by Jen Donovan
ReadWriteThink.org recently introduced Cube Creator, an online interactive tool that provides students with a special type of graphic organizer. The interactive organizer is in the form of a six-sided cube with different information appearing on each side. Students must record an answer or observation to the prompts on each side. After the student records their information, the cube flips to a different side with a new prompt. The concept of the Cube Creator works by breaking the subject down into smaller elements that eventually come together to form a bigger picture or main idea. As the student records their answers the cube becomes complete, leaving them with fun-shaped, organized chart of information.
This interactive tool includes a planning sheet, which allows students to think about their answers and simplify them for their final cube. Cube Creator also has a special save feature that allows students and teachers to save and edit their cubes at any time. (Visit ReadWriteThink.org for a video tutorial on saving interactives.)
The final result is a print-out pattern of the cube that can be cut out and assembled into a tangible representation of the topic. Students can actually hold the 3-D organizer in their hands and see how it visually represents what they’ve learned.
Cube Creator presents its users with four different options for summarizing, organizing, and planning:
- Bio Cube was the original interactive cube organizer and the inspiration for Cube Creator. It allows students to create an outline of the subject of a biography or autobiography that they've read in class. It prompts them to record thoughts on the person’s significance, background, and personality. Students can also use this tool for organizing and writing their own autobiography.
- Mystery Cube helps students organize clues to solve their favorite mystery stories. It also helps them with creating their own mystery by identifying the necessary mystery elements and vocabulary. Questions prompt students to describe the setting, clues, mystery, victim, detective, and solution to the mystery story.
- Story Cube introduces students to the key elements of a story. Students will be able to identify character, setting, conflict, resolution, and theme. This introduces students to the basic elements and vocabulary of literary analysis.
- Create-Your-Own Cube can be used for any subject. This tool allows teachers to create their own prompts and topics and save the file to be shared with students as a class exercise. Students can also use this cube to create their own interactive learning tool on any topic of their choosing. The Create-Your-Own Cube is a blank canvas for any subject, and it’s perfect for science, math, and social studies units.
Unlike traditional prewriting webs or charts, filling out the Cube Creator is more like completing a puzzle. It challenges students to organize information, creating a comprehensive summary of their topic by completing the cube. Cube Creator is a fun and visually engaging learning tool that students are excited to use.
ReadWriteThink.org is a project of Verizon Thinkfinity, the International Reading Association, and the National Council for Teachers of English. Visit www.readwritethink.org for more interactives and lesson plans.