This post originally appeared on the Engage/Teacher to Teacher blog in May 2011.
Tired of filling all your classroom wall space with charts, construction paper, and poster boards and then wondering how to recycle all that paper when it gets replaced with new charts and posters? Have you considered the reasons for inviting students to represent their thinking through visual texts? And have you tried using Glogs as an alternative?
A New Reason
Often students are asked to create PowerPoint presentations, posters, and other visual texts to answer a series of questions that you have identified. But answering teacher-initiated questions make students collectors of, and responders to, information. If you want to encourage students to critically examine issues, to note concerns, to generate questions, and to use images to share their perspectives about what they are reading and thinking, creating a Glog provides an excellent opportunity for their voices to be visually represented.
A New Type
A digital poster called a Glog allows students to interactively engage, create, and share information. Students can add images, videos, music, flashcards, and much more to their web-based Glogs that can be used for retellings, as study guides, or to share information, a perspective, or a critical stance. Incorporating a Glog as visual media is not confined to the elementary grades or to the reading of literature. Glogs can be used at any grade level and in content classrooms, as shown by the examples that follow.
Consider some of these ideas for creating a Glog:
Learning About Glogs
- Collaborative groups can create Glogs about books they are reading during literature circles. They can pose questions that they might like to ask the author or a character.
- Students can create reviews of books they are reading. When seeking a new book to read, students can access each other’s reviews and get acquainted with their points of view.
- Groups of students can each study an author, including books written, style, genre, etc. and then create an author study Glog to share the information. They might identify their concerns or share their insights about issues being presented by the author. For example they might ask Sharon Draper if she experienced a personal loss that allowed her to so deeply describe the feelings of Andy in Tears of A Tiger.
- Students can create Idiom Glogs, Simile Glogs, Homophone Glogs, and others about tricky literary concepts. They can then offer tips on how to use these.
To get started visit http://www.glogster.com/
. Glog Projects
Here are a couple of instructional examples that illustrate students sharing their voices and perspectives through a Glog.
3rd grade Reading/Language Arts: Teacher, Kelly Johnson
Create a Glog of a fairy tale character that conveys perspective differently than implied in the original text. Task:
After selecting a fairy tale, students worked in groups of three to think and talk about each character’s perspective of what was, or had occurred in the tale, and the perspective the author was creating. They were tasked with selecting one of the characters and retelling the fairy tale from a different perspective. For example, Cinderella could have left her slipper at the ball because she had not really liked the Prince or had not wanted to go to the ball. The wicked stepsisters could have been shown as sisters who were always bullied by Cinderella because she was prettier than they were. Students were asked to also discuss how the readers would perceive these character changes: Who would be the hero, the empowered, and the victim?
Ms. Johnson had assigned this task because she was attempting, within the context of critical literacy, to encourage her students to understand that in every story and situation they should analyze whose position is being supported by the author and whose voice is being ignored or silenced. After selecting their tales and characters, and creating the new perspective, students were then invited to share the selected character’s new perspective within the context of a Glog. Each group was asked to include photos and other visuals representing the new perspective. In addition, students were asked to include illustrations representing the setting. Students were able to scan in their own sketches of the scenes. Students could also include current or classical music that best illustrated the complexity of the problem being faced by the character. The solution to the dilemma was also to be included in the Glog in the form of a video the students created, a written paragraph, or an audio recording from the students themselves.
11th grade Social Studies: Teacher, Javier Vaca
Create a Glog persuading support for the “home front” efforts during WWI.
Students worked as partners studying one of the following topics (Building Up the Military, Organizing Industry, Mobilizing the Workforce Ensuring Public Support; view an example here
). Using a chapter from their social studies text, and related articles found via the Internet, their task was to first identify text-based visuals and information that had promoted “Home Front” support for WWI. Next, they interrogated the texts to determine who was being either supported or forgotten and what views were being either promoted or ignored. They then figured out ways to entwine their perspective as a way to communicatively engage with the author, and, finally, to use visuals to persuade others to their stance. Before beginning, students decided that they could persuade and inform by using visuals as well as words, and that they could then persuasively share their information within the context of a Glog.
Benefits to Learning
These Glog projects supported the students in comprehending and then synthesizing the text-based information. Working as partners/teams, students were identifying, locating, and interrogating texts, and then discussing their thinking in order to negotiate the images and slogans that would persuade the audience viewing the Glog to view “home front” war support through the stance of the creators, or to have new insights and feelings about a fairytale character. In addition to reading information and reporting it in their own words, these students were also creating visual texts representing the newly learned information through images designed to persuade or to illustrate a new perspective. Diane Lapp, EdD, is a distinguished professor of education at San Diego State University and an English teacher and literacy coach at Health Sciences High and Middle College.
© 2012 Diane Lapp. Please do not reproduce in any form, electronic or otherwise. TILE-SIG Feature: Create a Multimedia Poster Using Glogster Engage: Plugged In