interviewing.
Use this storytelling checklist to keep track of student's progress: http://innovation.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/4627/Digital_Storytelling_Checklist.pdf

Day 4: Creating Scripts and Storyboards
Students will type a script for their photostory based on the responses to their interview questions.
Students, with teacher's help, will scan any necessary images or upload digital images into their image folder on the computer.
Students will create a storyboard for their photostory.
Introduce Photostory to students so that they can visualize what their final product might look like. Go to http://greece.k12.ny.us/task/photostory/ps3demos.htm and show students "Grandma's Story," and one or two of the "Fractured Fairy Tales." Explain to students that with photostory they will be able to easily upload their images, narrarate their scripts over the images and add background music.
Using the responses garnered from their interview, students will create a script for their photostory. Scripts should be no longer than one page.


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