This summer book reviews by fourth-grade students at Northwest Elementary will be displayed at the Howell Carnegie Library as a way to promote summer reading. The students completed the book reviews as part of a Project Based Learning Lesson. The lesson combined many academic areas including English Language Arts, social studies, science and technology.
To start the project, students learned what a nonfiction narrative was and about writing summaries. They then selected two nonfiction narratives to read. After reading both books, each student picked one of the books to review. Next, the students focused on how to identify primary and secondary sources. With their new knowledge, the students used various types of technology to draft, edit and publish a book review sharing their opinion about whether others should read the book. Lastly, each student created a poster to showcase their book and book review.
Additionally, students in Tami Rossman’s class worked with Kelly Ryan, Northwest Elementary technology teacher, and Ryan Horne, Howell Public Schools instructional technology coach, to create a website for their book reviews and a short audio summary of their book. The students created Quick Response Codes (QR Code) which can be scanned to read the review or listen to the audio recording.
“Kate Rossetter and Ryan Horne, our district’s instructional coaches, were valuable and supportive resources,” said Rossman.
The students enjoyed the project. “(It) was really fun because you got to use some real fun technology and learn how to do some new stuff,” said Finn, a Northwest fourth-grader. “We used a QR Reader, Google Docs and then we learned how to do audio recordings.”
“Our students were very enthusiastic and engaged throughout the project. They collaborated and taught one another during the whole process,” said Stacey Hash, Northwest Elementary fourth-grade teacher.
“Knowing that their final project would be displayed at the Howell Carnegie Library really motivated the students to do their best work,” added Rebecca Butte, Northwest Elementary fourth-grade teacher.
Before sending their posters and book reviews to the Howell Carnegie Library, the students held a special celebration in the Northwest library to share their reviews with their families and fellow students.