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Write and Podcast Your Life

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Keywords: Alphabiography, Podcasting, Scrapbooking
Subject(s): English/Language Arts, Podcasting
Grades 4 through 8
School: Westwego Elementary School, Westwego, LA
Planned By: Dawn Murden
Original Author: Dawn Murden, Westwego
Introduce the Alphabiography format by reading several chapters of "Totally Joe" by James Howe. Students will then brainstorm a list of words that they could possibly use for each letter of the alphabet, using Linda Hoyt's Alphaboxes. After creating a list of words, students select one that they think they will have enough material to write about. Then they create a list of words about that topic. Each chapter is a letter of the alphabet and ends with a "Life Lesson"; thoughts of what they have learned based on this experience. Three letters are assigned each week, with all of the writing process involved (i.e. peer conferencing, teacher conference.) After every nine letters, students review the chapters up to that point and edit/revise. With the completion of the book, students create their own book, using scrapbooking materials. With picture editing software and clip art, they type their chapters and add art to make the page more exciting. When complete, each student will choose one chapter to create a podcast with (hopefully with each choosing a different letter) to complete a digital class book, "Our Class Alphabiography: How the puzzle fits."
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
While reading biographies in Social Studies, examine what biographers determine as pertinent information.
Materials: Mobile Labs, Word Processor, Clipart, Podcasting, English and Language Arts, xD Memory Cards, Flash/USB Drives, Batteries
Other Items: 1 Podcast Mobile Lab, $3500.00 each, total of $3500.00