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ELA + Social Studies + Xtranormal

One of the reasons I like the renewed Saskatchewan ELA Curriculum is that it calls for multimedia to be used in several outcomes at each grade level. As a teacher, this is but one of many reasons to be re-thinking the processes, products, and content you use in your classroom everyday. Here are two such outcomes taken from grades 5 and 8 curricula respectively:

Outcome: CC5.2

Demonstrate a variety of ways to communicate understanding and response including illustrated reports, dramatizations, posters, timelines, multimedia presentations, and summary charts.

Outcome: CC8.5

Create and present a variety of visual and multimedia presentations including an illustrated report, a role play that ends with a tableau, a dramatization, presentation software, a newscast with adequate detail, clarity, and organization to explain (e.g., an important concept), to persuade (e.g., an opinion on an issue, a mini-debate), and to entertain (e.g., a humourous incident).

Both outcomes present a perfect opportunity to incorporate some inter-disciplinary learning. I’ve always found a natural connection between ELA and Social Studies outcomes. In the examples found below, students at the different grade levels have worked toward mastering outcomes in both subject areas. At the high school level I think this especially significant when you consider the way in which 5 period block scheduling remains the norm and tends to result in subject areas being taught in silos. An integrated approach is far more effective because the opportunity exists to situate learning in context.

Please enjoy the multimedia presentations that two students created using Xtranormal, a site that I’ve both referenced and praised in the past. Xtranormal is wonderful digital storytelling tool and does allow teachers to register for education accounts for a small, but totally reasonable, fee.

Canadian Culture and Identity
by: erik.vandusen

Saskatoon by Ally
by: erik.vandusen

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