Friday, September 20, 2013

Collaborative School Project Idea - Create a Book Review Site

Amazon features book reviews from customers because we tend to look for recommendations from real people who have read the books that we're considering reading. You can recreate this same experience for students in your school.

Step 1: Have students create book reviews.
Book reviews don't have to be text-based. Your students could create short videos or podcasts in which they talk about their favorite parts of the books they have read. Along the same lines you could have students create "book trailer" videos. You can find five tools for creating book trailer videos in this post. To create a simple podcast have your students try SoundCloud or Vocaroo.

Step 2: Create a collaborative site.
There are plenty of free website builders and blogging platforms that would work for creating a review site. My choices for a site like this are Wikispaces or Google Sites. The ease with which you or your students can build pages and build navigation links is what makes Wikispaces and Google Sites my choice for a collaboratively created book review site. Wikispaces is probably a little easier to initially set-up, but if you're in a school that uses Google Apps for Education then your students will already have an account that they can use on Google Sites. The option to restrict students to editing specific pages in Google Sites is a nice option too. Click here for directions on how to do that.

If I was the teacher-librarian in the school I would probably create the site with pages aligned to genres or themes. If I would also include grade level labels.