Recently Mrs. McCollough came to me for digital suggestions to support a unit her students were studying on Ancient Egypt. In addition, she wanted to be able to address a 3rd grade writing standard W.3.2 - Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly. (including an introduction/conclusion sentence, illustrations, supporting facts and the use of linking words) After mentally thumbing through the available digital options, I suggested she ask students to do their research using the MyOn eBook series on Ancient Egypt, and their writing on the web/iPad tool Thinglink.
Students began their research with MyOn, where they found an excellent series on Ancient Egypt! Using eBooks for research is perfect for supporting the variety of reading levels in one class. As students gather their facts they can choose to have the book read to them or read it themselves.
As the students researched their topic, they wrote paragraphs on the facts they found. Mrs. McCollough had students handwrite their paragraphs rather than type them. Once they were done, we introduced the Thinglink web app. Students chose an image and added their paragraphs to create hot links for their facts. Along the way, student also learned a few valuable digital skills as well. One skill they learned was to press the Alt key before clicking on an image to pull up a window for cutting and pasting the picture's URL.
Most of all, the skills that student discover as they create with a variety of digital tools helps them become confident digital natives. Thinglink gave students a chance to prove and share their learning in a unique and engaging way.