Monica Brown OAKHAVEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, MEMPHIS, TN
4th Grade ELA : Unit #3 - This Land is Our Land : Lesson #14

Creating a summary of the story Letters Home from Yosemite using an interactive voice recorder

Objective: SWBAT create a summary of the story "Letters Home from Yosemite" using an interactive voice recorder.
Standards: RI.4.1 RI.4.2 RI.4.3 RI.4.5 RI.4.8 W.4.2 W.4.4 W.4.6 SL.4.5
Subject(s): English / Language Arts
60 minutes
2 Introduction - 9 minutes

In this lesson, we use the interactive voice recorder program Voki to summarize the story "Letters Home from Yosemite."  I review with students our formula for writing a summary and explain that we will use the Voki program to inform and explain what the story was about. My students enjoy using the interactive voice recorder program, Voki, because it allows them an opportunity to be totally engaged in the lesson.  They get to use their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills for a balanced literacy approach to learning, which will help them retain the content of the lesson more easily.

3 Collaborative Partner Work - 40 minutes

I allowed scholars time to write their summaries while working with a partner.  I did this because I have a limited number of computers in my classroom and there is not enough for each individual student to use Voki.  I have found partner collaboration is an effective and efficient way for my students to brainstorm, share ideas, and view multiple perspectives of their peers.  Although my students are not working on this task independently, the focus is on results rather than on the means by which they gain the results.  Peer collaboration is way for students to share responsibility for their literacy development.  They are truly taking ownership for their learning and holding each other accountable.

4 Closure - 10 minutes

We watch and listen to the Voki summaries as a whole class.  In doing so, my students are able to hone their speaking and listening skills as well as their evaluative skills in viewing the Voki summaries of their classmates.  This lesson is Common Core aligned in that it allows students an opportunity to use audio and visual displays to enhance and present the development of main ideas or themes of a text.

Content Improvement
Writing Across the Disciplines

The more we write summaries, I can see the content of my scholars' written summaries improving.  They are getting better at identifying the main idea, 3 supporting details, and a solid conclusion.  I know this will help them as we move into writing more 5 paragraph essays because they will have the basics down pat.