21 September 2012

Library Lesson: Tabletop Twitter

Not until I started teaching elementary, did I realize that technology can actually be limiting sometimes.  Now that I have no students old enough to use things like Facebook and Twitter, I'm faced with an interesting challenge:  teaching them to be responsible online citizens without violating COPPA.  It's not terribly difficult, but to maintain my "cool" image and teach them online responsibility is a bit of a challenge.  Yes, I could stick to the elementary friendly websites, but let's be honest, sixth graders are so over coolmath4kids.com.
Whilst perusing some of my new favorite websites for great library lessons, I came across this fantastic post about table top twitter, and I decided to give the idea a try.  So I created a lesson that taught my 6th grade students a quick history of twitter as well as the purpose of the at symbol (@) and hashtags (#).  Then I put a sheet of butcher paper on each table and asked the students to tweet either a response to the prompt or use the hashtag phrase in a tweet.  Usernames were decided simply by using first name and last name initial, and the students then completed a walkabout* that lasted about ten minutes (one minute per table to write and respond and some movement time).

The muffins LOVED IT!  They came up with some great tweets, and the teachers were completely enthralled (I didn't know that none of the teachers use twitter).  The best part of the lesson was the final result: they came up with some excellent tweets, responded to one another thoughtfully, and (most important in my book) didn't think the activity was "dumb" or "boring".

Here are some of their fantastic tweets (sorry the second one is difficult to read)

In response to the question "What advice would you give younger students about the library?" MylesR gave this great advice:

DuncanJ had great advice, and then MadelynR not only had a great response (@), she also made up her own hashtag that started popping up everywhere (man those little muffins are resourceful!)

Good lord I love it when my lessons are successful!

Happy Teaching!

*in a walkabout lesson, participants are broken up into groups and rotate through "stations" where they are asked to respond to prompts, questions, look at data, solve a problem, etc.  The stations rotate relatively quickly, and once every group has rotated through all the stations, a quick debrief/share out is done.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:32 PM

    I did this activity with 5th-8th graders in our Advisory program. I had 8 quotes about being thankful and thinking about their actions and they really responded well. Their tweets were thoughtful and some very deep. I was so happy with this lesson and thank you so much for posting about it.


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