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FlipVideo Poetry: Teaching Narrative Poems Through Community Service Learning

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Keywords: National Read Across America Day, Bloom's Taxonomy higher order questions, Flip Video, narrative poem, literacy, Dr. Seuss, community service learning, relative illustrations, student instruction, and continued shared learning via FlipVideo technology.
Subject(s): Drama, Grammar, Service Learning, Spelling, English/Language Arts, Photography, Information Skills, Reading, Animation, Writing, Special Needs, Technology, Social Skills, Video, Art, Civics
Grades 7 through 8
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: South Middle School, Brockton, MA
Planned By: Beth Keane
Original Author: Beth Keane, Brockton
Unit Objective: Students will draft, write and illustrate a narrative poem storybook with 8-10 comprehensive questions and a related craft activity and present their "Seussical" poetry project to primary school students as part of a community service learning grant. Students will videotape their live presentations at the primary school for continued instructional purposes at both the primary and middle school levels.

1.Students will first watch a video of the Cat in the Hat to see the world of Dr. Seuss and conduct a whole group KWL discussion.
2.Students will complete a research activity relative to Dr. Seuss to discover what kind of author he was and what genre, style, and writing techniques he was noted for.
3.Students will have an opportunity to examine Dr. Seuss books in station activities to report on the similarities and differences in his most noted works.
4. Students will compare and contrast works by Dr. Seuss to assigned narrative poems in assigned stations. Students will report their findings to the larger group.
5. Students will work in cooperative pairs to write and illustrate a narrative poem storybook.
6. Students will use Bloom's Taxonomy stems to create higher order, spiraled comprehensive questions relative to their narrative poem storybook.
7. Students will create a supplemental craft activity relative to their narrative poem storybook.
8. Students will use a FlipVideo camera to practice and record their instructional presentation.
9. Students will use the individual FlipVideos to assess their practice presentations, constructively critique instructional techniques, and edit instructional and presentational techniques accordingly.
10. Each cooperative pair will implement their instructional lesson via live presentation in an assigned primary classroom: narrative poem storybook, comprehensive questions, and craft activity.
11. Students will work cooperatively so that each final, live presentation at the primary school is recorded using a Flip Video camera so that teachers can reuse the instructional videos and share instructional videos with colleagues throughout the district.
12. Students will present FlipVideos to parents and teachers at various school and community venues to draw more community service support and participation from teachers and community members in an effort to secure further grant funding and community service learning providers, venues, projects and volunteers within our urban community.
13. Students will write a letter to the superintendent reflecting on their community service learning experience.
14. Students will create and record live interviews regarding their community service learning experiences for the superintendent using a FlipVideo camera. These FlipVideos will be delivered to the superintendent along with the written letters to document their experiences with CSL.

Strategies: KWL inventory, pair/share research, cooperative learning, community service learning, peer inventory, whole group and small group discussion, guided notes, graphic organizing, drafting, revising, and presenting orally.

Essential Questions: What are the components of a narrative poem? What tools can I use to draft an effective narrative poem? Who was Dr. Seuss and what contributions did he make to support literacy? How can I best prepare instructional materials for comprehension and what tools will be effective in this endeavor? How can I use Bloom's Taxonomy stems to develop higher order comprehension questions?What strategies can I use to instruct a lesson at the primary level?

Essential Vocabulary: narrative poem, Dr. Seuss, Bloom's Taxonomy, rhyming dictionary, assessment, National Read Across America Day, and FlipVideo.

Assessments: Research, discussions, narrative poems, illustrations, Bloom's Taxonomy higher order comprehensive questions, craft activity, FlipVideo presentations and edit work, final live presentations and FlipVideo recordings of final instruction, student instruction assessment, letters to the superintendent and FlipVideo interviews to the superintendent.
This project is designed to use FlipVideo technology and community service learning to promote literacy throughout the district and to promote and garner participation in community service learning projects throughout our urban city. It is my sincere hope that you can see the value in such a layered learning experience in a financially challenged, urban community as we make every effort to improve literacy for all of our diverse students and community members.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This unit plan can be retooled to address any content area in the curriculum. Poems could be written about math concepts, countries, cell division...the possibilities are endless. This unit plan also encourages community members to volunteer in our schools in a effort to promote literacy and support our schools through community service learning.
Students will write letters to the superintendent detailing their community service learning experiences. Each student will create a FlipVideo interview detailing their experiences for the superintendent to accompany their written letter. Students will showcase their instructional FlipVideos as well as their FlipVideo interviews in schools and within the community to draw support for and participation in community service learning projects that address the challenges of literacy in our urban city.
Materials: Cause and Effect, Art Tools, Early Learning, Writing, Literacy, Reading, Flash/USB Drives, Batteries, Tripods, Networked Projectors, Projectors, Point and Shoot, Digital Cameras, Flip Video
Other Items: 1 binding spirals, $25.00 each, total of $25.00
1 binding machine, $100.00 each, total of $100.00