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Put the NEW in NEWBERY


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Keywords: Newbery Award, Podcasting, Media Information Skills, Author study
Subject(s): English/Language Arts, Information Skills, Reading, Writing, Podcasting, Technology
Grades 4 through 6
School: College Gate Elementary School, Anchorage, AK
Planned By: Dona Helmer
Original Author: Dona Helmer, Anchorage
Rationale: Media Specialists traditionally teach the prestigious Newbery Award to students in elementary and middle school but this unit involves the librarian and the classroom teacher working together to teach a unit that is much richer. This unit was designed to be used second semester with 5th graders but could easily be adapted up or down wherever students have podcast creation and editing skills. This can also be used as a cooperative learning activity if you put the students in teams.

Grade level/Subject: grades 4-6 Language Arts/Library/Media Skills

Time Allotment: 4-5 weeks

The objectives are:
• Students will know the criteria for the Newbery award.
• Students will be able to locate a list of the Newbery Award winners on the Internet.
• Using on-line published reviews, students will be able to select a book that they want to read.
• Students will read and then write a review/booktalk for their selected Newbery book which they will turn into a podcast.

Procedure:
1) Introduce the lesson by telling students that the Newbery Award is named for 18th century British printer whose name was John Newbery. Newbery printed books that children wanted to read as opposed to didactic tracts that children had to read.
2) Tell students that they will be studying the Newbery Award and the award winners. Display a poster with all the winners and have some of the books in the room. Read the blurb or book talk 2 or 3 Newbery Award winning titles.
3) In the computer lab or library, have students go to the ALA web site and read more about the current award winners. Also have them look at previous award winners and the criteria for the award. Have students write down 2 or 3 titles they think they might like to read.
4) Next, have students find 2 online reviews for these books, ask them to properly cite their online resource. Have students read and discuss the reviews with class. Now, have them sign up for the title that they have selected to read. Check out the title to them from the library.
5) Have students read their books and tell them to pay particular attention to the character development, setting and also have them find a “good quote”.
6) Finally, play the teacher-made demonstration podcast which you have created to “sell” an older Newbery winner (I suggest Secret of the Andes because no one will ever choose it).
7) Tell students they will all be creating a podcast for their book. Provide time and help to write, assemble, and edit the podcast.
8) Celebrate their podcast by hosting a podcast party.

Internet Resources
For a list of award winners and criteria go to: http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/newberymedal/newberymedal.cfm

Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Library/media Skills and Literature Studies; Library/ media skills and Social Studies; Technology and Library Skills
Follow-Up
Podcast presentation for the entire school; link podcasts to school website
Links: American Library Association Newbery page
Materials: Headsets, Keyboards, Power, Computer Accessories, Digital Voice Recorders, Podcasting
Other Items: 10 headphones with attached microphone, $60.00 each, total of $600.00