Magazine article Technology and Children

Teasing out the Possibilities: Technological Connections and Language Arts

Magazine article Technology and Children

Teasing out the Possibilities: Technological Connections and Language Arts

Article excerpt

Technology can be infused or used as an integrator for almost any subject or topic you are teaching. Here are a few examples of potential activities and resources that might be helpful for you in thinking about language arts and technology.

Book Reports with a Design-and-Build Twist

Book reports are an icon in elementary school and beyond. A creative way of presenting them in some elementary classes is to build and design a diorama. Dioramas are used in numerous subject matters, but for a book report they might contain an overview of the book on the back, an envelope full of new terms the students learned on a side, the title of the book and author on the top, and perhaps images of the main characters inside. If one wanted to go beyond the "standard" diorama, several resources might help. First, you might consider a diorama designer or expanding the idea to building a community with the community construction kit from Tom Snyder Productions ( The kits comes in a three-ring binder with teaching ideas, instructions, lesson plans, and a CD-rom. On the CD-rom, students are walked through the design process of building construction and given the chance to select the doors, roofs, and additional creatures and things to put into their city or diorama. A photo gallery of famous buildings or dioramic interiors is also included for reference. The software allows you to design and print your diorama or building all ready to cut and assemble. A series of books from the Rosen Publishing Group might also be helpful in such an activity. For example, the book Possibilities and Problems in America's New Urban Centers: The Rise of Cities by Suzanne J. Murdico would be a great addition in building a community. Other titles like Technology of Ancient Rome or Ancient Greece might prove helpful in dioramas.


Building and designing games can be another wonderful activity that can help build language arts literacy skills by simply placing a few constraints on the students. First, you could acquire several games such as:

* WordxChange--Ages: 5 and up. Create words by stealing your opponents' words, add one or more letters, and reshuffle them into one of your own words. The first one who creates five words wins.

* Apples to Apples--Ages: 7 and up. A judge puts out a green apple card that has a word on it. Everyone else puts down a red apple card that relates or matches the word or definition on the green card. The judge then picks the red card that matches the best. Whoever has their red apple card picked gets the green apple card. The first one who gets five green apple cards is the winner. …

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