Teach Historical Fiction with Edmodo
Every teacher loves (or will love) Edmodo. It’s easy, it’s safe, and it’s exciting for the students. I was first introduced to Edmodo by Heather, a phenomenal teacher who utilizes the tool for online class discussions and literature circles with her fifth graders. Edmodo is a powerful social networking tool for learning and I wanted to add one more teaching strategy to your Edmodo toolbox.
When teaching historical fiction, have your students role play characters on Edmodo. In other words, challenge students to use their understanding of character and the genre of historical fiction to create a social networking world that would resemble Facebook during that time period. For my class, we focused solely on the Great Depression simply because
there were several historical fiction books of varying levels and plenty of nonfiction texts to provide background knowledge.
While my students were reading historical fiction in book clubs during reading workshop, they spent writing workshop developing their own 1930s characters and families. These families were grouped as small groups on Edmodo and each student entered an account on Edmodo as their character.
Take a look at these posts. These fifth graders did a phenomenal job applying what they learned in reading to their Edmodo posts. Writing as a fictional character made a world of difference for all of my students. They were engaged and even paid more attention during reading workshop.
I also designed badges on Edmodo that corresponded with the rubric to monitor and quickly assess student progress (I did add a few work work ethic badges). Students eagerly worked and stayed on task because they wanted to earn these badges. They had a blast and I was assessing and monitoring without breaking a sweat. It was definitely a win-win situation!
RUBRIC & ASSESSMENT
The rubric included setting, nonfiction skills, character traits, vocabulary, and technology skills. I used the rubric to guide my mini lessons and strategy groups. Again, the badges helped the students focus on the reading and writing skills being assessed in this unit.
MY TWO CENTS
This approach made it incredibly easy to differentiate and assess students. My higher-level readers were given more complicated family situations and challenged to use more technology tools for their posts. I strongly believe that role playing on Edmodo can be used a variety of ways in your classroom regardless of the subject. I imagine that students would love role-playing characters from a book or series, from a historical event, or even from an ecosystem. Enjoy trying this out in your classroom! I would love to hear how your students learned in this way.
For more details, you can check out my guest blog post on Edmodo’s blog.