Writing

Not Your Grandma’s Social Media

Here’s the truth: If Romeo had Snapchat, that entire mess might’ve been avoided. Even a simple status update on Facebook would have alerted his posse that tragedy was imminent.

Luckily, when it comes to sharing information, our students are no longer limited to messages passed along by Friar John. Instead, kids today exchange ideas almost instantaneously through texts, Snapchat, and Instagram.  Meet your students where they are by encouraging them to share ideas, reflect on their learning, and recreate classic moments in literature and history by reproducing the social media experiences they have outside the classroom using:

FakeBook Recreate classic moments in literature or history by creating a FakeBook account and plotting the development of characters through status updates and images. For a “real” social media experience add other characters to the friends’ list, offer “likes” to status updates, and post comments to images. 

Instagram Encourage your students to tell a character’s story through images and status updates using Instagram or this Instagram template (Thanks, Cynthia Nixon!) . For added authenticity, have them use #hashtags to capture big ideas and theme topics.

Texting Use this Google Drawing iPhone template from Darren Maltais to get students to write from a character’s perspective and speculate how a secondary character might react to the text. Plus, because the template is available in Google Drive, multiple students can add their own ideas to the template, really mimicking the group texting experience. 

Whisper Whisper is a social media app that allows users to share secrets anonymously. Recreate the Whisper experience in the classroom by sharing the secret confessions and inner thoughts of characters and historical figures. Use this template to share a character’s confession by uploading an image and editing the text box. Then, add an element of collaboration by having other students speculate as to which character is making the confession. 

Twitter Chats Have students use this Ryan O’Donnell’s Twitter Template to bring classic literature into the modern day world. Students can use this fictional Twitter chat template to develop profiles for characters and create posts and updates to capture the big plot moves and conflicts from the text.

Book Snaps . Have students try #Booksnaps to annotate and share reflections of any excerpt of a book or text using SnapChat. Not comfortable with SnapChat? Try using Google Slides made to look like the social media platform! Need a quick tutorial to get started?  Try this one from the girls at Not Your Grandma’s English Class.