Building literacy, for me, involves doing something with the materials that are read or written.
I am a fan of students completing projects to go along with book they have read or are currently reading. On ReadWriteThink, I found a project for creating Character Trading Cards. Although this type of project could be done not using technology, I think the interactivity of the project on ReadWriteThink makes it much more engaging for students.
The directions are clearly outlined on the site to create Character Trading Cards. This may seem to students like just a fun activity, but the pieces of information the student has to enter for the creation of the card will give the teacher key insights to the ability of the student to comprehend, synthesize, and pay attention to detail. One starts a card simply by typing their name, the name of the main character, and the title of the story.
After submitting that information, the students gets to see the creation of the trading card. Each time questions are answered providing new information, the card being created changes (immediate feedback?).
There are 5 sections (or types of information) used to create this card: description, insights, development, statements/actions, and impressions. The questions for each of these sections require students to think about what they have read and not just copy an answer straight for the book. Part of reading and understanding and story is being about to think about it and not just be able to recall basic facts.
Depending on the amount of guided practice, group work, and ability level, I think this is a project that could be adjusted to use with students from a wide variety of age and reading levels.
Here are some books on Big Universe Learning with interesting main characters that might work well with a Character Trading Card project:
- Super Sam
- Mrs. Murphy's Marvelous Mansion
- Jeremy in the Underworld
- Zibby Payne & the Wonderful, Terrible Tomboy Experiment