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Reading Rainbow for Second Graders

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Keywords: Flip Video, summaries, creative writing, documentaries, interviews, demonstrations, field trips, differentiated instruction, project based, multi-media presentation
Subject(s): Art, Video, Technology, Writing, Reading, Information Skills, English/Language Arts, Spelling, Grammar, Journalism
Grade 2
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Ayres Elementary School, Sterling, CO
Planned By: Sharon Atkins
Original Author: Sharon Atkins, Sterling
Reading Rainbow Lesson by Sharon Atkins
Grade Levels: 2-5

Lesson overview:
Students will collaborate to develop a multimedia presentation based on a theme using a Reading Rainbow format consisting of book summaries, a team documentary, and original writing with illustrations. Teams of students with similar interests would be selected to work together on a project which will allow for differentiated learning opportunities. Allow eight to nine weeks for this long term project and lesson.

Big Understandings:
A theme is a major idea that connects many smaller ideas together. Many literary genres and forms of media can be used to clarify and enhance a project based learning experience.

Essential Questions:
1. How do you get ideas for a thematic project?
2. What forms of writing can best express an authors purpose?
3. How can media effectively present information to an audience?
4. What real life experiences are needed to support the development of a documentary that is based on a theme?
5. What role do books, the Internet, and people play when researching a topic and developing background information?

Skill Objectives:
Picking a topic
Finding resources
Determining importance
Creative writing
Community Resources
Collaborating with team members
Project Organization

Materials Needed:
Flip cameras for each group, videos of several Reading Rainbow episodes, books, posters, supplies or materials for demonstrations.

First Phase
Students are shown several episodes of Reading Rainbow to determine what format their project will take.
Students brainstorm ideas for project themes.
Students should be divided into teams of three or four.
Students should each find a book on their reading level that has something to do with the theme that their group picked.
Each student in the group will read a book and will write a summary that contains the beginning and middle of the book, but is missing the ending of the book.
Flip cameras will be used to video each student reading the summary of each of their books.
Eg. Theme: cupcakes. Books: Fancy Nancy and the Delectable Cupcakes by Jane OConnor, Scooby-Doo! and the Cupcake Caper by Sonia Sander, and If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Felicia Bond.

Second Phase
Students should consult with their parents over what resources could be utilized to provide the shared team documentary portion of their project.
Each team of students should decide what they can do for the joint documentary portion of their project, considering parent and teacher input.
o Some teams may choose to do a demonstration (such as an experiment, magic tricks, or cooking demonstration) in which parents would need to supply materials.
o Some teams may choose to conduct an interview with a person of interest (such as an expert, hobbyist, or author) in which parents should help to contact the interviewee and schedule the interview.
o Some teams may choose to go on a mini-field trip for the documentary (such as a business, a museum, farm, a walk, or event) in which parents may need to transport and accompany, get permission, and make arrangements ahead of time for their small group.
Prepare for what the team has decided to do: perform a demonstration, write interview questions, or determine the area of emphasis for the mini-field trip.
Eg. One of the following: set up a cooking demonstration where the team makes cupcakes, interviews a local entrepreneur who has started a cupcake-bonbon business, or visits a bakery to watch the baker frost and decorate cupcakes.
Make sure that all students on the team know how to work the Flip video cameras.
Video tape the real life experiences for the documentary using Flip video cameras.

Phase 3
Students create an original piece of writing using their groups theme.
Students develop a sequence of illustrations to accompany their creative writing.
Eg. Original writing can be based on experiences or imaginative like The 4-H Cupcake Competition, a nonfiction personal narrative, or Cupcake: Daughter of Cake, a fantasy based on a cake family.
Students use a Flip video camera to video their art while reading their writing.

Phase 4
Students assemble and edit their video projects into a one half hour video.
Students host a film festival for their parents to screen the Reading Rainbow projects. This could be a red carpet event or a casual movie and popcorn party.
Students display their Reading Rainbow projects on the screen in the front hallway of our elementary building.

Assessment: District 2nd Grade Summary Rubric, Project and Participation Rubrics, Viewer Ratings.

Summary Rubric Fair---1 pt. Good---2 pts. Excellent---3 pts.
beginning Student attempts to identify how the story began, but with some inaccuracies. Student attempts to identify beginning of story, but leaves out key points. Student identifies all key elements of the beginning of the story.
middle Student attempts to identify events from the middle of story, but with some inaccuracies. Student attempts to identify events from the middle of story, but leaves out key points Student identifies all key elements from the middle of the story.
end Student attempts to identify events from the end of story, but with some inaccuracies. Student attempts to identify from the end of story, but leaves out key points Students identifies all key elements from the end of the story

Project Rubric Fair---1 pt. Good---2 pts. Excellent---3 pts.
We followed the Reading Rainbow format. We didnt really understand that we had to organize our project like a Reading Rainbow episode. We followed the Reading Rainbow format with our project. We followed the Reading Rainbow format and added an introduction some transitions, and an ending.
3 components--- summaries, documentary, and creative writing. We ran out of time and did not have time to finish 1 of the components. 1 of our components is not up to par, but we finished. All of our components were finished and done well.
Combined components into a 20-30 minute video We let the teacher edit our video. We edited the video with adult assistance so that it would last 20-30 minutes. We redid or even staged some of the project to make it interesting and to follow the time guide-
lines. We edited the video with some help.

Participation Rubric Fair---1 pt. Good---2 pts. Excellent---3 pts.
I contributed a summary of a book that was about our theme. The book was on topic and the summary was either too detailed or hard to follow. The book was on topic and the summary had the basic ingredients that were required. The book was on topic and the summary left the audience wanting to read the book.
I participated in the demonstration, interview, or field trip. I went with the group on the field trip or interview, or I participated in the demonstration. I helped prepare for the documentary portion of the project and contributed ideas and wrote thank you notes. I helped prepare for the documentary , helped organize the steps and times, gathered supplies for the demonstration or made arrangements for the field trip or interview, and wrote thank you notes.
I used the Flip camera to record a part of the project. I accidentally erased some of our film or did not know how to operate the Flip camera when it was time to video.
I did not want to share the video taping duties or did not do my share. I learned how to use the Flip camera responsibly and did my share of videoing. I learned how to use the Flip camera well enough to teach others, and I helped video tape whenever I could, but was not a video taping hog.
I wrote and illustrated a creative writing piece on our theme. I drew some pictures and wrote a story, but just told it when we video-taped it. I illustrated and wrote my story, and I practiced reading so I could read fluently while taping. My illustrations were bright and colorful with the just right amount to show the story I wrote and I read using my best story-reading voice.
Group participation. I had some difficulties knowing how to participate in our group project. I contributed and was not a road block. I contributed and helped my team mates. I was flexible when working on our project and willing to compromise on ideas.

r>ViewerRating Checklist

Viewer Rating Yes No
I enjoyed watching the Reading Rainbow presentation made by students.
I think the students showed that they learned about their topic.
The students demonstrated many skills throughout their Reading Rainbow presentation.

Comments about this project was:

This is a highly engaging project which involves parental support. Even though it is a group project, it can be individualized to meet a student's readiness level and even expectations can be taylored to fit a student's needs. Students can work together on similar interests and can have a chance to become "experts" on their topics. This is truly differentiated instruction.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Reading, writing, and technology form the basis of this project, but virtually any subject area could be involved since groups of students choose their own theme or topic to research and explore.
Since this is a long-term project, follow-up activities would mainly be thank you notes, the culmination of the project with a film festival, and playing the videos in the main hall of our school.
Materials: Mobile Labs, Flip Video, Microphones, Tripods, Batteries, Headsets, Flash/USB Drives, Office Suite, Video Tools